Being a victim of a crime is often a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. While many crimes are opportunistic, meaning the alleged criminal took advantage of a situation that presented itself, property owners have a responsibility to keep their guests and patrons safe. Promoting safety includes discouraging criminal activity, and a property owner might be negligent if they fail to implement reasonable measures to prevent a crime.
Consult a local premises liability attorney immediately when you are the victim of a crime that leaves you with injuries and losses. A Las Vegas negligent security lawyer from Shook & Stone could assess whether the property owner failed in their duty to maintain a safe setting. If so, you could seek compensation.
Crimes Lead to Physical and Psychological Injuries
Robbery, rape, shootings, stabbings, and other violent crimes take a toll on the people they target. Physical injuries can be catastrophic—for example, a gunshot could lead to a spinal cord injury and permanent paralysis. Even if the physical wounds heal quickly, the psychological trauma could produce disabling symptoms for months or years.
When a crime happens on another person’s property, the owner or business operator could be liable for the victim’s damages. Keeping premises safe is not just a matter of keeping stairs and walkways in good repair or cleaning up spills promptly. Reasonable crime prevention measures are necessary to maintain a safe environment and protect patrons and guests from preventable incidents that could cause harm.
Our Las Vegas attorneys could review the circumstances of a crime and evaluate whether more robust security measures could have prevented it. If so, the property owner could be negligent and liable for an injured person’s damages.
Determining Whether Security Measures Are Reasonable
It would be next to impossible for any property owner to make their premises impervious to crime. No one wants to live in a fortress or be patted down and go through a metal detector when they go out for a romantic dinner. However, the property owner or business operator must take precautions to deter crimes that are reasonable in their specific circumstances.
Reasonable measures vary depending on the situation. What is reasonable for an ice cream shop in a neighborhood with little crime is much different from what would be reasonable in a busy casino on the strip. The crucial factors in determining reasonableness include:
- The business’ operating hours
- The crime rate in the neighborhood
- Whether a business might attract a certain type of crime
- Whether guests might be particularly vulnerable to specific crimes
- Cost of a crime mitigation measure versus the diminished crime risk
A property owner could also weigh the effectiveness of a crime prevention measure against the type of criminal activity they hope to deter.
A business owner must continuously monitor these issues and respond appropriately. If they fail to upgrade security after a local uptick in robberies, for example, they are more likely to be liable for damages if a patron is robbed in the parking lot. At Shook & Stone, our Las Vegas attorneys could review local crime statistics, survey similar businesses in the neighborhood, and speak with residents and law enforcement officials when evaluating whether an owner’s efforts were reasonable in a specific case.
Bringing a Negligent Security Claim
An injured person has limited time to file a lawsuit seeking damages. According to Nevada Revised Statutes § 11.190(4)(e), someone alleging negligent security led to their injuries must file a lawsuit within two years of the injury. There are limited exceptions to the rule, so it is wise to speak with our Las Vegas attorneys soon after an incident.
A claimant must prove several elements to be successful. First, they must show that they were on the property with permission. Permission does not need to be explicit—a member of the public entering a commercial premises that is open for business does so with permission.
The injured person also must show that the security measures were inadequate under the circumstances and that the owner’s failure to provide better security was negligent. They must demonstrate a connection between the crime and their injuries and prove the injuries led to losses such as medical expenses, lost wages, emotional distress, pain, and suffering.
Consult Our Las Vegas Attorneys About a Negligent Security Claim
Criminal attacks are traumatic and require significant recovery time. Contact a Las Vegas negligent security lawyer from Shook & Stone immediately when a crime on someone else’s property causes you to experience physical or psychological injuries. The owner might be liable for your damages if they failed to provide adequate safety measures. We are here to help you.