Philadelphia Negligent Security Claims
Negligent security occurs when a business or private property owner fails to provide adequate, reasonable security for its customers or visitors. That carelessness can result in serious injuries or death for innocent victims. Certain types of premises require security due to their very nature. Places such as bars, clubs and concert venues know that there will be many people drinking and dancing and therefore they must have security to make sure nobody gets hurt. In the event that someone is injured, whether from tripping and falling from a misplaced obstacle or injured from an out of control mosh pit, the business owner may be liable. In short, business owners have an obligation to protect patrons on their property, not only from defects on their property, but also from other patrons.
Places where security is necessary to include:
- Mental Health Institutions
- Hospitals and nursing homes
- Sporting events and concerts
- Apartment complexes
- Parking lots and garages
- Public pools and fitness centers
- Bars, Taverns, and Night Clubs
- Daycare Center
- Places of worship
- Concert Arenas
- Amusement Parks
Appropriate Security Measures
In cases of negligent security, courts consider whether an owner or manager used “reasonable care” regarding security. For example, if a bar or night club has a reputation as a “nuisance bar” or has been the site of several violent crimes and its owner fails to increase security, the owner might be found negligent should another person suffer a violent attack on that property.
Past incidents of violence should always be considered when companies or organizations implement or update their security policies. Security must also account for the specific needs of the people it’s supposed to protect. For example, businesses that sell alcohol must have security to check ID’s and control crowds should they becomes unruly. However, employers must also protect their employees from injury due to high risk situations whether that be monitoring and controlling parking lots or installing protective barriers and emergency buttons in banks and pharmacies. Establishments such as schools, hospitals and nursing homes not only have a duty to control who may enter their premises, but also who gets out. It is clearly foreseeable that a young child or gravely ill individual might wander out the front door and subject themselves to injury.
Is the Security Reasonable?
In negligent security claims, the issue is usually whether the property owner provided sufficiently reasonable security considering the chance of crime. What reasonable security is depends on the specific circumstances? For example:
- Has anyone been harmed on the premises before, including in similar incidents? Was action taken to prevent future injury?
- What is the neighborhood crime rate?
- What kinds of crimes have happened in the area?
- Was a security device in disrepair, i.e. fencing, alarms, window/door locks, etc.?
- Where there adequate surveillance cameras?
- Was there adequate security personnel?
- Has the property owner investigated the likelihood of crime?
- Was the business adequately staffed?
- Does the nature of the business increase the risk of third-party harm?
Victims of Negligent Security
All too often, lax security becomes apparent only after someone has suffered a serious or fatal injury. Some accidents and acts of violence are unpredictable, but many tragic events could be prevented, with appropriate security. Victims of crimes may have a civil claim against the property owner for negligent security.
- Personal Injury
- Wrongful Death
- Theft or Robbery
- Sexual Assault
- Physical Assault
- Drunk Driving Accidents
- Car Theft
Philadelphia Negligent Security Lawyer
This is but a small introduction to a large and complex area of Pennsylvania law. Special rules may apply in similar situations involving residential landlords, places of employment, mass transit, taverns, schools, government premises and so on.
Anyone who has been injured or whose loved one has died because of negligent security should speak with an attorney, who can answer questions and investigate the circumstances on behalf of the victim. All of our personal injury cases are handled on a contingency basis, so you won’t pay unless you receive a monetary award for your case.