When you visit someone else’s private residence or other type of property that is not your own, you have a reasonable expectation that you won’t be injured because the business owner’s negligence. In addition to the maintenance and upkeep of stairs, walkways and other areas of the premises, property owners have an obligation to take basic security measures to reduce the risk of violent crimes being committed on their property.
If you’ve been the victim of a violent crime on someone’s dangerous property, the experienced negligent security attorneys at Holder Susan Slusher LLC can help you seek the justice and compensation you deserve. Call 573-710-4716 today to discuss your case for free. We serve Columbia, Moberly, Fulton, Boonville and nearby communities in Missouri.
This page covers the following topics:
- Fierce Advocacy for Victims of Violent Crime
- Where Can Negligent Security Occur?
- Determining Liability in Negligent Security Cases
- The Law on Negligent Security
- Potential Damages in a Negligent Security Case
- What To Do If You Have Been a Crime Victim
- Information Your Crime Victim Attorney Will Need
- Common Perpetrator Defenses to Crime Victim Claims
- Our Commitment to You
- Call Today for a Complimentary Case Evaluation
There are a number of circumstances in which property owners or property managers know or should know about potential hazards to the safety of their guests, residents or customers. When property owners or business owners disregard known dangers, while still inviting others to enter their premises and purchase their goods and services, they can and should be held accountable for their actions and subsequent damages.
Basic security measures can prevent crimes from happening. Perhaps the property owner overlooked a security risk, such as:
- Poor lighting
- Faulty or inadequate alarm systems or security cameras
- Inadequate security personnel
- Failure to perform background checks on employees
- Missing or broken locks
- Failure to secure entrances, such as open gates
Crimes are preventable. Property owners should be held accountable when they do not take appropriate steps to protect or warn guests and patrons from becoming victims of crime. You may not know if negligent security played a role in your situation; that’s why we want to hear your story. Call us today to discuss the details of your case.
Where Can Negligent Security Occur?
Negligent security can occur at a variety of different types of businesses and properties, such as:
- Office buildings
- Convenience stores
- Gas stations
- Nursing homes
- Gentlemen's clubs and adult entertainment venues
- Taverns, lounges and bars
- Parking lots and parking garages
- Malls and shopping centers
- Apartments and condominiums
- Hotels, motels and inns
Determining Liability in Negligent Security Cases
Business owners have a duty to maintain a safe property and avoid foreseeable risks, including the foreseeable danger of violent crimes. If a property is located in a high-crime area, property owners must provide good lighting, secure locks, security guards or other appropriate measures to protect guests and invitees. Our laws hold those property owners and businesses liable that choose to unnecessarily expose their visitors and customers to such dangers.
- A business may be liable to crime victims such as the following:
- A guest at a hotel is assaulted
- A customer pumping gas at the convenience store is robbed and shot
- A shopper is carjacked in the parking lot of a mall
- A casino patron is the victim of a strong armed robbery after collecting his winnings
- A sports enthusiast and spectator is assaulted at the stadium
- An employee is attacked in the company stairwell or elevator
Sometimes the criminals are caught and charged with committing violent crimes and other times they escape and are never identified. But questions often linger:
- Where was security?
- Why weren't there surveillance cameras?
- Why weren't the surveillance cameras working?
- Why was nobody watching the surveillance cameras?
- Where is the surveillance tape?
- Why wasn't there better lighting?
- Were the security doors locked?
- Were the security doors broken?
- How did the criminal get in the building?
- How did the criminal enter the parking lot?
- How much prior criminal activity was there at this hotel, convenience store, shopping mall, casino, or stadium?
- Why wasn't I warned of all of the prior criminal activity?
Depending on the answers to these and other questions, the business may be liable for the harms and losses caused on its premises by the criminal acts of third parties.
The Law on Negligent Security
Generally, the owner of the business property has no duty to protect an invitee from a deliberate criminal attack by a third person. Missouri courts have noted several policy reasons for not imposing such a duty, including judicial reluctance to tamper with a traditional common law concept, the notion that the deliberate criminal act of a third person is an intervening cause of harm to another, and the difficulty that often exists in determining the foreseeability of criminal acts.
Exceptions to Non-Liability
However, there are exceptions to the general no-duty rule. These exceptions include “special relationships” or “special facts and circumstances” in which an act or omission exposes you to unreasonable risk of harm.
