What is a Negligent Security Lawsuit in Pennsylvania?
If you were recently the victim of a crime, several parties might be to blame. In addition to the individual who personally harmed you being held responsible, the property owner could be found liable for your injuries in a negligent security case.
Victims can file negligent security lawsuits in Pennsylvania when they become the victim of a crime as a result of a property owner’s failure to provide adequate security measures. This might include failing to install surveillance cameras, improperly training security guards, or not having sufficient lighting. Proving fault in a negligent security case is typically more challenging than proving fault in an average premises liability claim. To recover compensation of any kind for your damages, you must bring your case within two years of the incident in Pennsylvania.
The Reiff Law Firm can schedule a free discussion of your case when you call our Philadelphia premises liability lawyers today at (215) 709-6940.
What is a Negligent Security Lawsuit in Pennsylvania?
Suppose you were the victim of a crime that occurred someone else’s property, and their failure to secure your safety as required by their duty of care contributed to your damages. In that case, you may be able to file a negligent security lawsuit in Pennsylvania.
Negligent security falls under the umbrella of premises liability. It is more specific in that negligent security claims are filed when a person is a victim of a crime that could have been prevented if the property owner had the proper security measures in place.
Common crimes that occur because of negligent security include sexual assaults, shootings, physical assaults, theft, and other criminal acts, including additional violent crimes. It is important to understand that you cannot file a negligent security lawsuit simply because you were the victim of a crime on another person’s property. Our Pennsylvania premises liability lawyers will assess your case to determine if the property owner did not provide the proper security measures, which would vary from situation to situation.
For example, suppose an active shooter entered a nightclub. If the nightclub had a qualified security guard at the door, security cameras, and other safety measures, yet the shooter was able to get inside, that would likely not be a case of negligent security. However, if the nightclub lacked those measures, and the shooter got inside and injured patrons, that would likely be a case of negligent security in Pennsylvania.
Examples of Negligent Security in Pennsylvania
Property owners have a responsibility to keep their properties free from hazards, to varying degrees. Liability for damages incurred because of a crime can fall on property owners if they do not meet their duty of care.
Learning about examples of negligent security is important in order to better understand the concept. Suppose you live in an apartment building. Your landlord is not responsible for installing security measures inside your specific unit aside from a lock on your front door. Your landlord is, however, responsible for maintaining common areas, like stairwells and entryways. If your landlord does not have cameras in these common areas, and you are a victim of a crime that would likely not have happened if there were security cameras, you might be able to file a negligent security case. The same can be said of individuals who were victims of crimes because their landlords failed to fix security measures that needed repair, such as doors, gates, or fences.
Negligent security can also apply to other properties, such as shopping malls, restaurants, retail stores, movie theaters, gyms, and other places. In these situations, the extent of security measures is typically based on the crime rate in the area, although most companies accessible to the public should have surveillance cameras and some sort of security guards in case of emergency or to deter dangerous individuals.
What is the Statute of Limitations for a Negligent Security Lawsuit in Pennsylvania?
The deadline to file a negligent security lawsuit in Pennsylvania is the same as the deadline to sue for personal injury.
Victims who wish to file negligent security lawsuits in Pennsylvania will have two years from the date they were injured to do so. Filing your case immediately is important, as holding a property owner liable in these situations might already be challenging. Unnecessary filing delays only increase the difficulty. If you do not sue within the two years that follow the incident, you will not be able to recover compensation from the property owner, specifically.
Proving a Negligent Security Case in Pennsylvania
Proving a negligent security case can be more challenging than a normal premises liability claim, as you must prove that a defendant should have foreseen the crime and installed the necessary safety measures.
To do this, our attorneys may refer to police reports for similar crimes reported in the area or news reports about such events occurring at similar locations. For example, suppose a boutique had been the sight of pick-pocketing many times. If the boutique continues to not install security cameras, and you become a victim of pick-pocketing, the boutique could be to blame because of negligent security.
This applies to more violent crimes as well. For example, suppose a restaurant has bathrooms located downstairs, away from tables and staff, and a patron was sexually assaulted in the area because of its isolated nature. In that case, the restaurant should install security cameras, have adequate lighting, and possibly even station a security guard in the area. If they do not, and another patron is sexually assaulted in the same location or is the victim of a similar crime, that patron could likely file a negligent security lawsuit against the restaurant. In this type of situation, a restaurant could be liable even without a previous complaint.
Call Our Pennsylvania Lawyers About Your Negligent Security Claim Now
Call The Reiff Law Firm’s Philadelphia personal injury lawyers at (215) 709-6940 for a free case review.