Inadequate Security

Accidents and injuries due to inadequate security is a form of premises liability. In Maryland, Washington D.C. and Virginia these events and accidents occur when a property owner fails to provide a secure and safe environment for residents and visitors, generally from crime.  A landlord, school or campus, or any ownere of property owner has a duty to take reasonable measures to put in place security e.g. locks, lighting, cameras, fences, or in some cases, even hiring security guards in order to protect tenants or visitors. How far a property owner must go in taking precaution generally depends on the character of the neighborhood and the level of crime in the surrounding area or the risk of danger.Inadequate Security at College Campuses

Gaps in or negligent security creates unsafe conditions which can lead to dangerous criminal attacks such as physical assaults, robberies, kidnappings, sexual assaults, rape, workplace violence and other events leading to severe injury, trauma and in some cases death. If a landlord, a property or business owner fails to take appropriate steps, he/she can be held liable for what is called “negligence in security”.

If you need an experienced premises liability lawyer in Bethesda, Rockville or the greater areas of Maryland, or Virginia, call (301) 605-9469 to schedule a free consultation with Mr. Plotnick.

Inadequate Security at College Campuses

College brochures often portray campus life as idyllic, serene, and insulated from crime, but the reality is much different. Consider the following facts:

  • There are more than 50,000 reported crimes on American college campuses every year.
  • Between 2005 and 2011, a half million violent crimes occurred on college campuses every year (including sexual assault, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault).
  • Drinking and drug use can be rampant, which leads to other crimes
  • The U.S. Department of Education documented close to 6,000 sexual assaults on college campuses in a single year, and many more go undocumented because victims are ashamed or scared to report.

The overwhelming number of serious injuries and wrongful deaths that occur at university campuses rarely get attention from the media. Hazing and bullying are other common causes of injury at colleges and secondary schools.

Examples of Inadequate Property Security

Property owners have a duty to implement reasonable security measures to keep their premises safe. Some property managers even hire guards to protect tenants and visitors. The lengths that a property manager should go to in order to enforce property security should depend on the level of crime in the neighborhood and surrounding areas.

Some examples of negligent property security include:

  • Inadequate or no locks
  • Allowing criminal activity or legal to run rampant, illegal drinking or drug use
  • Dim property lighting
  • Lack of security cameras
  • Lack of fencing
  • Lack of security patrols in high-crime areas
  • Lack of front desk assistant or door monitor
  • No warnings to clients of known dangers

In areas known to have frequent crime, a hotline telephone number and/or alarms should be placed in an easy-access location where visitors can quickly call for help.

Evaluating Property Security: Was the Owner Negligent?

When our Maryland premises liability attorneys take on negligent security cases, we routinely examine a few key factors that may indicate negligence on the part of the property owner or manager, including:

  • Crime mapping (the history of crime in a given area), which property managers should take into account in order to identify vulnerabilities
  • Police reports and police surveys, which often reveal clues about property security
  • Eyewitness testimony (e.g. customers who frequented the property where a criminal attack occurred) and may know the character of the area

Regardless of what our attorneys learn about your property’s past, our main question will be: what did the owner/manager do to address problem areas involving security? For example, if a shopping mall or hotel was known to have frequent criminal activity at a certain location, e.g. the parking area, installing fences, security cameras, or additional security patrols would all be considered reasonable measures. If these actions were not taken, the victim’s premises liability claim may be stronger.

Why Choose Wheaton Premises Liability Lawyer Stuart L. Plotnick?

In order to win a negligent security, or inadequate security, accident claim, your personal injury attorney needs to prove that the property was not secure, and that the property owners or managers were either (a) aware of the risk, or (b) should have been aware of the risk. Our experienced Maryland premises liability lawyers have years of experience building effective cases that prove these points and successfully argue for your right to fair compensation.

If you have suffered injury, or if your loved one has been killed on a property because of criminal activity in Maryland, Virginia, or Washington D.C., please contact the Law Offices of Stuart L. Plotnick, LLC today to schedule a free case evaluation. We can help you determine whether or not you have a valid inadequate security claim.