According to the National Safety Council, more than 60 million people sought out medical care for their injuries in 2021. In some cases, injuries are the result of negligent security. Security may be considered negligent when the owner of a property has failed to provide adequate security upon the premises––that is, on the parcel of land that constitutes a deeded property, including within any structures located on that parcel of land––that would have prevented the injury. In some cases, a person injured upon negligently secured premises may be able to file a premises liability lawsuit, holding the property owner responsible for these injuries. However, the legal process can seem daunting, which is why it can be helpful to reach out to an experienced personal injury attorney for support. The dedicated Missouri personal injury attorneys at Steelman Gaunt Crowley assist clients through the process. We work tirelessly to help you receive the compensation you deserve. Consider reaching out to us for a free consultation today by calling (573) 341-8336.
How Is Negligence Related Specifically to Premises Liability?
In a successful premises liability case, the injured person must prove that their injuries were caused by dangerous conditions on a property resulting from the property owner’s negligence. While laws governing premises liability vary from state to state, in general the assumption is that property owners have a responsibility to maintain their premises in such a way that the features of the property and any structures contained on it do not pose risks to persons engaging in legitimate uses of the property, and in the event that some feature or structure on the property does pose risk the property owner is expected to provide reasonable warning.
The State of Missouri allows for suits based on premises liability when the injured person was lawfully on the premises and the property owner knew or should have known the conditions on the premises to pose a hazard. State law specifically prohibits persons injured in the execution of illegal activity (such as burglary) from suing property owners for premises liability. In other words, someone who has been injured on a property, and who had a legal right to be on the premises, may be able to pursue a legal claim when the property owner has, either maliciously or through gross negligence, failed to provide reasonable warning of the conditions that led to the injury.
Some common types of negligence that people may file premises liability claims against include:
- Failure to safely maintain premises
- Negligent security of a building
- Defective conditions on the premises
- Slip and fall claims
- Animal bites
- Injuries due to fires
- Preventable Injuries due to accumulation of snow, ice, or due to other bad weather
- Exposure to toxic fumes and chemicals
What Is an Example of Negligence Liability?
There are many examples of how a preventable injury may occur due to negligence. Some examples of negligence liability may include:
- A shopper slips and falls due to stairs that are not up to code or because a floor was wet, and being wet as not marked with a “Caution: Wet Floor” sign.
- A hotel visitor is injured after the ceiling collapses in their room.
- A tenant falls off a balcony due to railings that were not installed properly.
- A tenant was injured during a robbery that occurred on apartment premises due to the property owner’s failure to install locks on the building. In this situation, negligent security is at play.
If you believe you may have been injured due to negligence, it may be helpful to discuss your case with an experienced personal injury lawyer at Steelman Gaunt Crowley.
What Are the Elements of Negligent Security?
Injured persons may be eligible to file a negligent security claim in cases where they were robbed, assaulted, mugged, or suffered from other violence on premises due to lack of proper security. Some common areas where negligent security incidents occur include apartment complexes, gas stations, parking lots, and school campuses. In a successful premises liability claim alleging negligent security, certain legal criteria are required, including:
- The defendant–that is to say, the person or organization being held liable–must have owned, leased, or occupied the premises where the injury occurred.
- The defendant must have been negligent in the maintenance or the use of the property.
- The plaintiff–the person filing the suit–must have been injured.
- The injuries must have been a result of the defendant’s negligence.
Some examples of negligent security by a defendant may include:
- Not repairing broken locks
- Not repairing broken fences or gates
- Failure to install or to properly maintain security cameras
- Not hiring or properly training security officers
- Issuing multiple keys or widely distributing access codes to shared spaces
- Not providing or maintaining sufficient property lighting
What Legal Elements Are Required to Prove a Premises Liability Claim in Missouri?
In Missouri, a successful premises liability claim, in which the plaintiff may recover compensation for injuries and damages, requires proof of the following legal elements:
- That a dangerous condition or hazard existed on the property
- That the property owner was in possession of the premises and in control of them, meaning that they were aware of the dangerous condition or could foresee it
- The property owner did not address the dangerous situation or failed to warn people about it
- The dangerous situation played a direct role in the person’s injury
What Damages May Be Available in a Premises Liability Claim?
Premises liability claims may allow victims to recover damages including economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages. Some of the expenses that a plaintiff may be able to recover could include:
- Medical expenses such as hospital stays, doctor’s visits, prescriptions, and assistive devices
- Damaged property that needs to be repaired or replaced
- Loss of income, such as from lost wages
- Diminished capacity to earn future income
- Pain and suffering, including mental anguish
How A Missouri Negligent Security Lawyer Can Help
If you have been injured due to negligent security, the processes involved in filing a premises liability claim may seem overwhelming. However, you do not have to struggle alone. Consider reaching out to an experienced and compassionate personal injury attorney at Steelman Gaunt Crowley for guidance. Our attentive and dedicated legal team is committed to assisting our clients with asserting their legal rights. Contact us today for a free initial consultation with one of our experienced attorneys at 573) 341–8336.