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Negligent Security Lawyers

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NST Law Attorneys Corey Trotz and Alex Saharovich
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Content Reviewed by: A. Parker Trotz
Mr. Trotz was recognized from 2019-2023 as a Super Lawyers Mid-South Rising Star. Mr. Trotz is also a member of the Young Lawyers Division of the Memphis Bar Association, Memphis Bar Association, Tennessee Bar Association, and the Tennessee Trial Lawyers Association where he serves on the Executive Committee. READ OUR EDITORIAL GUIDELINES

Mr. Trotz was recognized from 2019-2023 as a Super Lawyers Mid-South Rising Star. Mr. Trotz is also a member of the Young Lawyers Division of the Memphis Bar Association, Memphis Bar Association, Tennessee Bar Association, and the Tennessee Trial Lawyers Association where he serves on the Executive Committee. READ OUR EDITORIAL GUIDELINES

Certain buildings require security for good reasons. All business owners have a duty to protect customers and visitors on their property. If there is a clear and reasonable risk of harm and the business owner fails to properly secure the area, then they become liable for any injuries or damages that occur at the scene.

However, as you might imagine, premises liability lawsuits, including those involving inadequate security, can be quite complicated. Our St. Louis personal injury lawyers explain what you should know about this area of law and what to do if you find yourself the victim of negligent security.

Table Of Contents

The Type of Duty Owed by a Business Owner

For many St. Louis-area business owners, the primary goal is to attract customers to their property so they can sell goods and/or services. For this reason, they have a duty to ensure that the property is safe for anyone who visits. The specific duties owed by a business owner might vary depending on the nature of the business, but this is a general overview:

1. Employee Security

This is especially important for businesses that serve children or elders. Employee security includes performing detailed background checks on job applicants and current employees. Businesses must do their due diligence to ensure the people they employ don’t present a risk.

2. Interior and Exterior Safety

Keeping a property secure goes beyond just a standard security system. It also includes details like proper lighting for the exterior of the building and parking lots. Failure to keep these areas secure can make a business owner liable for something that goes wrong.

3. Administrative Duty

Missouri business owners can’t install a security system and consider the job done. They must complete several administrative duties, including maintaining systems, recording criminal activity, and identifying areas that need improvement. Failure to perform these tasks could be considered negligent security.

If a business owner fails in any of these three areas, they may find themselves facing premises liability cases for any crimes, assaults, or accidents that occur on their property.

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Factors That Determine Whether a Business Owner Failed to Provide Adequate Security

Part of a business owner’s administrative duties is to monitor criminal activity that occurs in the area and attend to vulnerable areas. Between this detail and others, Missouri business owners have a lot to consider when it comes to the security of their properties.

With that in mind, here is a list of the factors that can impact whether a business owner was negligent or not:

  • The criminal history of the area
  • The time of day in which the event occurred (heightened security may be needed at night)
  • Whether there is a history of complaints against the business owner or not
  • Whether or not the perpetrator had a criminal history that the owner knew/should have known about
  • The level of security taken by similar businesses in the area
  • Whether the victim showed a reasonable amount of care for their own safety or not

Whether the business is a nursing home, a grocery store, or an apartment building, you have rights as a patron of that business. If you believe that the property owners failed to provide adequate security measures, it’s time to call a lawyer to discuss your options.

How an Inadequate Security Case Is Established

As a plaintiff in St. Louis, you have a burden of proof for supporting your claim. This means that you are required to prove to the court that negligent security practices occurred, which resulted in injury or damages.

If you can prove that the business owner owed a duty but breached it, you could be eligible for compensation. In addition to duty, there are a few other factors that will come into play. Namely, you need to be able to prove that the business owner should have reasonably anticipated an injury was likely to occur on their premises.

For example, a nightclub owner should reasonably anticipate that certain crimes are more likely to happen on their property. Assaults, sexual assaults, harassment, and other safety concerns should be actively prepared for and proper security in place. If an injury was foreseeable but nothing was done to prevent it, the owner may be held liable.

What qualifies as adequate security in St. Louis?

All of this talk about inadequate security leads us to the question: What counts as adequate security? The answer varies from property to property, but these items are a good place for property owners to start:
  • Trained security patrols whenever visitors are expected to be on the premises
  • Appropriate lighting inside and outside the building
  • Functioning security hardware
  • Limited creation of and access to duplicate keys
All St. Louis property owners and managers should start with a risk assessment to determine areas of vulnerability and expand their efforts from there.

FAQs About Inadequate Security

The decision of whether to pursue a personal injury lawsuit in St. Louis or not is always a big one. It helps to fully understand the related area of law and how it applies to the wrongs committed against you. If you believe that your injury resulted from negligent security, it may be appropriate to schedule an appointment with a St. Louis lawyer to discuss a premises liability claim.

Shouldn’t I sue the person who committed the crime?

If you are confused by the prospect of suing a property owner for a crime that was committed by someone else, you aren’t alone. However, it’s important to keep in mind that by neglecting to keep the property safe, the owner failed a legal obligation.

It may be possible for you to file a civil suit for personal injury against the assailant as well. Call The Champions for the Injured at NST Law if you want to explore this option further.

Can I sue the security company instead of the business owner?

Another party that may appear negligent in a premises liability scenario is the security company involved. Under certain conditions, it is possible to sue an independent contractor, but you should expect the process to be more complicated.

It can be difficult to prove that the security company owed you a duty of care. While it may be obvious that their duty to their client (the property owners) was not met, it’s not always easy to prove that this breach of duty had anything to do with you and your injury.

Of course, it is possible to pursue this course of action. If you believe it is a worthwhile avenue, mention it to your attorney.

When to Call an Attorney

If the criminal act in question has resulted in trauma, personal injury, or damages for you or a family member or loved one, it’s worth calling an attorney for legal advice. You could be eligible for compensation related to:

  • Funeral and burial costs
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Loss of companionship
  • Lost wages
  • Current and expected medical expenses
  • Counseling expenses
  • Pain and suffering

When you need personal injury attorneys to go to bat for you, Call The Champs at NST Law. Our law firm has fought for the rights of clients like you for more than 30 years. We can help prove your St. Louis negligent security case and pursue the compensation you deserve.

NST Law Attorneys Corey Trotz and Alex Saharovich

Contact us for a free consultation now so that we can review your case and decide how we can best help you.

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701 Market St Suite 285
St. Louis, MO 63101
Phone: 314-476-0500
Fax: 314-476-0006

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