New Jersey Negligent Security Lawyer
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Filing an Inadequate Security Lawsuit
Negligent security is a unique situation in which a retail or rental property owner may be held accountable for criminal actions committed on the premises. As patrons of New Jersey businesses, we want to assume that business owners have considered safety and have taken adequate measures to ensure our protection. Unfortunately, some landlords routinely ignore safety concerns perhaps because it is often expensive to address or they do not realize that they may be held liable for premises injuries.
If a court determines that the property owner should have anticipated the criminal activity, he or she may be legally responsible for the effects of the crime. For instance, if similar incidents had happened in the past, or there were not sufficient locks on residents' doors, the property owner might be partially liable.
Safety concerns that property owners might be expected to address include: lighting to discourage criminal activity; limited access to areas through security devices, such as swipe cards; and hiring security guards.
Common Crimes Associated with Negligent Security
Not having adequate security can lead to many different types of crimes. The ones most often associated with premises liability are robbery, sexual assault, battery, and in extreme cases, murder. Though it can happen anywhere, some of the more common places victims are targeted include nightclubs, ATMs, bars, hotels, shopping centers, banks, gas stations and apartment buildings.
If a perpetrator assaults a hotel guest in a room because the building was not secure or due to an insufficient door lock mechanism, the proprietor or building owner may be responsible for damages. A bank that fails to provide sufficient lighting at an ATM may be held responsible for a robbery at that location. While the law does not generally hold private citizens or businesses liable for crimes committed by others, if it is clear that they chose to ignore a problem, negligent security charges are the exception.
How to Know When to Pursue a Negligent Security Claim
To pursue compensation for negligent security, the injured party must be able to prove that a property owner failed to deliver proper warnings about potential danger or neglected to exercise reasonable care to prevent the same criminal activity that has taken place in the past. Establishing liability will require being able to show that the plaintiff was legally on the property, that there was a breach in providing duty of care, and that plaintiff’s injuries were the result of an act that was foreseeable.
Recovering Damages After an Injury or Assault
If you have suffered an assault, mugging, rape or other injury and believe security concerns were not sufficiently addressed at the crime location, you may be able to recover damages from the building or business owner. Only a highly qualified lawyer can determine whether you have a legitimate premises liability claim and pursue it aggressively to gain the highest possible compensation. There is no standard rule of thumb for these types of claims, and the court will review each situation to deem whether or not a property lacked sufficient security. An attorney will understand what evidence the court is looking for to prove the crime was foreseeable and could have been prevented. This will make it much easier for you to gather the right information for your claim. Your lawyer will also know which security experts to speak with to further analyze the circumstances of the case and present their findings in court.
Contact a NJ Negligent Security Attorney Today!
At Lependorf & Silverstein, P.C., we are long time New Jersey residents who are committed to making this state a safer place for everyone. Part of that commitment is holding negligent property owners responsible for their failure to address problems. Call our New Jersey premises liability attorneys today at (609) 240-0040 to determine whether you may be eligible for financial compensation for your injuries under the state's negligent security laws.
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