Shopping Center Safety
When you go to a shopping center, you do not expect to be injured or attacked. You assume that the owner of the shopping center has taken reasonable preventative measures to avoid your getting hurt. If a shopping center fails to protect its customers from a foreseeable risk of harm, victims of this failure may bring a negligent security case. At Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz, our Memphis shopping center safety lawyers are familiar with the unique challenges of these types of cases. Our injury attorneys can provide aggressive and knowledgeable representation. With 33 attorneys with excellent credentials and over 100 staff members, we are the largest personal injury law firm based in Tennessee and also represent people injured in shopping centers in Arkansas, Mississippi, Missouri, and Kentucky.Pursuing Compensation for Harm Caused by Inadequate Shopping Center Safety
One example of negligent security occurs when a shopper is sexually assaulted in a shopping center parking lot and suffers serious injuries as a result. When a shopping center knows of a prior history of similar crimes, it may be held liable even though the attack was committed by a third party.
The civil case against the shopping center is separate from any criminal charges that the individual perpetrator may face. Criminal charges must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, whereas civil liability must be proven by a preponderance of the evidence, a more lenient standard. Criminal charges may be dismissed against the perpetrator, but you may still be able to recover damages from the shopping center if you are able to prove its negligence. Although these cases are mostly separate, testimony given in a criminal case may affect a civil case, so it is important to retain an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible after an attack.
The circumstances surrounding the attack will determine whether the court will impose a duty of care on the shopping center. Generally, there is no duty for a shopping center to absolutely insure a customer's safety against all third-party criminal acts. However, reasonable steps should be taken, and the analysis for what those reasonable steps should be will vary from state to state.
In Tennessee, for example, a balancing approach is used to determine a shopping center's duty of care. A business does have a duty to take reasonable steps to protect its customers if it knows or has reason to know that criminal acts against its customers are reasonably foreseeable, either generally or at a specific time. A "reason to know" may arise from past experience or what should have been observed through due diligence.
The foreseeability of the harm and the severity of that harm are balanced against the burden to be imposed on the shopping center. When there is a high degree of foreseeability, and the probable harm is great, a property owner may have a heavier burden. Prior criminal attacks generally must have occurred on the premises or in the immediate vicinity of the shopping center for it to owe a duty to guard against criminal attacks.Retain an Experienced Shopping Center Safety Lawyer in Memphis
Victims who have been injured due to a failure in shopping center safety should contact the Memphis shopping center safety attorneys at Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz. We serve injured people across Tennessee, Missouri, Mississippi, Kentucky, and Arkansas, including in Memphis, Nashville, Chattanooga, Knoxville, Caruthersville, Hayti, Oxford, Starkville, Grenada, Columbus, Tupelo, Meridian, Jackson, Little Rock, and Jonesboro. Contact our office by calling 1-800-LAW-4004 or by completing our online form to set up a free consultation. We also can assist you if you need an apartment complex safety attorney or guidance in another negligent security claim.