Negligent Security Attorneys in Harrisburg, PA

Also serving York, Hanover, Carlisle, and surrounding areas!

Negligent security law controls the legal claims asserted by individuals who are attacked or who are victims of an assault on someone else’s property. Premises liability controls the security claims because the claims arise from ownership or control of the property or premises. Under premises liability law, a property owner or party responsible for maintaining the property may be held legally responsible or liable for the injuries of another if there was a reasonably dangerous condition that existed upon the property. There are several circumstances that create an unsafe condition that negligent security addresses when attacked by a third party.

Origins

Negligent security law originated with hotel guests. Hotel owners were required to pay for injuries suffered after criminal attacks in unsafe areas of hotel facilities. Since then, injured individuals successfully used negligent security to recover from other public areas such as shopping centers, parking lots, ATM kiosks, malls, bars, and shopping complexes.

In most states, premises liability laws place the duty on individuals or organizations in control of maintaining their property in a safe condition, and a duty of those people to prevent hazards upon it. To recover damages in premises liability cases, the injured party must prove that a dangerous condition existed on the property and that the owner or person in control of the property had knowledge of that condition. A dangerous condition is when something on the property presents an unreasonable risk to people that is not obvious. The proprietor, owner, or possessor will be held liable if it can be proven that the owner’s negligence created a foreseeable risk to the injured.

Foreseeable and Other Requirements

Recovery for injuries by third-party criminal attacks usually hinges on showing that the owner or possessor owed a duty to the injured to inform them that the criminal attack was foreseeable.

A land owner has no general duty to protect people on their property from third-party attacks. However, an injured person who is invited as a guest on the property for business reasons may have a duty of care imposed upon him to be sure that the invitees are aware of any dangers or prior crimes on the property. Knowledge of prior crimes on the property may create a duty to warn of the risk of attack. If the possibility of criminal attack was foreseeable, most states will impose a duty upon the property owner to take reasonable precautions to protect people from an attack.

If something is foreseeable, it has occurred before, or it could be reasonably anticipated if an ordinary, cautious person would expect it to occur under certain circumstances. Most states follow the following guidelines in order to determine whether the risk of criminal attack was foreseeable:

  • Actual knowledge
  • Prior violent acts
  • Prior crimes
  • Totality of the circumstances
  • A balancing test – The property owner’s duty to adopt security measures determined by balancing the foreseeable likelihood of security premises problems against the availability of the security.

Whenever the criminal attack seems foreseeable, courts have found that the owner had a duty to protect people under premises liability against third-party crimes. In such situations, property owner’s failure to provide security measures exposes them to liability caused by the breach of their legal duty.

Reasonable security measures include:

  • Hiring qualified and reliable security services
  • Installing security systems
  • Actively monitoring security cameras
  • Creating a security plan
  • Developing building access controlled measures
  • Using hotel room key cards
  • Installing ATM panic buttons

Property owners often use the defense of contributory negligence and try to apportion fault to the injured party. In order to defeat these offenses, an individual injured by an attack on someone else’s property needs the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney.

The attorneys of Mooney & Associates have experience in handling negligent security cases and will know how to persuade the court. If you have been injured by an attack that occurred on some else’s property, you have three years from the date of the attack to file a claim against the property owner. Therefore, it is important to contact Mooney & Associates as soon as possible to gather evidence to establish your case.

When your future is at stake, contact Mooney & Associates. The attorney you choose does make a difference.