Businesses have responsibilities they don’t always deliver. They should provide quality products at fair prices and with the customer service customers value. They must also conduct their brick-and-mortar business with care and concern for the safety of their customers and others on their premises.
Still, every day, there are reports of crimes committed on business premises. The crime may even be robbery or murder. The criminals may target people they know or anyone who gets in their way. An abusive husband may gun down his spouse at work, but in doing so, he also kills or injures others. A thief may harm customers while robbing a local store or fast food restaurant.
Those victims and survivors could hold the business liable for not providing adequate security in the first place. And, that’s where an ounce of prevention would go along way in protecting business owners and those who work and shop their location.
3 things to know about negligent security cases:
If you or yours have been injured because of a business’s negligent security, you can pursue compensation for your loss or injury. But, here are at least three things you should know.
Foreseeable: The injury must be the result of a reasonably foreseeable lapse in security. You may have trouble identifying and proving the case without representation by a negligent security attorney.
Perhaps the neighborhood or location warrants security guards, gates, and/or security cameras.
That “foreseeability” is usually based on the fact that there have been similar events about which the owner knew or should have known.
Adequate: The defendant’s premises must have adequate security. Depending on the business type, location, and size. Security might include trained security guards, secure entrances and exits, strict control of employee ID and coded keys, or more. It should include disaster planning and emergency response protocols.
Business owners should comply with any state or federal mandates on security. For instance, some jurisdictions suggest certain precautionary measures for certain business types like convenience stores or hazmat dealers.
Third-party: The plaintiff’s injury results from the actions of a third party. The criminal or intruder commits the injury occasioned by the negligent liability of the business or owner.
The legal case must establish “constructive knowledge,” reasonably foreseeable awareness of past third-party crimes like the one affecting you. Movie theaters, banks, and gas station retail stores should have reasonable precautions in place given their history are vulnerable to violent crime.
When the crime could have been prevented
It’s always advisable to know your rights when you suffer personal injury. Among them, you have the right to sue for compensation for medical costs, pain and suffering, loss of wages, and more to make you whole again.
Even the Wisconsin Bar acknowledges the need and difficulty demonstrating the “knew or should have known” standard, “particularly if the level of culpability is important and punitive damages are being sought.” But, doing this on your own is difficult. Navigating the courts and the settlement negotiations is not a do-it-yourself task.