Is a Lack of Security Grounds to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit? - DuPage County Personal Injury Attorneys | Mevorah Law Offices LLC
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Is a Lack of Security Grounds to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

Posted on in Personal Injury
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IL injury lawyerBeing an invited as a visitor to another’s property, whether the property owner is a business or another person, carries with it some expectations. Fundamentally, the visitor can expect the property to be reasonably free of any dangerous conditions, or, if not, to be made aware of any hazards. Additionally, the visitor can expect that he/she will be safe while on the property, even if that means that the property owner provides an appropriate level of security detail. If these expectations are not met, and an injury to the visitor occurs, retaining the services of an attorney experienced in personal injury matters, and one especially focused on premises liability and insufficient security, can be crucial to obtaining compensation for the visitor’s injuries.

Recently, the estate of a teenager who froze to death after getting trapped in a hotel freezer has sued the hotel, alleging that it failed to secure the area around the freezer, which, although not used, was still accessible to the public. Allegedly, the teen walked around, visibly disoriented, past hotel staff and into the freezer, and no one attempted to stop her. A discussion of premises liability, as well as some examples of insufficient security procedures, will follow below.

Illinois Premises Liability

Premises liability is a complex aspect of the legal theory of negligence. As alluded to above, there are expectations of protection an invited visitor has when on the property of another. Uninvited visitors, such as trespassers, are given a lesser degree of protection, and typically do not have a claim if an injury occurs. The failure to meet visitor expectations may result in liability for the property owner. Accordingly, a successful injured visitor must prove each of the following elements:

  • The property owner had a legal obligation to warn and/or protect visitors;
  • The property owner either knew or should have known of the dangerous condition;
  • The property owner had a reasonable opportunity to take appropriate and necessary action (i.e., the property owner had time to either correct the condition or warn visitors);
  • The property owner failed to take the appropriate and necessary action; and
  • The visitor was injured as a direct result of this failure.

Insufficient security cases are a form of premises liability, which focuses on the duty the property owner owes to invited visitors to take appropriate and necessary steps to address known security risks. Accordingly, property owners are required to provide adequate security measures to prevent foreseeable criminal activity on their premises. Failure to do so may result in liability for any damages suffered if someone is injured.

It is important to realize that insufficient security concerns known security risks, or, in some cases, a security risk that the property owner should have known about. Thus, and as an example, unless a particular piece of property is located in an area with a reputation for being the focus of criminal activity, typically, the first time something criminal occurs on that property, the property owner will most likely not be held liable for any injuries. However, criminal activity will put the property owner on notice that the property may potentially be subject to criminal activity in the future.

Insufficient Security

As mentioned above, property owners are required to put in appropriate and necessary means to ensure the safety of visitors to the property. The following is a sampling of common insufficient security measures:

  • The failure to install security cameras and/or adequate lighting;
  • The failure of security guards to properly monitor entryways, parking lots, and other ingresses and egresses;
  • The failure to provide for the proper securement of doors, gates, or other entry areas; and
  • The failure of security guards (or other individuals) to properly respond to suspicious activity.

Contact an Illinois Attorney

If you suffered an injury, and you believe that the property owner did not provide adequate security measures to prevent this incident, contact the dedicated Naperville personal injury attorneys at Mevorah Law Office, LLC as soon as possible. We have years of experience in personal injury matters, including negligent security cases. If we decide that the injury was preventable and the result of insufficient security provisions, we will work to ensure that you get the appropriate compensation you deserve. Contact our personal injury firm at 630-932-9100 for a free consultation.

 

Sources:

https://www.essence.com/news/kenneka-jenkins-hotel-lawsuit/

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2048&ChapterID=57

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