The victim of a crime that took place on a property owner’s property may have a claim for inadequate or negligent security. Under Tennessee law, property owners have a duty of reasonable care to their customers to maintain safe and secure properties. Failure to make public areas such as dressing rooms, parking lots, or elevators can result in a negligent security lawsuit. Victims of third-party crimes should hold property owners liable for injuries caused by negligent security practices.
If you’ve suffered an injury due to the inadequate or negligent security of a building, parking lot or store, Cummings Law can help. To succeed in a personal injury lawsuit, you need to prove that the property or business owner knew about a hazardous and unsafe condition and failed to remedy that hazardous condition. Proving that a business owner knew of a dangerous condition can be challenging. Nonetheless, the skilled Nashville personal injury attorneys at Cummings Law know how to fight hard for our client’s right to compensation.
Tennessee’s Negligent Security Law
When an assailant assaults an innocent person in a parking lot, the assailant will likely face criminal charges for the assault. In addition to seeing the perpetrator face criminal charges, the victim might be able to sue the assailant for damages resulting from injuries caused by the attack. Unfortunately, the perpetrator may remain at large or could be insolvent and unable to pay the victim damages. When seeking compensation from the assailant is impossible or unwise, the injured party may be able to seek compensation from the property owner in a negligent security lawsuit.
Elements That the Plaintiff Must Prove
Tennessee’s negligent security doctrine allows a victim to sue a property owner for injuries they suffer on their premises. Negligent security claims are a specific type of premise liability claim in Tennessee.
Proving a claim in Tennessee can be challenging. To succeed, plaintiffs must prove all of the elements of a negligent security lawsuit by a preponderance of the evidence. Successful plaintiffs must prove all of the following elements:
- The accident occurred while the plaintiff was a lawful visitor on the defendant’s property
- The defendant had a duty of reasonable care to provide adequate security measures
- The defendant breached his or her duty to provide adequate safety measures
- The injuries suffered by the plaintiff from third-party criminal conduct were foreseeable
- The defendant’s failure to provide reasonable security caused the plaintiff’s injury
- The plaintiff’s injury or harm resulted in real damages
Common Negligent Security Locations
Inadequate or negligent security claims can arise when a criminal attack happens at the following Tennessee locations:
- Private clubs
- Condominium complexes
- Outdoor shopping centers
- Parking lots
- University or college campus dorms
- Amusement parks
- Apartment buildings
- Condominium complexes
Proving the Foreseeability Element
Proving negligent security is a very fact-based process. Many times, the most challenging element to prove is the foreseeability element. The injured party must prove that the property owner knew or had reason to know about a significant risk of injury or harm from criminal conduct caused by a third party.
If the property owner could not have reasonably predicted the risk of criminal activity at the property, then he or she likely did not engage in negligent security. The following circumstances could provide evidence to show that the criminal attack was foreseeable:
- The property owner disregarded violent threats of customers, patrons, or employees
- The property owner declined to implement security protocols
- The property owner failed to provide adequate lighting in parking lots, entrances or exits
- The property owner refused to install security devices such as cameras or alarms
- The property owner failed to reasonably train staff or employees regarding safety
- The property owner ignored multiple criminal acts that took place on his or her property
- The property owner failed to run background checks on employees
- The property owner failed to run background checks on tenants
- The property owner failed to build high fences around unsafe walkways
Nashville’s negligent security lawsuits are incredibly fact-specific. The occurrence of one or more of the above factors may or may not prove that the owner knew or should have known about the possibility of criminal activity. An experienced negligent security attorney at Cummings Law in Nashville can advise potential clients as to whether or not they have a feasible negligent security lawsuit.
Examples of Successful Claims
Negligent security claims can arise anytime a third-party commits a crime against another person caused by the defendant’s failure to secure his or her property. Negligent security causes of action can include the following:
- A construction worker’s employee assaulted him with a rake while on the job
- Two men attacked a young female with a baseball bat in her employer’s parking lot
- A child at daycare suffered injuries after climbing over negligently placed toys
- A theme park customer is wounded after another person shot him in the parking lot
- A drug user shot and killed a pharmacist, and the business owner knew of prior incidents
Negligent Security Claims in Apartment Or Condo Complexes
Apartment complex owners have a duty to provide residents with a secure place to reside. When the apartment complex owners or managers fail to provide adequate security, they may be liable in a negligent security lawsuit. An apartment complex owner could be aware that assaults and robberies happen frequently in the apartment complex’s parking lot. If so, he or she has a duty to take reasonable steps to ensure the security of the parking lot.
Additional security steps could include putting up security cameras, a fence, or a gate. If the owner fails to mitigate the risk, he or she may be liable for any injuries caused by future robberies or assaults in that parking lot.
Contact Our Nashville Negligent Security Attorney
If you suffered injuries resulting from a crime that occurred on private property, you might have a valid negligent security claim in Tennessee. Have Brian Cummings fight aggressively for your right to compensation. Contact our Nashville law firm today to schedule your initial consultation.