COVID-19: Your safety is our priority. Amidst the COVID-19 outbreak, we are doing our part to keep our clients and team members safe and healthy. The wheels of justice are still moving, but you can stay home while we fight for you. Learn More about the precautions Whitley Law Firm is taking to minimize the spread of COVID-19 and read more about Frequently Asked Questions regarding how the outbreak could affect your case.

Certain cases governed by premises liability law stem from criminal activity that occurs on private property and results in harm to a visitor or resident of that property. If you suffer injuries or any other loss because a property owner or manager failed to provide appropriate security, you may have grounds to file suit.

By talking to a Charlotte negligent security lawyer, you may be able to get a better sense of your legal options in this kind of scenario. A seasoned premises liability attorney could clarify when a property owner or manager’s actions qualify as legally negligent and help you seek compensation for any damages that those careless actions cause.

What Constitutes Inadequate or Negligent Security?

All property owners and managers must exercise reasonable care in the upkeep and protection of their property. As part of this obligation, they must provide proper security and appropriate notification to law enforcement for any type of breach of security, to the fullest extent the community allows. A community in one part of the state such as Charlotte that has many resources when it comes to private security may have different standards and expectations compared to a small rural town.

Accordingly, what constitutes “adequate” security is based on what would be considered reasonable in a particular situation. For example, it is often impossible to have armed security guards at a retail store 24 hours a day, but it may be reasonable to expect a business owner to provide a once-a-night inspection by a local service and notify customers of recent crime in the area.

For instance, if an apartment complex has many reports of crime and has knowledge of an increase in the number of such incidents occurring, they should do something to mitigate the situation, such as hire on-site security staff, increase lighting in open areas, or install security cameras to deter crime. If someone is later victimized by the same type of crime that the apartment complex knew about, that could be a situation a Charlotte negligent security attorney could help the victim file suit over.

To reiterate, though, inadequate or negligent security liability cases are ultimately fact-driven and based on the standard of the community. If the community is such that it is not reasonable to provide the type of services that are needed, that factors into whether the case moves forward.

Foreseeable and Preventable Crimes

An important concept to keep in mind when it comes to inadequate security lawsuit is that crimes must be foreseeable and preventable to serve as valid grounds for civil litigation. A foreseeable crime is an offense that is related to previously reported illegal activities in the area. For example, if an armed robbery is reported in the area around a shopping mall, it is foreseeable that it could happen again.

Unforeseeable crimes cannot be anticipated and are completely outside of the scope of knowledge of the property owner—in other words, a rare fluke that is not a common or predictable situation. The determination that a crime is foreseeable or unforeseeable would be made by a civil court.

Similarly, a preventable criminal attack is one that likely could have been avoided if adequate security was provided. Armed robbery, assault, and rape are all crimes that can often be prevented by adequate security.

Differences from Other Premises Liability Cases

The same standards apply to inadequate or negligent security cases as apply to premises liability cases, but different facts are used to prove liability. In an inadequate security case in Charlotte, the plaintiff or their lawyer must specifically prove that there was reasonable notice of crimes occurring on the premises, and the defendant did not take reasonable measures to provide security that could have prevented the crime.

Either way, the plaintiff has the burden of proof. If a civil court decides there was adequate security, the plaintiff would lose their case. If security is deemed to be adequate, though, it is still considered a premises liability case because of the foreseeable crime involved.

Contact a Charlotte Negligent Security Attorney Today

If someone believes they fell victim to inadequate security, they should get medical treatment, document the scene, make a report to the police, and contact an attorney as soon as possible to discuss their options. Property owners, building owners, or business owners can be sued for inadequate or negligent security in Charlotte, but the statute of limitations for an inadequate or negligent security case in North Carolina is only three years. Get in touch with a Charlotte negligent security lawyer today to get started on your case.