Most premises liability claims are based on slip-and-fall accidents. In these instances, a property owner either knew or should have known of the dangerous property condition and failed to either correct the hazard or failed to warn others of the condition. These issues can arise nearly anywhere, but many premises liability lawsuits are filed against retailers, such as grocery stores, that fail to clean up spills in a timely fashion.
As common as these cases are, premises liability is much broader in nature. One often overlooked aspect of this area of the law is negligent security or inadequate security. The law doesn't clearly delineate what specific types of events constitute premises liability. Instead, it lays out certain legal elements that must be met while paying attention to matters such as how the property in question is being used, the foreseeability of harm, and the reasonableness of the steps taken by the property owner to repair the dangerous condition in question or warn others about it.
So how does this pertain to security? Those who have been injured during a criminal act while on the property of another may be able to pursue compensation from the property owner if it can be shown that the area is known as having a high crime rate. In addition, a victim likely will have to show that the property owner either knew or should have known that someone would be victimized on his or her property via criminal act. These are not easy things to prove but having an expert on security testify about the crime rate in the area, the history of criminal acts on the property and whether the steps taken by the property owner were reasonable enough to protect invitees can go a long way.
Premises liability cases can be pretty straight forward, but oftentimes they're not. Defendants in these cases often come up with clever legal strategies to try to insulate themselves from liability, which is why victims should consider acquiring the help of the best legal advocate they can find.