Earlier this month, a 70-year-old man from Indianapolis was assaulted and
robbed while he sat in his wheelchair on the downtown Cultural Trail,
one block away from the American Legion Mall during the daytime hours.
The man left a statement with police officers informing them that although
the three assaulters did not leave any injuries on him, they did grab
his arm and steal several hundreds of dollars in cash from him.
Many of the same trail users have told local news outlets that they try
to be aware of their surroundings, walk with other people if possible,
and call local police when something seems uncomfortable or out of sorts.
Most Indiana park and recreation agencies have set policies and post rules
to ensure a safe experience for bicyclists, joggers and walkers of all
ages and abilities.
Public and Private Property Owners May Be Legally Responsible To Provide
Some may not realize that when a property or establishment is not safe
and causes an injury, robbery, assault, rape, shooting, murder and other
types of serious crime, or even case of
wrongful death upon someone, both public and private property owners may be liable and
held accountable for their negligence. These incidents of foreseeable
criminal behavior can occur anywhere, even where a person has a reasonable
expectation to feel safe. When these areas become dangerous, the result
can be devastating because innocent people will get hurt, assaulted or killed.
Common Indiana locations where
negligent security has been found include:
- Apartment Buildings and Rental Properties
- Banks and Financial Institutions
- Bars and Nightclubs
- Recreation Areas (Campgrounds, Beaches, and Public Parks)
- Restaurants and Fast Food Stops
- Concert Venues
- Hotels and Motels
- Parking Lots (Including Parking Center Elevators and Stairwells)
- Bike Trails, Running and Walking Paths
- Retail Stores and Shopping Centers
- Sporting Events
- Universities and College Dorms
Property owners should be proactive and prepare to prevent any possible
crimes that could take place on their premises. This is especially true
in locations where crime is high or there is a known threat to customers,
residents, or users.
Businesses have a legal responsibility to provide a safe environment for
their patrons. Assailants will often take advantage of a property’s
lack of lighting, security personnel, or cameras to rob or assault unsuspecting
guests. In those areas, owners should take extra precautions to keep Hoosiers
safe. A negligent security claim will likely arise when a property owner
is aware of dangers or potentially dangerous event and the owner does
not act promptly or proactively to protect their guests.
Making a Negligent Security Claim
Victims who were injured on property other than their own may be able to
file a negligent security claim against the property owner and recover
damages for their injuries or a loved one’s death.
Typically, a negligent security claim alleges that a property owner or
business establishment failed to implement appropriate security measures
which would have likely deterred a criminal from perpetrating a violent
crime. Security measures include police or security car patrols, video
surveillance, foot patrols, warning signs, fencing, lighting, background
checks and posting of security guards. Common examples of inadequate security
reported are typically a failure on the property of business owner’s
end. They may have failed to fix broken locks, doors, windows, gates,
or fencing barriers or install adequate lighting in entryways, hallways,
staircases, parking lots, or exit areas or failed to increase security
measures after repeated crime.
Negligent security cases are a unique area of premises liability law. These
cases ask the question of whether reasonable measures were taken to safeguard
the security of all citizens. For the gentleman who was attacked on Cultural
Trail, an Indiana public area, it will be important to find out all the
facts before a claim could be made. Since unfortunately crimes like these
are common, the real issue is determining if the property owner or occupant
is liable for negligent security and to determine whether or not that
crime could have been prevented.
Working with an experienced personal injury attorney who is comfortable
and knowledgeable deciding what actions are “reasonable,”
based on the thousands of precedents relevant to the case at hand is often
necessary. A review of the following will be made prior to determining
the next steps in a negligent security case.
- The victim was a tenant, customer, or guest that was authorized to be on
- The defendant had a legal or contractual duty to keep the premises reasonably safe
- The crime would likely not have occurred if the defendant had provided
- As a result of the defendant’s negligence, they were harmed by the
criminal acts of a third party
Compensation can be recovered for negligent security and premises liability
claims. It is important to protect a victim’s recovery by helping
them recover for past, current, and any future damages such as:
- Diminished Enjoyment of Life
- Lost Income and Wages
- Medical Expenses
- Out of Pocket Costs That Incurred Because of Your Injury
- Pain and Suffering
Each individual’s case is unique and there may be other damages involved
in creating a claim. But it’s important to realize that nearly always
the property owner will reject against a victim’s claim for damages.
The owner’s insurer will blame the attacker for injuries and push
the courts to believe that the property owner shouldn’t be liable.
A one-on-one consultation with an experienced attorney from Wagner Reese
will help provide the needed resources to resolve a case quickly.
Skilled Indianapolis Lawyers Representing Negligent Security Victims
If you were hurt or your loved one was killed in a location where security
is an issue, you should speak to an experienced personal injury lawyer
to make sure that you are pursuing a fair and full recovery.
The attorneys at
Wagner Reese bring justice to wrongfully injured victims of negligent security and
holds property owners responsible for those injuries and outcomes. Call
the law firm of Wagner Reese today at (888) 204-8440. The call is free
and we do not get paid any fees or costs unless we recover for you.