Special relationships include situations where guests rely upon a property owner or manager to provide a place of safety. Examples of special relationships can include:
- Common carriers and passengers
- Schools and students
- Hotels and guest
- Employers and employees
Special facts and circumstances include two theories:
- An intentional infliction of injury by known and identifiable third persons
- Frequent and recent occurrences of violent crimes against persons on the premises by unknown assailants.
Potential Damages in a Negligent Security Case
Holder Susan Slusher LLC will use their extensive experience and knowledge to pursue civil actions against business owners, property managers, event operators, and criminal perpetrators for all types of assaults resulting in severe injury or death.
Our law firm has pursued justice for crime victims through claims and personal injury lawsuits against many well-known corporations and franchisees including convenience stores, gas stations, international hotels, casinos and others.
We believe that seeking and obtaining full compensation for our clients is the only method by which property owners and businesses will change their business practices to either protect or warn their customers and invitees of known dangers.
We strive to obtain maximum compensation and recovery for our clients for:
- Medical Bills and future medical care
- Permanent disability and/or disfigurement and scarring
- Loss of income and wages
- Loss of future earnings capacity
- Treatment for post-traumatic stress, depression, and anxiety the result of attack
- Pain and suffering
- Infliction of emotional distress and mental anguish
- Loss of consortium, companionship and counseling
What To Do If You Have Been a Crime Victim
After a serious injury to you or a loved one, here are some steps to take to assist in pursuing a legal claim for compensation:
- Promptly report the incident to police and/or on-site security
Seek immediate medical treatment
- Get the names and phone numbers of all witnesses
- Take photographs of the scene, if possible
- Take photographs of your injuries
- Cooperate with law enforcement and the prosecuting attorney's office
Do not sign any documents relating to the incident or your condition. Do not discuss your case with anyone other than the police. Most parties that you will need to deal with, including the property owner or their insurance company, do not have your best interests in mind
Contact a skilled crime victim negligent security attorney as soon as possible.
Information Your Crime Victim Attorney Will Need
When consulting with an attorney, be prepared to answer detailed questions about the incident. This will allow our attorneys to conduct a proper evaluation.
Some questions you may be asked are:
- Date, time and location of the occurrence
- Whether a police report or incident report was filed
- Identification of any witnesses
- Whether or not criminal charges have been filed against the perpetrator
- If the perpetrator is known to the victim or victim's family and any additional information about the perpetrator
- Familiarity with the location of the criminal act and any known prior criminal activity
- Medical condition, injuries sustained, anticipated medical treatment, and the names of medical providers
- Lost amount of time from work and employment information
- Sources of funds to cover medical expenses and losses, such as health insurance, state crime victims compensation program, Medicaid/Medicare, and restitution.
Common Perpetrator Defenses to Crime Victim Claims
Several defenses in a civil lawsuit brought by the victims of a criminal attack include:
- Self Defense: The perpetrator claims their actions were justified because they were defending themselves or someone else;
Assumption of the Risk: The perpetrator claims they should not be held liable because the victim voluntarily exposed themselves to the danger or risk;
- Contributory/Comparative Negligence: The perpetrator claims it was the victim's negligence or conduct that caused or contributed to cause their injuries. A victim's trial verdict may be reduced by a proportional share if the jury finds the victim was partially at fault.
- Immunity: The law sometimes provides government agencies, government employees, and other parties with immunity from civil liability under certain circumstances.
- Non-Preventability: The property owner or business claims that even though they lacked proper safety measures, the criminal act was nevertheless not preventable.
- Nonforseeability: The property owner or business claims that even though there has been prior or persistent crime on their premises, the particular crime was nevertheless nonforseeable.
Our Commitment to You
At Holder Susan Slusher, LLC, we take pride in standing up for the victims of violent physical assaults and criminal sexual attacks as well as for the families of murder/homicide victims. We seek to provide compassionate, client-focused representation and support for victims and their families when they need it most.
Our attorneys have the knowledge and resources to make sure that crime victims not only receive compensation from the criminal defendant, but also from the other entities and businesses that caused or contributed to cause the crime and injuries.
Holder Susan Slusher, LLC represents crime victims on a contingency fee basis. If there is no recovery, there is no fee. If the case is successful, a predetermined attorney's fee percentage will be paid from the monetary settlement or award.
A client may also be responsible for paying expenses associated with the case, including but not limited to, filing fees, expert witness fees, and deposition related expenses.
Call Today for a Complimentary Case Evaluation
If need an experienced negligent security attorney in the Columbia, Moberly, Fulton or Boonville areas of Missouri, call Holder Susan Slusher LLC today at 573-710-4716 for a complimentary case evaluation.