You met up with some friends at a sports bar to cheer for your college team. Unfortunately, there was a drunken fan of the opposing team present who eventually became aggressive and hit you, breaking your nose and your designer glasses. Maybe you were staying at a local hotel for a business conference and got mugged by someone in the unlit parking lot.
When you become the victim of a violent crime on a business’s premises, you may feel like you deserve justice. Especially when the business did not protect you and now cannot assist you in the prosecution of the criminal involved, you may wonder if the business has any liability for the situation.
Is a business ever to blame for crimes that occur on its property but that are not committed by its employees?
Businesses should invest in adequate security measures
Any company that makes its facilities accessible to customers or members of the public will have to consider its premises liability. Anyone who gets hurt on the property, whether due to poorly-designed sidewalks or a leaky roof, could potentially file an insurance claim or even a civil lawsuit because of their injuries.
Provided that an insurance company or members of a jury agree with the assertion that the issue was reasonably foreseeable and preventable, the business may be to blame for the injuries that visitors suffer when at the company’s facilities. The same concept applies to inadequate security when customers become victims of criminals. Opportunistic thieves targeting a hotel parking lot is as predictable as a drunk sports enthusiast getting mad about a team losing.
Especially in areas with high crime rates or a lot of travelers, crime is easy to anticipate. Businesses can deter certain kinds of crime by having adequate staff, including security professionals, available. An investment in outdoor lighting and security cameras can also go a long way both toward deterring criminal activity and assisting victims who need to prosecute the people responsible later.
If a business fails to take reasonable steps to prevent easily foreseeable criminal activity, the victims of crimes at that business could have grounds for premises liability claims. Understanding when a situation creates premises liability for a business may help you pursue justice.