Most of the time, people consider personal injury cases and criminal cases to be separate affairs. While that is often true, there are plenty of cases where one person’s criminal behavior can become someone else’s personal injury claim. Property owners, in particular, may find themselves paying a legal and financial price if they do not put in proper security measures to prevent crime in or around their buildings.
When Are Property Owners Responsible For Security Issues?
Strictly speaking, property owners are not automatically responsible for a crime, just because it happened on the premises of their building. However, when that crime is foreseeable and preventable, a landlord may be held responsible for it, depending on what security measures they have in place to prevent that sort of crime from happening. The higher the risk for criminal activity where a property is located, the more a property owner will be expected to do to protect the people in and around their building.
What Sorts of Security Measures Should a Property Owner Have?
While there is no specific set of security measures a property owner must have to protect people from criminal activity, there are a few common measures that are commonly cited in lawsuits. Some of these measures may include:
- Locks and deadbolts to secure entryways
- Lights to illuminate dark areas where criminals may hide
- Security cameras to record potential criminal activity
- Security guards to protect against robbery and other violent crime
- Bars over windows to prevent break-ins
- Peepholes in doors to easily spot potential intruders
These measures may seem basic, but even their presence can potentially dissuade muggers, burglars, and other criminals from targeting people around a property. This can help protect anyone in or around the building from unnecessary harm.
What Might Make a Property Owner Negligent?
In addition to lacking the above security measures, there are certain things that are more likely to point to a property owner being negligent in preventing crime. Some potential signs of negligence include, but are not limited to:
- Ignoring prior reports of criminal activity in or around the building
- Failing to install security measures after requests they be installed
- Failing to repair broken locks, doors or windows
- Failing to repair broken light fixtures
- Ignoring disruptive behavior from tenants
What If I Become the Victim of a Crime on Someone Else’s Property?
If you are injured as a result of a criminal activity on or around someone else’s property, including on the grounds of a building you rent space in, you may be able to sue for compensation. However, the only way to be certain is to consult a personal injury lawyer with experience handling premises liability suits, who can advise you on your best course of action.
If you or a loved one have been injured due to someone else’s negligence, you should seek out the auto accident lawyers at Zlotolow & Associates. Our seasoned New York personal injury attorneys bring more than two decades of trial experience to your case. We serve all five boroughs of New York City, as well as Nassau and Suffolk County. Our aggressive personal injury attorneys always demand maximum compensation. We have helped thousands of clients recover through settlements and courtroom verdicts.