Negligent security cases occur when a person is victimized, assaulted, or otherwise injured by the criminal acts of a third party on a business’ property. The most important factor to be established in these cases is what is known as foreseeability.
In simple terms, foresseability is the level of risk or danger a property owner must anticipate and account for on behalf of their guests and/or residents.
In some cases, the property in question may have several documented instances of prior criminal activity. When there are known security risks or concerns, a business or property owner can be held to a higher level of responsibility based on foreseeability implications.
Unfortunately, a number of significant and high-profile negligent security cases have occurred throughout Indiana, with many happening in Indianapolis and its surrounding cities.
With this in mind, Boulton Law Group takes a closer look at three types of properties that are often associated with negligent security.
1) Big-box stores, shopping centers, malls, and retail businesses
Considering the large amount of foot traffic and random visitors that frequent various retail stores, it is not surprising that these businesses are sometimes named as defendants in negligent security cases.
If we look at big-box stores as an example, these mega-retailers have a number of potential negligent security risks that they must account for to help ensure the safety of their guests.
For instance, many of the larger stores will have expansive parking lots that attract loiterers or individuals looking to take advantage of unsuspecting shoppers who are preoccupied with loading purchases into their vehicles or placing children in car seats, etc.
Another parking lot danger occurs when retailers allow travelers to use their space as an overnight rest station. This commonly includes semi-trucks or RV owners. Not knowing the character of the individuals using these lots can prove dangerous for the stores traditional shoppers and guests.
However, big-box stores are hardly the only defendants in negligent security cases. There are a large number of smaller retailers, shopping centers, and indoor/outdoor malls of varying configurations that present unique security risks to their visitors.
For example, a continuing trend in many retail centers is to share space with bars, nightclubs, or other popular after-hours spots that serve alcohol. These types of build-outs present a unique set of foreseeable security risks to patrons and the general public, as alcohol and late-night hours can increase the odds of someone being a victim to a criminal act.
Other spaces that may pose a negligent security risk for guests or employees in retail stores may include delivery areas, stock rooms, restrooms, and fitting rooms, among others.
Additionally, whenever a large retailer or mall hosts a promotional event or special activity, there can be a massive influx of visitors and patrons that may exploit a weakness in the traditional security and safety protocol which doesn’t account for the added number of people.
It is critical that businesses prepare for any change to their traditional operating procedures to avoid the potential of being responsible for a negligent security case.
2) Apartment buildings
Negligent security cases involving apartment complexes are unique in that the victim is often times a tenant or resident. Unlike retail business owners, landlords face unique foreseeability factors and owe a greater level of responsibility to its tenants with regard to their safety.
When investigating an apartment negligent security case, Boulton Law Group conducts an extensive search to determine whether or not patterns of criminal conduct or incidents have ever existed within the community.
Typically, we begin this search by requesting reports from the local police department that can detail the number of “emergency runs” in response to 911 calls or other requests for police assistance. It is possible for a high-risk Indianapolis apartment building to have dozens of reported incidents in any given month. This type of activity can help to build a case against the landlord with regard to foreseeability.
Another powerful source we will attempt to utilize in these cases are the victim’s neighbors. Fellow residents will often have detailed information regarding suspicious people and activities, as well as stories about their own prior experiences with security and safety concerns.
In addition to police/incident reports and witness accounts, attorney Boulton will also conduct a thorough examination of the physical units and complex grounds. It may be determined that an incident which happened on the ground floor level carried a greater level of foreseeability than one that happened on an upper level.
There are a number of considerations that will need to be taken into account with these cases. Apartment negligent security cases are notoriously complex and require careful analysis of all evidence as well as local and state laws.
3) Hotels, motels, extended stay inns
Hotel negligent security cases share certain similarities with apartment claims, however, there are also a number of factors Boulton Law Group will examine that are unique to hospitality incidents.
One of the larger concerns with hotel and other hospitality venues is the mixing of various groups and guests that may be staying at the hotel for an event or conference.
A hotel should account for the foresseability factors associated with simultaneously booking groups of opposing social values and/or lifestyles. Not taking into account the potential dangers that could arise may play a significant role in determining the liability for these case types.
Hotel keys account for another foreseeability risk that is unique to hotels. The vast majority of today’s hotels and other hospitality venues hand out electronic keycards to their guests. And while these keys are superior to metal keys, the hotel must still ensure guests’ safety by taking steps such as properly screening employees who will have access to the key card generator.
Whether by accident or with intent in mind, if a key is used to access a guest’s room by anyone that causes them harm, the hotel could face substantial liability.
Indianapolis Negligent Security Attorney
If you believe your injuries were a result of negligent security, it is critical that you speak to a negligent security attorney who has experience with these cases.
Indiana law is not always friendly to plaintiffs that wish to pursue a negligent security lawsuit, and because negligent security law is always changing, it can easily lead to confusion or misunderstanding for anyone who does not regularly investigate similar claims.
Attorney Matt Boulton has handled a number of high-profile negligent security cases throughout Indiana. His experience with these cases is a unique factor that separates Boulton Law Group from a number of other firms.
Boulton Law Group offers a Zero Fee Guarantee to all victims of negligent security. This means you will never be charged a consultation fee and the firm receives no payment for its legal representation until we win your case.
To speak to attorney Boulton about your case, call 317-350-2680 If you wish to write to us with the details of your case, please use our confidential contact form.
Attorney Matt Boulton is an award-winning personal injury attorney with more than 20 years of experience helping seriously injured people throughout Indiana reclaim what was taken from them. His firm was created for for the client who expects exceptional service and passionate, successful legal representation.