Cross & Smith LLC


Property Owners Can Be Held Liable for Exposure to Criminal Harm

Jan 31, 2019 - Personal Injury by

Tuscaloosa Injury Attorneys Helping You When You Need it Most

If you’ve been injured by a third-party while on the defendant’s commercial property, then you could be entitled to bring an inadequate security claim against the defendant for the damages you suffered.

In Alabama, and elsewhere, commercial property owners are responsible for shielding premises entrants from unreasonable and non-obvious risks of harm.  This duty can be resolved by correcting dangerous conditions of property, or by warning premises entrants of the dangerous condition itself.

When the dangerous condition of property is not an object-based defect, but the risks posed by criminal activity in-and-around the property, then the owner must either provide adequate security to protect entrants or warn entrants so that they are aware of the inherent dangers.

Let’s take a closer look.

Inadequate Security Claims Can Be a Challenge

When bringing an inadequate security claim against the property owner, you’ll have to show that the risk of harm from a third-party was reasonably foreseeable.  Property owners cannot be held liable for the unexpected acts of third parties.

Reasonably Foreseeable Harm

Whether third-party harm is reasonably foreseeable is a determination that depends on the total circumstances.  There is no clear objective standard.

We’ll explore the basics using an example.

Suppose that you are injured by a mugger just outside of the defendant’s retail store, in their parking lot.  With the aid of a qualified attorney, you begin to investigate the case and discover that there have been multiple muggings outside the same store over the past year.  You also discover that the defendant considered hiring a security guard to stand watch over the parking lot in the evening but decided against it due to the expense.  Given the facts, it’s clear that the defendant was aware of the risk of third-party harm and chose not to correct the risk by hiring adequate security personnel or by implementing some other security measure to minimize the risk.

Schedule a Free Consultation With the Experienced Tuscaloosa Injury Attorneys at Cross & Smith

Here at Cross & Smith, our attorneys have decades of experience representing Alabama injury victims in a variety of disputes, including those that center around third-party criminal harm that was perpetrated on another’s property.

These “third-party” premises liability claims is often difficult to litigate, as the question of the defendant’s knowledge (concerning the risk of third-party harm) may be hotly contested.  Our comprehensive and thorough approach to personal injury litigation ensures that we have the information we need to take decisive action to secure a favorable result for our clients.  Over the years, we have obtained over $125 million in settlements and verdicts, proving the efficacy of our approach to litigation.

Call 205-391-0618 or send us a message online to schedule a free and confidential consultation with one of our skilled Tuscaloosa injury attorneys today.

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Posted By: Chuck Kelley

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