Businesses and commercial property owners are not solely in business to sell goods or services to the public. They are also in business to provide a safe physical environment for lawful visitors to their property. Just as businesses can be held liable if someone were to slip and fall on the property and suffer an injury, businesses can also be held liable if a lawful visitor to their property is attacked or assaulted, and suffers physical or psychological injuries as a result of that attack. In such an instance, the legal claim for damages is based in an area of law known as negligent security claims, which are a sub-set of the law of Massachusetts premises liability.
Violent attacks occurring on business property happen more often than most people think, and the statistics bear that out. Nationally, thousands of people every year are victims of violent crime occurring on property owned by businesses. These include apartment buildings, office buildings, university dorms, ATMs, shopping centers and several more examples. Many times, these horrific events could have - and should have - been prevented if the property owner had taken reasonable measures to provide for the safety and security of lawful visitors to the property. "Lawful visitors" is a broad legal term, but in general means any visitor that the property owner could reasonably expect might enter onto the property, so long as that visitor was not engaged in illegal activity while on the property (the easiest examples to think of are drug dealing or trespassing.) When inadequate security for the property is provided, and a person is assaulted or attacked, a claim of "negligent security" can arise.
In Massachusetts, this body of law is based on the premise that, unfortunately, crime in our society is rampant, but that it can often be prevented if a landlord or business owner takes adequate security measures to provide for the safety of lawful visitors to its property. The law holds that individual property owners and property managers are in the best position to take whatever security measures are necessary to prevent or minimize foreseeable crime. When reasonable security measures are not taken, that is evidence of negligence.
There is no "set, certain" list of security measures that a property owner or operator must take, under any and all circumstances, at all times. It varies depending on the specific situation involved: An ATM machine in a bank lobby will call for different security measures than an apartment building or university dorm. If you or someone you know has been attacked or injured while on commercial or business property, contact us for a free initial consultation. We can provide you with the legal guidance you need. Call us at Ph.: (781) 320-0062, or at Ph.: (617) 285-3600; or click here to send us a confidential email. We promise to get right back to you.Common Injuries That Can Occur as a Result of Negligent Security/Inadequate Security, and Where They Can Occur
While negligent security claims can involve a variety of crimes, the most common examples include rape and sex crimes, robbery, assault and battery, injuries caused by fights in bars and restaurants that do not employ adequate security or "bouncers," kidnapping and even murder. The factors leading to a negligent security claim can be many, and can include a failure of security systems, malfunctioning or poor lighting, faulty locks on doors, or a failure to provide security cameras or security guards.
As to what physical environments these claims most often arise within, these environments can vary, but they usually involve the following:
Negligent Hotel Security:
Failing to provide adequate security that would prevent an intruder from gaining unauthorized access to guest room areas or guest rooms, thereby allowing the intruder the ability to attack or accost a guest or visitor. (Crimes usually involve rape, assault and battery, sex crimes, robbery and even murder.)
Negligent College and University Dorm Security and Campus Security:
Failing to provide adequate security patrols, electronic video monitoring, and security presence to prevent crime. (These claims usually involve rape, sex crimes, and assault and battery.)
Negligent Apartment Building Security:
Failing to provide adequate entrance security and door locks that would prevent an intruder from gaining unauthorized entry into the building, thereby allowing the intruder to attack a resident. (Crimes usually involve rape, assault and battery, sex crimes, robbery and even murder.) Landlords are typical defendants in negligent security claims.
Negligent Bar, Nightclub and Restaurant Security:
Failing to screen patrons for either weapons or violent patron behavior - especially where the establishment has a history of violent incidents. Bar and restaurant owners can be held liable for negligent security when injuries are inflicted on innocent parties by intoxicated patrons. (These typically involve assault and battery due to bar fights.)
Negligent ATM Security:
Failing to provide adequate automated door locks and electronic video camera security. (These claims usually involve robbery, assault and battery and sex crimes.)
Negligent Parking Lot and Parking Lot Security:
Failing to provide adequate security patrols and electronic camera monitoring. (Usual crimes involve robbery, rape, and kidnapping)
Negligent Hospital Security and Negligent Nursing Home Security:
Failing to provide adequate screening measures to prevent visitors from entering patient rooms without proper ID; Failing to provide adequate security in public spaces and parking garages. (Crimes typically involve sexual assault, assault and battery, and robbery.)
