Although the law varies from state to state, landowners generally have a duty to maintain their premises in a reasonably safe condition. This duty has been interpreted broadly by the Courts and can require commercial retailers to keep aisles clean and clear to prevent slip and falls or falling merchandise; it can require landowners to maintain common areas, sidewalks, and parking lots to alleviate unreasonably dangerous conditions; and can require commercial landowners to provide reasonable security measures to protect tenants and patrons from reasonably foreseeable criminal activity.
Technical Expertise and Trial Experience Make a Difference
Our lawyers have years of experience litigating premises liability claims and have successfully tried cases to jury verdict on these particular issues. Prior to forming Doyle Law, huge retailers, department stores, restaurants, bars, and apartment complexes entrusted our lawyers in defending complex negligent security and other premises liability claims involving murder, rape, wrongful death and other serious injuries. We now use the technical expertise gained in litigating these cases to aggressively prosecute claims on behalf of plaintiffs who have been injured due to the negligence of a landowner.
The Firm handles claims on behalf of individuals who have been harmed by the foreseeable and preventable criminal acts of third parties. Not every victim of violent crime has a viable claim for negligent security. However, oftentimes landowners fail in their responsibility to provide reasonable security measures by maintaining inadequate lighting, warnings, security gates, locks, improperly maintained windows, and security guards to protect against criminal activity on their property. Usually, these types of claims rise and fall on the issue of whether the criminal conduct was foreseeable and preventable by the landowner.
Oftentimes, negligent security claims require expert testimony to establish whether the criminal conduct was foreseeable, whether security measures were adequate, and whether the crime was preventable. This requires a review of police crime grids, the record of criminal activity at a particular location, a site inspection, and a review of security measures, among other issues. Typically, judges and juries require a landowner to maintain a higher degree of security when there is a history of prior violent crimes. Conversely, a judge or jury may not expect to see strict security measures on a property in a safe neighborhood with no history of violent crime. An evaluation of these claims is very fact specific and requires the services of a skilled and experienced trial attorney. Please contact us if you would like one of our experienced trial lawyers to provide you a Free Case Evaluation.