What Types of Evidence Are Required to Prove My Negligent Security Case?
Visiting a restaurant, bar, or nightclub can end with you being the victim of an assault, battery, or other serious crime. This is a horrible experience that most of us never anticipate when we go out for the night. After all, why would anyone want to attack me? However, attacks are often a result of the way a business establishment operates and the way in which they handle security threats.
If you have been injured as a result of negligent security at a restaurant, bar, nightclub or hotel, you may be able to seek compensation for your injuries, including the pain and suffering and medical expenses caused by the failures of the business and their staff.
But how can such a claim be proven? What type of evidence is required to prove a negligent security case?
What is Required to Prove Negligent Security?
For negligent security case to be proven in New Jersey, several aspects of negligence need to be established the person who was injured. Was a crime foreseeable? Did the business owner act reasonably to protect his or her patrons knowing of criminal risks?
Was the Crime Foreseeable?
In the majority of negligent security claim cases, the victim is required to prove that the crime that occurred was foreseeable, meaning that the business owner or property manager either knew – or had reason to know – that a criminal risk existed.
Foreseeability of a crime depends upon the judgment of a “reasonable person”. If a reasonable person would be able to foresee that security or criminal risk existed, the business owner will likely be held responsible for negligent security. If, however, a reasonable person would not anticipate the risk of a criminal act occurring, the business owner may be judged to have provided adequate security.
Did the Owner Breach The Duty of Care?
Business owners have a standard duty of care for properly maintaining and securing their properties and businesses from unreasonable risks. If a business owner fails to comply with their duty of care, they may be liable for negligent security.
Business owners are in the best position to know and understand the security threats to patrons and are also in the best position to prevent these attacks. Unfortunately, all too often, they put profits over safety and fail to act reasonably to protect patrons from unruly guests and outsiders who prey on these unsuspecting victims when they leave the establishment.
Evidence of Negligent Security
Proving a negligent security claim requires evidence that an owner knew or should have known that a crime was foreseeable but failed to act reasonably to protect unsuspecting patrons from these risks. This is often referred to in the law as “constructive knowledge”. Constructive knowledge in negligent security cases refers to an owner’s knowledge of past instances of similar types of crimes or attacks such that he or she should have reasonably known that it was likely to take place again. Many times, evidence exists regarding the number of police calls made to the establishment and the number of crimes committed at the establishment or in the location immediately surrounding the establishment.
In situations where a business owner should foresee potential criminal activity, they must act reasonably to protect its patrons. This includes whether the business owner hired a security staff, the staff was properly trained, the business allowed for only a safe number of patrons to enter the establishment and whether there was safe ingress and egress to the establishment including proper parking, adequate lighting and a security presence that was visible from the exterior of the building. All of these actions have been known to deter and thwart criminal activity.
If You Are Injured as a Result of Negligent Security, Get Expert Legal Help Now
If you are the victim of negligent security and believe you are entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering, you need an experienced and knowledgeable attorney on your side. Rossetti & DeVoto, PC is willing to assist you through the process of claiming compensation for your injuries. Our New Jersey personal injury attorneys will relentlessly fight for your rights and make sure that you always come out on top. Call us today at (844) 263-6260 for a free, no-obligation consultation.