Negligent Mall and Shopping Center Security:
Failing to provide security patrols and electronic camera monitoring. (Crimes usually involve robbery, assault and battery, sex offenses, and even kidnapping.)
Negligent Stadium Security:
Failing to provide security patrols and electronic camera monitoring; failing to monitor patrons for violent behavior; failure to prevent injuries to innocent parties by intoxicated patrons. (Crimes usually involve robbery, assault and battery, sex offenses, and even kidnapping.)
Negligent Commercial Office Building Security:
Failing to provide appropriate lobby security systems that would prevent unauthorized access to office areas, thereby allowing an unauthorized intruder the ability to attack a commercial tenant or visitor. (Crimes usually involve rape, assault and battery, sex crimes, robbery and even murder.)
Negligent Parking Garage Security:
Failing to provide security guards at entrances, security patrols and electronic camera monitoring. (Crimes usually involve robbery, assault and battery, sex offenses, kidnapping and even murder.)
The above examples are just a partial list of where a negligent security claim may arise, and the types of crimes that a victim can experience. The injuries that result from these events, do not begin and end with just physical injuries: Victims are often left with psychological injuries and scars that sometimes never fully heal, requiring years of psychotherapy and even long-term medication. Being physically attacked in a violent way - beaten, robbed, raped or sexually assaulted - can leave a person forever damaged.Have You or Someone You Know Been Injured as the Result of Inadequate Security in Massachusetts? Choose The Boston Law Firm That Knows From Experience how to win These Cases
When someone suffers injuries due to inadequate or faulty security provided by a commercial or business property owner, that's where the Law Offices of William D. Kickham and Associates steps in.
We right that wrong, and obtain financial compensation for victims of these preventable events. We utilize years and years of experience in this area of law and our expertise in this field of litigation, to produce superior legal and financial results for our clients. Visit our "Proven Results" page to review some of the impressive results we have secured for our personal injury clients. Our legal fees are based upon a contingent fee system, in all areas of Massachusetts personal injury law. What this means is that you pay nothing unless we obtain financial compensation for you, and all these terms are provided in a written contingent fee agreement with you. We provide a free initial consultation, and will come to your home, workplace, or hospital to provide this consult. Our offices are conveniently located in Westwood, just off Route 128, as well as in Boston, on 101 Federal Street.
Contact us by calling us at either Ph.: (781) 320-0062, or Ph.: (617) 285-3600, or click here to send us a confidential email. We promise to get right back to you.What Kind of Evidence or Facts are Needed to win a Negligent/Inadequate Security Case in Massachusetts?
To be successful when bringing a negligent security claim in Massachusetts, a plaintiff must prove the following:
- That the defendant named in the lawsuit owned or operated the property where the injury occurred.
- That the plaintiff was lawfully on the property when the attack or injury occurred (i.e., the plaintiff was not engaged in illegal activity or trespassing at the time.)
- That the defendant failed to take reasonable measures or exercise reasonable care to provide for the safety of lawful visitors to its premises.
- That the plaintiff was attacked and/or injured by a third party in an incident that was reasonably foreseeable to the defendant. Said in another way, the defendant either knew or should have known that an incident of the type that caused the plaintiff's injuries would occur, if the defendant did not take more responsible measures to provide for security on the property.
- That the plaintiff suffered documented and proven injuries as the result of the incident.
- That the injuries and damages that the plaintiff suffered, were caused by the defendant's breach of his/her legal duties.
If you do, don't make the wrong choice. These cases can be complicated, and require the experience and proven expertise of a Boston negligent security attorney who can guide you and represent you to secure the best legal outcome possible. At the Greater Boston Law Firm of William D. Kickham and Associates, we have the experience, legal talent and expertise to maximize the value and success of your case. We know how to preserve evidence; we know how to argue your case; we know how to negotiate with defense attorneys, and we know how to win in front of a jury, if necessary.
We are also very familiar with the special problems that victims of negligent security can experience following such an event: The emotional fallout can be traumatic, and we make sure our clients receive the best possible professional medical and psychological help, if needed. You will feel completely confident that your case is being represented by the best legal talent in eastern Massachusetts, and you will know what is being done at every stage of the litigation process.
If you or someone you care about has been injured as the result of inadequate security on business property, please call our offices at either Ph.: (781) 320-0062, or Ph.: (617) 285-3600, or click here to send us a confidential email. We'll get right back to you. We make ourselves available 24 hours a day, seven days a week - including nights and weekends.