Kansas Negligent Security Lawyer
Filing a Negligent Security Claim
When you visit an establishment such as a bar, restaurant, shopping center, nursing home, bank, hotel, or apartment complex, you have the right to expect that you will be safe while you are on that property. If you or a loved one is attacked or assaulted because the property owner failed to implement adequate security measures, you may have a negligent security claim.
At Bretz Injury Law, we fight to hold negligent property owners accountable and get the compensation you need to heal. We understand that these are complex, emotionally charged cases. With this in mind, our team focuses on providing compassionate, empathetic, and attentive legal services to victims and their loved ones.
Reach out to an experienced attorney at Bretz Injury Law today at (620) 234-8880. Serving Hutchinson, Salina, Wichita, Garden City, Dodge City, Liberal, and Hays.
What Is Negligent Security?
Negligent security occurs when someone is injured because a property owner or manager fails maintain reasonably safe conditions that are appropriate for the activities conducted on the property. These cases generally involve an injury to an individual as a result of criminal assault or robbery at a commercial property.
Negligent security cases typically fall under premises liability. According to premises liability laws, a property owner, manager, or controller can be held legally liable for an individual’s injuries and damages in certain circumstances. As the plaintiff, you have the burden of proof, meaning you are required to prove your case.
In a negligent security claim, you will likely need to prove the following:
- The defendant (i.e., the property owner) owed you a duty of care. This means that they had a legal responsibility to prevent you from being injured (within reason). Property owners generally owe a duty of care to anyone who lawfully enters the property, but they do not typically owe a duty of care to trespassers.
- The defendant knew about (or should have known about) a dangerous condition. In negligent security cases, this typically means proving that the property owner knew that there was a likelihood of someone being attacked, assaulted, or otherwise falling victim to criminal activity and/or violence while on the property.
- The defendant failed to uphold the duty of care. Typically, this involves proving that they acted negligently, wrongfully, or intentionally in some way. In negligent security cases, failing to implement adequate security measures—such as installing security lights and cameras or hiring a security guard to patrol the premises—typically constitutes a breach of the duty of care.
- You were injured. To have a case, you must prove that you were actually injured. “Injuries” can be physical, but they can also be emotional, mental, and/or financial in nature. For example, if you were assaulted, your injuries could include physical injuries, emotional distress, trauma, medical expenses, lost wages, disability, and more.
- The defendant’s conduct was the direct or proximate cause of your injuries. This means that you would not have been injured had the defendant taken the proper steps to ensure your safety while lawfully on the property. You must prove that the defendant’s failure to implement proper security was the reason you were assaulted/injured.
Our attorneys at Bretz Injury Law know how to investigate these types of cases to determine if you may have grounds for a lawsuit. We encourage you to reach out to us today to discuss your potential case with a member of our legal team.
What Are Common Types of Negligent Security Cases?
Negligent security cases commonly involve various crimes and acts of violence. These cases can arise out of all types of situations and may occur in a variety of settings, including both public and private spaces.
Negligent security cases commonly involve:
- Sexual assault
- Assault with a deadly weapon
- Mass shootings
These incidents can occur in apartment complexes or condominiums, private single-family homes, grocery stores, gas stations, nightclubs, bars, shopping malls, parking lots, and more. They often result in severe, catastrophic injury or death.
Some examples of how negligent security could lead to serious injury or death are listed below:
- The apartment complex seemed like a safe, family friendly community. But when John pulled up to his girlfriend's apartment one night, someone attacked him with a knife. Despite appearance and assurances from the management that the complex was safe, multiple robberies and shootings that had taken place there over the years. The owners never disclosed to anyone that the complex was dangerous, and they never took steps to make the area safer.
- It was the middle of the day when a store clerk was attacked and sexually assaulted in the store. Despite being in an area of town that was known for high crime rates, the mall did not employ security guards during the day. If they had, they might have prevented the attack.
- Joe was just trying to calm everyone down when his friends got into a fight with several bar patrons in the parking lot. But when someone pulled out a gun, Joe was fatally shot. Despite the number of crimes that had happened in that very parking lot over the last year, the bar owners did not implement any security measures to keep their patrons safe.
In general, personal injury law does not hold people and businesses liable for criminal acts committed by others, but that general principle has many exceptions. If we can prove that the property owner knew—or should have known—that the conditions on the premises were dangerous due to a significant risk of crime, but they did not take reasonable steps to eliminate that danger, we may have a case.
Examples of Negligent Security
It isn’t always easy to tell when criminal activity could have been prevented with proper security measures. In other words, it can be difficult to determine if what happened to you or your loved one was the result of negligent security. While every case is unique, some things nearly always constitute negligent security when a property owner knows or should know that there is a high risk of criminal activity but fails to implement proper safety measures.
Some common examples of negligent security include:
- Failure to hire security guards/personnel
- Untrained, inexperienced, or inattentive security guards
- Faulty or missing security lights, cameras, and other equipment
- Broken or missing fences, gates, and locks
- Failure to install sufficient alarm systems
- Lack of proper maintenance on security systems
- Doors, windows, and other points of entry without locks
If you believe that your or your loved one’s attack resulted from any of these things—or any other form of negligent security—reach out to our team at Bretz Injury Law right away. Our attorneys can discuss your legal rights and options with you during a free and confidential consultation. There is no obligation to hire and, should you choose to work with our firm, you do not owe any attorneys’ fees unless/until we recover compensation for you.
How Can a Negligent Security Attorney Help Me?
If you or a loved one was injured due to a crime that occurred at a commercial or residential location, you may have a negligent security claim. Whether you were attacked in Wichita at Towne East Mall or Old Town, or in high-crime areas in Topeka and other cities across Kansas, our experienced attorneys can aggressively pursue fair compensation for your injuries.
Don't underestimate the complexity of your case. In order to prove negligent security, our committed legal team will work to establish a crime history for the area your injury occurred, as well as investigating any security measures that were in place or should have been in place. The goal of this is to prove that those responsible for the property failed to meet their duty to provide reasonable security measures.
Contact Bretz Injury Law for a Free Consultation
At Bretz Injury Law, we are committed advocates for those who have been hurt and have suffered immense physical, emotional, and financial hardships due to the negligence of others. Our lawyers are ready to help you fight for the justice you deserve.
Because we limit the overall number of cases we accept, we are able to provide our clients with the attentive, personalized, and supportive legal services they need. While we strive to recover favorable settlements for all our clients, we recognize that this is not always possible. When necessary, our experienced trial attorneys are fully prepared to represent you and your best interests in the courtroom.