Philadelphia Negligent Security Lawyer
Every property owner is required to ensure that their premises do not pose any safety risks to lawful occupants. For some establishments such as shopping malls, apartment complexes, hotels, and casinos, the property owner will employ security measures to monitor the property and ensure that no harm comes to residents or guests. Security measures are meant to safeguard lawful occupants, and when they fail and someone is injured, the property owner may be held accountable.
Why Choose Ciccarelli Law Offices?
At Ciccarelli Law Offices, our team firmly believes in protecting the rights of those harmed due to the negligence of others:
- We have extensive resources available at our disposal that we can use to conduct complete investigations into your claim and handle the entire court process.
- We understand the nuances related to premises liability and negligence security claims, and we will be fully prepared to take your case to trial.
- You will always have direct access to your legal team when you work with our law office so you can ask any questions or raise concerns as your case moves forward.
What Defines Negligent Security?
Negligent security can take many forms, and result in many types of injuries to victims. Some instances of negligent security include:
- Poor security camera placement. Surveillance cameras are meant to monitor specific areas. If they are poorly placed or their view becomes obstructed, it can result in blind spots.
- Negligent security guards. Security guards must not become complacent in their duties. Some may believe they have an easy job or work somewhere quiet where nothing out of the ordinary ever happens, but that doesn’t mean it will always be that way. Guards need to be thorough on their patrols and carefully monitor their assigned areas. Guard rotations and patrol routes should be regularly changed. Some criminals will survey a target area for some time to memorize guards’ patrol routes to find vulnerabilities.
- Defective security equipment. Cameras, closed-circuit monitoring systems, electronic door locks, and other security mechanisms need to be regularly inspected and tested for reliability and to ensure that they have not been tampered with or otherwise compromised.
- Property liability. Property owners need to make sure that their facilities and grounds are clear of hazards to those lawfully present upon them. This may include snow and ice removal, clearing stairwells and walkways of obstructions, and ensuring that all areas are well-lit at nighttime to prevent slip and fall accidents.
This is not an exhaustive list. Any security measure a property owner employs needs to be regularly checked for reliability, and any vulnerability needs to be addressed in a timely manner. Holes in security usually lead to harm to residents or guests on the premises.
Not only can negligent security lead to property damage or theft, but also physical injury from slip and fall accidents, unsafe structures, or bodily harm from assaults, muggings, sexual assaults, and violence. Contact our slip and fall lawyers in Philadelphia to learn more.
Injuries Associated With Negligent Security
There are various types of injuries that could be associated with a negligent security incident. These types of claims are broad, covering a range of tragedies that can occur and affect a person. Some of the most common types of injuries associated with negligent security claims in Philadelphia include the following:
- Fractured or dislocated bones
- Gunshot wounds
- Severe lacerations or puncture wounds
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord trauma
- Internal bleeding
- Organ damage
- Scarring and disfigurement
One often overlooked aspect of the aftermath of negligent security incidents is the emotional and psychological impact on the victim. Unfortunately, individuals can suffer from a range of emotional trauma caused by the incident, the recovery process, and any lasting disability. This can include major depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), recurrent flashbacks, issues with relationships, thoughts of suicide or attempting suicide, substance abuse problems, and more.
Who Is Liable For A Negligent Security Claim?
There may be various parties who can be held liable for a negligent security claim, but these incidents will often boil down to the property owner’s negligence or a property manager’s negligence. Essentially, negligent security claims become premises liability claims, which is a type of personal injury claim.
Property owners and those tasked with managing a property have responsibilities to individuals who have a right to be on the premises. These rights extend to ensuring the premises are safe and free from known hazards or that guests are properly warned of hazards if the issue cannot be remedied quickly.
Property owners are responsible for providing reasonable security, though what is “reasonable” may look different from area to area. For example, in areas where there are documented levels of higher crime, retail stores may need to consider employing additional security measures to keep patrons safe. Failing to do so could constitute negligent security.
Other possible liable parties, aside from the property owner, can include security companies tasked with overseeing a particular area. Individual security operators or other third-party companies could be held responsible. A skilled negligent security lawyer in Philadelphia needs to examine every aspect of your case and determine which party or parties to file a claim against. In some cases, there may be more than one party to hold responsible for the negligent security incident.
Proving Negligence and Obtaining Compensation in Philadelphia
Any personal injury that results from negligent security will still fall under the basic tenets of personal injury law. That means that your attorney will need to establish negligence on part of the property owner or defendant. Proving negligence requires proving three things:
- The property owner owed a duty of reasonable care to those lawfully present on their premises. In these situations, that means they are required to furnish their building and grounds with reasonable security measures to safeguard residents or guests on the premises.
- They breached this duty by some action. It may also be due to inaction if they failed to address obvious security vulnerabilities in a timely or thorough manner, or did not exercise adequate care in maintaining their security structure.
- This breach of duty directly resulted in the victim’s injuries. For example, if a security guard was sleeping instead of watching video monitors like they were supposed to, and an assailant mugs you in view of a security camera, they would be considered negligent since they could have prevented or mitigated the damage done.
Time Limit for Filing Your Claim
It is important for negligent security and premises liability victims to file their claims as soon as possible. In Pennsylvania, the personal injury statute of limitations is two years from the date an injury occurs. If a negligent security victim fails to file a lawsuit against the alleged negligent party within this two-year time frame, they will almost certainly lose the ability to recover any compensation for their losses.
With this overall civil lawsuit statute of limitations in mind, we also encourage injury victims to file an insurance claim with any involved insurance carriers as soon as possible. These insurance carriers will have their own internal reporting deadlines that could affect the outcome of the case, including leading to a claim delay or denial.
Compensation Available for a Successful Negligent Security Claim
There may be various types of compensation available for a successful negligent security claim in Philadelphia. At Ciccarelli Law Offices, our team works diligently to recover both economic and non-economic damages on behalf of our clients. This includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- Economic damages. These types of damages are the calculable losses victims can expect to endure as a result of a negligent security incident. We say that they are calculable because we can examine receipts, estimates, and bills that come in or are expected to come to the victim in the days, weeks, and months after the incident. Some of the most common economic losses associated with negligent security claims include:
- Medical bills associated with the initial emergency
- Any ongoing or follow-up medical expenses
- Surgical costs
- Coverage of prescription medications and medical devices
- Lost wages if a victim is unable to work while recovering
- Household out-of-pocket expenses
- Property damage expenses
- Non-economic damages. These types of damages are less measurable than the economic damages previously mentioned. These types of losses do not have receipts, invoices, or bills that can be gathered and added up directly, but there are various calculation methods used to adequately quantify a victim’s:
- Physical pain and suffering damages
- Emotional and psychological pain and suffering damages
- Loss of quality of life damages
- Loss of consortium for a spouse or partner
There is no set amount of compensation paid to negligent security victims in Philadelphia. Rather, there are various factors that can affect compensation amounts, including the overall severity of the injury, the length of the recovery process, whether or not there was any shared fault, insurance policy or asset limitations, and more.
Proving negligence is sometimes tricky, and the Philadelphia personal injury lawyers at Ciccarelli Law Offices are well-versed in all manner of negligent security claims in Philadelphia. We believe that victims should not be left to pay for the injuries and losses they sustain if they resulted from another party’s negligence. If you have any questions about a negligent security claim or want to start reviewing your case, reach out to the attorneys at Ciccarelli Law Offices.