What can I do if negligent security contributed to my injury?

survelliance_cameraWhen a person is injured by someone committing a physical or sexual assault, robbery or theft, or other violent act or crime, the perpetrator may not be the only person who can be held accountable.

If the injury occurred at a rental property or in a public place, a victim may have grounds to bring a negligent security claim against the property's owner or tenant.

Rental properties may be homes, townhomes, apartments, or retirement communities. Public places include supermarkets or other retail stores, hotels or motels, performance venues, hospitals, office buildings,
or parking lots or garages.

A type of premises liability law, a negligent security lawsuit allows victims to seek a civil remedy for injuries sustained in a crime or violent act that occurred on someone else's property. Examples of negligent security include:

  • Absent, malfunctioning, or insufficient warning signs, lighting, alarms or locks, security cameras, or other safety equipment
  • Absent or poorly-trained guards and surveillance personnel
  • Insufficient security protocols

To prove a negligent security claim, plaintiffs and their attorneys must show that:

  • The plaintiff was on the property lawfully and thus, the property owner or tenant had a duty to exercise reasonable care to keep visitors safe
  • The property owner or tenant failed to consider the likelihood of third-party crime or to adequately warn customers or visitors of potential harm
  • The plaintiff sustained injuries or other losses due to a third party's criminal act that was reasonably foreseeable to the defendant
  • The plaintiff's injuries and losses occurred as a direct result of the defendant's breached duty

In a comparative negligence state like Pennsylvania, victims can often collect damages, even if they were partially responsible for their own injuries, as long as they weren't more responsible for the injuries than the defendant.

Also, there's a good reason for bringing a claim against the owner of the property where the injury occurred, rather than suing the perpetrator directly. Whereas the perpetrator may not have the funds to cover the plaintiff's damages, the property owner likely carries insurance for situations like these.

Consult an Experienced Premises Liability Lawyer

Negligent security cases can be confusing and complex for people unfamiliar with the ins and outs of premises liability law. At the Accident and Injury Law Group, our skilled premises liability attorneys can review your case, help you explore your options, and fight for the financial recovery you deserve.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment for a free, no-obligation initial consultation.


Pellegrino Certa
Pittsburgh Personal Injury and Car Accident Attorney