When you visit someone else’s property, whether by invitation or as a customer, you don’t assume you’ll come away from the visit with serious injuries. Under New York law, property owners are required to make sure their property is reasonably safe for customers, patrons, and lawful visitors. This can mean that a property owner must take measures to prevent foreseeable criminal acts, even those by third parties. If you were assaulted or mugged on someone else’s property, you should call the seasoned Syracuse premises liability lawyers of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Attorneys.When to File a Negligent Security Lawsuit
You may feel you have no recourse after being intentionally injured on someone else’s property. However, a negligent security lawsuit may be filed in situations where a property owner or occupier should have taken steps to stop foreseeable criminal attacks on their property. Our lawyers might be able to sue for damages, for instance, if a landlord failed to install adequate lighting in an apartment stairwell where rapes had previously occurred, and you were assaulted there. Similarly, a mall could be held accountable if it failed to hire a security guard when prior shootings or other fights had broken out in the mall before.
The central question is usually whether there were prior criminal attacks on the property where you were attacked, such that the property owner had a duty to take steps to make it safer. Inadequate security could include:
- Broken gates, fences, or locks
- Poor lighting in dark areas like alleys, parking lots, or stairwells
- Lack of surveillance cameras
- Lack of security guards
- Defective or nonexistent alarm systems
- Inadequately trained security.
In order to establish liability, we will need to show that a landowner or occupier had actual or constructive knowledge of danger at the property. Sometimes defendants claim that a victim failed to use due care for his own safety, such as by failing to watch where he was going or going into a location where he was not supposed to be. Your damages can be reduced by an amount proportionate to your fault under the doctrine of comparative negligence.Investigating a Negligent Security Case
In most cases, a criminal case doesn’t financially help a victim who is seriously injured. Even when restitution is awarded, it may not be significant enough to pay for catastrophic injuries. It is time-consuming and challenging to prove that a property owner knew or should have known their security was inadequate or even that there was a foreseeable risk of crime.
In some cases, as with all premises liability cases, there is a risk that a property owner will erase surveillance footage as a matter of course or normal business practice, at least any footage that is not sought by the police when a crime is reported, and this means that important evidence could be lost. Evidence we may use to establish negligent security cases include photographs of lighting conditions or broken locks, testimony by law enforcement about risks of crime in the location, police records, and witness testimony.Damages for Negligent Security Cases
How much you can recover depends on a range of factors, including the severity of your injuries. When we can establish liability, we may be able to recover your past, present, and future losses include medical expenses, lost wages, reduced or lost earning capacity, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of consortium, replacement services, and emotional distress.Seasoned Negligent Security Law Firm Serving Syracuse
In premises liability cases, it is crucial to retain lawyers who consider every option for legal recovery. This can include investigation of security measures, accident reconstruction experts, the ability to refer you to skillful health care providers, retention of experts, and more. Most cases settle, but it is crucial to work with lawyers who understand how to go to trial, and who have been successful in the past, to ensure that your claim is taken seriously by insurance adjustors. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Attorneys, our lawyers represent those injured as a result of negligent security near Syracuse, along with Rochester, Utica, Watertown, Lowville, Delhi, Cooperstown, Lyons, Canandaigua, Oneida, Auburn. Wampsville, Oswego, Herkimer, Norwich, Ithaca, Binghamton, and Elmira. Please call us at 833-200-2000 or complete our online form.