Businesses and landlords should maintain safe facilities so that residents and visitors don’t get hurt on their properties. Property owners and managers alike may have premises liability when other people get seriously hurt or suffer significant property damage on their property.
Many premises liability claims have to do with bad maintenance. If someone falls down unlit stairs or slips in a puddle, they could potentially bring a claim against the company’s insurance or a lawsuit against the business.
However, some premises liability claims have to do with inadequate security rather than unkempt facilities. Is a business potentially responsible for criminal activity that occurs on its property?
Was the criminal activity reasonably foreseeable?
Inadequate security can potentially lead to successful premises liability claims against a business. Protecting residents, visitors and customers against crime is as important as making sure that the floors are safe.
Some crimes are unpredictable and unpreventable, but other times, a business could reasonably foresee that criminal activity might affect their visitors. For example, businesses in areas with a lot of traffic probably know about criminal activity that occurs nearby. The more people there are, the greater the risk of muggings, assault and similar offenses.
Dark outdoor spaces, hidden alleyways and areas not subject to security camera surveillance are ideal locations for criminals to target the public. Businesses could potentially prevent crimes by investing in lighting, security personnel or even cameras. The mere presence of security cameras might reduce the risk of criminal activity by as much as 50%.
Victims of crime may suffer massive losses
Criminal activity often has a two-fold impact on victims. First, there are the physical injuries or financial losses that someone suffers in a robbery or an assault.
Then, there are the lost wages and medical expenses while someone recovers. Beyond just the medical treatment that they require, there may also be psychological trauma that they need to address before they can return to the same life they had before the crime occurred.
Recognizing that you may have grounds to hold the business responsible for the impact of a crime on your life can help you seek justice after someone attacks you or robs you in a public space.