By law, all property owners in Ohio are required to take measures to ensure that their properties are safe for visitors. For owners of public businesses like restaurants, bars, hotels, banks, theaters, and concert/event venues, part of these measures includes taking action to prevent violent crimes like theft and assault from happening on the premises. This means installing security cameras and hiring security staff when necessary as well as ensuring emergency precautions are in place should a violent crime occur.
If you or someone you love was injured or have suffered due to a violent crime at a public business or venue that could have and should have done more to prevent the crime or stop it from happening, you may have grounds for a negligent security or inadequate security lawsuit. A Cincinnati negligent security lawyer from Bey & Associates can help you decide if you have a potential claim and if it’s in your best interests to pursue compensation. If awarded, this compensation could help cover for the injuries and damages you’ve suffered from.
It may help to learn more about negligent security lawsuits and in what conditions one can be filed.
What Security Measures Are Owners Responsible For?
Negligent security cases belong to a greater area of law known as premises liability law. Premises liability governs what precautions property owners must take to keep others safe and includes things from fixing broken sidewalks and stairwells to preventing slip and fall accidents and keeping pets from harming visitors.
Additionally, premises liability extends into areas of security and safety for public venues and places of business. The laws state that property owners have a legal duty to provide reasonable security measures to protect visitors from foreseeable crimes. These crimes can include the following:
- Assault, including sexual assault
- Home invasion
- Car jacking
- Gun violence
Whether or not a crime is foreseeable depends on many factors, including where the business or property is located, how attractive it is to criminals, and the history of crime in that area. If the business is in a location where criminal acts happen frequently, that property owner has a duty to obtain and maintain sufficient security measures that fit that level of criminal activity.
Common businesses and establishments in Cincinnati and elsewhere in Ohio that can have issues maintaining sufficient security measures include:
- Hotels and casinos
- Sports arenas and stadiums
- Concert venues
- Restaurants and bars
- College campuses and dorm rooms
- Theme parks
- Banks and accompanying ATMs
- Parking lots
- Movie theaters
- Malls and shopping centers
- Apartment buildings and housing complexes
Common issues that are examples of negligent security can include the following:
- Improper lighting in areas that may be a security risk, such as entrance/exit areas, stairways, lobbies, and parking lots
- Not having trained security personnel when they are needed, such as at a large concert (or having enough security staff)
- Security personnel that aren’t trained properly or were not given proper background checks when hired
- A lack of emergency exit doors and multiple routes to get to emergency exits
- A lack of item, bag, or body checks where appropriate to ensure weapons are not brought on the premises
- No parking lot surveillance
- No security cameras on the premises, or cameras that aren’t properly monitored, maintained, or in the right locations
- Faulty alarm systems or a lack of alarm systems or emergency call boxes
- Broken gates, fences, windows, or other access points that are not repaired
- A failure to monitor and guard against crime that has occurred in the past
- A failure to take necessary precautions and protect patrons from injury in the event a potentially violent event happens (in the event of a warning about a shooting at a concert venue, for example, the venue should carefully direct patrons to safety before the crowd is injured)
Businesses and public venues also have a legal obligation to properly inform visitors and patrons about what security measures are in place as well as the details of those measures. Additionally, they must disclose details about previous criminal activity on the premises. This allows guests to take necessary precautions to be prepared.
Filing a Negligent Security Lawsuit in Ohio
To file a negligent security claim, a victim of a violent crime or act must have suffered from injury or monetary losses. In these types of lawsuits, the defendant (the person or entity you’re filing the lawsuit against) is the owner of the business or establishment where the crime happened. While the perpetrator of the crime is obviously at fault for committing the crime, you are additionally holding the property owner liable for failing to provide adequate security measures for ensuring your safety. These claims are often paid out through the business owner’s insurance.
For a victim to win a negligent security lawsuit in Ohio, it must be proven that the property owner was aware of the crime risks in their area and failed to take appropriate caution. An experienced negligent security attorney will be able to past and current investigate criminal activity in that area and determine if the property owner ignored obvious crime risks and therefore acted negligently.
These cases can be incredibly complex, especially in situations where multiple victims suffered during an act of crime. At Bey & Associates, our Cincinnati negligent security lawyers have expertise in these types of premises liability claims and understand how to hold negligent property owners accountable.
If you were a victim of an act of crime or assault at a business or venue you trusted to be safe and believe the establishment could have prevented the crime or done more to stop it, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our Cincinnati law firm today. We’re happy to speak with you about your case and help you determine if pursuing legal action is in your best interests.