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Premises Liability: Negligent Security

Casey Woodruff

When you’re on another person’s property and you sustain injuries because of negligent security, you may be able to file a claim for compensation. In Illinois, premises liability law makes clear that property owners have a duty to protect people from injuries caused by negligent security.   When property owners fail to take the necessary precautions, they can owe significant damages to the injured party.

Premises liability law is a complicated area of the law, and negligent security is one type of claim that falls within this broader field. It’s important to understand what negligent security claims look like and to determine whether you might have a strong claim for compensation. An experienced Naperville premises liability lawyer can closely examine your case today.

What Do Negligent Security Claims Look Like?

How can you be sure if you have a negligent security claim or another type of claim that falls under the theory of premises liability? Let’s think about what negligent security means. Negligent security cases often involve crimes in which a victim suffered an injury.  Inadequate security can result in some of the following violent crimes:

  •      Assaults, including sexual assaults;
  •      Abductions;
  •      Muggings;
  •      Shootings; and
  •      Stabbings.

Negligent security can lead to severe and even fatal injuries.  Premises liability claims are civil suits in which you seek financial compensation for injuries—these cases often arise from criminal acts.  At the same time, in certain types of accidents there may be reason to file a negligent security claim.

What kinds of behaviors by property owners might be considered negligent security? This kind of negligence can occur in a variety of ways that play a role in allowing crimes to take place, including but not limited to:

  •      Failure to install security cameras;
  •      Failure of security guards to properly monitor doors, entryways, and parking lots;
  •      Failure of security guards to properly make rounds;
  •      Failure to install adequate lighting;
  •      Failure to properly secure doors, gates, or other entry areas; and
  •      Failure of security guards to properly respond to suspicious circumstances.

Hypothetical Situations Involving Negligent Security

Under Illinois law, when potential harms are foreseeable to property owners and they have a reasonable amount of time to install security features, they must take steps to ensure the security of visitors on their premises. This is true for business owners and private property owners alike. Let’s take a look at a couple of scenarios that could make for legitimate negligent security lawsuits:

  • A mall employee stays late to take inventory. The mall owner knew that muggings had occurred in the parking lot over the last year, but that property owner failed to hire security guards. When the employee leaves the store and heads to his car, he becomes the victim of a mugging.
  • Consider the same scenario as above, but let’s say that the property owner hired a team of security guards to monitor the parking lot. The security guards fall asleep in their vehicles. When the mall employee heads to his car, he becomes the victim of a mugging, and the security guards don’t take any action because they sleep through the crime.
  • At a private home in a rural area, a property owner knows that someone has been breaking into cars. The property owner’s guests regularly park in an area off to the side of the house that’s unsecured and poorly lit. She thinks about installing a high gate and lighting to deter thefts on her property. However, she fails to do so, and one of her guests returns to his car in the midst of a theft. The thief assaults the guest and flees, and the guest sustains serious injuries.

 Contact a Naperville Premises Liability Attorney

Each of the cases presented above represent scenarios in which the injury victims may be able to file negligent security claims. However, these cases vary widely in circumstance. Each situation is different, and it’s important to have an experienced Aurora premises liability attorney take a look at the details of your case. Contact Woodruff Johnson & Evans today.

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