Winning Damages for Injuries Suffered Due to Negligent Security

A negligent security lawsuit is a legal remedy for individuals who have suffered injuries as victims of crimes due to failure of property owners or managers to take adequate safety measures. Victims can sue not only the owners and managers but also security companies, management firms and others in charge of the premises. In New Jersey, a plaintiff seeking damages must prove that the responsible party knew or should have known about potential risks but failed to take adequate precautions.

Negligent security lawsuits have been brought against a wide range of establishments that invite people onto their premises. These include apartment complex owners, hotels, shopping centers, retail stores, restaurants, bars and nightclubs. Even schools and hospitals are vulnerable to such claims.

Crimes on premises can occur in a variety of circumstances, ranging from robberies and assaults to altercations among patrons. Certainly the criminal actor who caused the injury is primarily liable, but the property owner or manager can still bear a significant share of the legal responsibility.

The basis of an inadequate security lawsuit is that the victim would not have suffered harm if the property owner or business had implemented reasonable security measures. In New Jersey cases, the plaintiff must establish that the defendant deviated from what should have been done to prevent foreseeable harm or a foreseeable crime.

Examples of deviation from proper security measures include the following:

  • Inadequate lighting in parking lots, garages and other public areas
  • Faulty or malfunctioning security systems, including keyed and pass-card access
  • Lack of adequate security staff or lack of vigilance by staff on duty
  • Lack of video surveillance or failure to monitor the video

The level of security that may be appropriate can vary depending on the type of establishment, the surrounding environment and other circumstances. If the establishment is located in an area that has experienced high crime levels, additional security would be called for. Also, certain types of businesses, such as convenience stores and check-cashing services, may be more prone to robberies.

A crime victim who claims the premises had inadequate security can recover damages for resulting injuries and related costs. These include medical bills, lost wages due to inability to work, pain and suffering and emotional and psychological harm.

If you are hurt as the result of a crime committed on any property in New Jersey, it’s important to take prompt steps to preserve your legal right to sue. This means calling police immediately and reporting the incident to the property’s owner, manager or other responsible person on the premises. Get the names of any people present who might serve as witnesses. As soon as possible, contact a premises liability lawyer who can conduct a thorough investigation and begin amassing evidence.

Siegel Law in Ridgewood has broad experience handling premises liability litigation for plaintiffs throughout northern New Jersey, including Passaic, Bergen, Essex and Hudson counties. Please call us at 201-444-4000 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.

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