Many of us don’t give heading out and about to take care of errands, eat, or entertain ourselves a second thought. While most of us are aware of the horror stories we hear on the news about what can and does happen, few of us think it will happen in our city, where we’re headed, or to us. Some of us even believe that if we did find ourselves in a perilous situation, we’d somehow be able to break our fall, outsmart an assailant, or otherwise avoid sustaining serious injuries or death. Things don’t always pan out as we’d envision them, though.
Negligent security incidents sometimes occur when we least expect them. You may think that you can successfully navigate a dimly lit stairwell without a problem, or that walking to your vehicle late one night to get something out of your car at your Lexington, KY apartment complex is safe. You may only question what you were thinking in these scenarios once you’ve been hurt.
Fortunately, Kentucky premises liability laws exist for scenarios like the ones described above and many others that may leave someone severely injured at no fault of their own. These laws may allow you to hold the business owner, landlord, or another party civilly liable for the preventable harm you suffered. A Lexington negligent security lawyer from Thomas Law Offices can help you determine whether you have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit.
Examples of Lexington Negligent Security Situations
Various circumstances may warrant you taking legal action by filing a Lexington negligent security claim or lawsuit to recover compensation for any damages you or a loved one have suffered in the incident. Those scenarios include:
Inadequate Screening of Visitors
Places that house vulnerable populations, such as nursing homes for the elderly or locations where children congregate, like schools, tend to have some degree of security protocols in place. So too do courtrooms, workplaces, hospitals, and other places that serve the public.
Many of the security protocols in effect at these places of business aren’t mandated by Kentucky state law. Instead, they are set by local government, school district officials, or business owners. The problem with this approach is that screening measures may vary widely, including running a person’s identification card through a computer database or having them pass through a metal detector before entry. Individuals with a criminal mindset look for the types of security gaps they may capitalize on to hurt others.
Ineffective Barriers to Entry
Another type of negligent security issue that aligns with the inadequate screening issue described above is one whereby a government office, business entity, or even a resident living facility fails to have adequate barriers to keep trespassers and potentially dangerous dogs or wildlife out. Some examples of this may include:
- Failing to install a fence around the premises
- Not having a guard station to restrict entry
- Failing to change locks between residents, tenants, or employees
- Not taking time to ensure locks (and other barriers) are working correctly
Security Guard Problems
Many security flaws are compounding, meaning there’s seldom one issue that can be pinpointed as causing a preventable negligent security incident, but there are instead multiple causes. That’s the case with security guards. Having security personnel on staff is only as good as its training, the tools they have at their disposal, and when they’re 100% committed to their job while on shift.
Some common issues that result in Lexington, KY business owners facing negligent security claims are that they:
- Hire inadequately trained security guards because they don’t thoroughly vet them
- Don’t supervise their security personnel to ensure they’re making their rounds and otherwise following set protocol, such as calling the police to make reports when necessary
- Have well-trained security guards, but there aren’t enough of them to watch over a property or crowd of a certain size or to complete all their assigned tasks within a specific timeframe
Issues With Surveillance Cameras
Would-be criminals have a habit of maintaining vigilance for security cameras. If they find that they don’t exist, then they may take advantage of that fact and revisit those premises to commit a crime in hopes that, if they do so, there won’t be any preservation of video evidence of their commission of a criminal offense.
Likewise, word gets around quickly if a person visits a place with security cameras, but it’s apparent that they’re not functional or go unmonitored. For example, a criminal may commit a petty property crime to “test” whether it results in them facing charges. If they find that it doesn’t, they may quickly escalate their actions and carry out a violent offense, such as a robbery, carjacking, rape, or something else.
One of the most common reasons Lexington negligent security lawsuits are filed is due to poor lighting concerns. According to a University of Chicago study, inadequate lighting can lead to a person being criminally victimized.
As was noted during our discussion of security cameras, would-be criminals look for things like low-watt (dull) lighting. They also look for certain areas in parking lots or buildings where there aren’t enough lights and use that knowledge to carry out “crimes of opportunity,” such as physical violence. It’s not uncommon for criminals to lurk in dark stairwells or in the shadows around vehicles, lying in wait to pounce on an unsuspecting victim.
Criminal acts aren’t the only thing you have to worry about where there’s inadequate lighting, though. Poor or nonexistent lighting poses plenty of other dangers, including risks of slips, trips, and falls down stairs and on:
- Wet floors
- Icy sidewalks
- Raised curbs
- Speed bumps
Poorly Maintained Grounds
Unless you’re a landscape aficionado, you might not pay all that close of attention to shrubbery or bushes, but doing so is important. Much like criminals look for poorly lit or unmonitored areas when scoping out a place to commit a crime, they prefer places that offer “coverage” where they can lie in wait for their next victim. Overgrown bushes or shrubs near where your vehicle is parked or the entryway of a building may provide just the right amount of coverage for them to go unnoticed as they wait to pounce.
Building owners can give individuals with criminal intentions less of an opportunity to hide and improve the chances of a potential victim noticing them by maintaining their grounds.
It’s less likely that potential falls and animal-involved incidents will occur when the grounds are well-maintained.
The examples above are only a snapshot of some ways in which negligent security can lead to individuals suffering a personal injury. Our Thomas Law Offices negligent security attorneys help clients recover compensation for their costly medical bills, lost income, and other incident-related expenses after all types of incidents and would be happy to assist with yours.
Where Do Negligent Security Incidents Occur?
We’ve already mentioned some of the venues where accidents or crimes that result in injuries or death and are attributable to negligent security issues may occur. A recap of those places (and others) where these types of preventable incidents may occur include:
- At amusement parks
- Inside and outside office buildings
- At medical care facilities and nursing homes
- Nearby apartment complexes
- Gyms or fitness centers
- Retail stores and in and around shopping centers or malls
- At hotels
- On escalators and inside stairwells or elevators
- At workplaces
- Nearby automatic teller machines (ATMs)
- At sports arenas, fields, or stadiums and concert venues
- In parking garages or parking lots
- Inside movie theaters
- At bars and restaurants
As you can see, the list of places where negligent security incidents may occur is quite expansive.
Determining Fault for a Negligent Security Incident
Proving liability is always the most challenging aspect of any Lexington personal injury case. However, moving quickly to preserve evidence in your potential negligent security case makes things easier. That’s why we recommend reaching out to our law firm to speak with one of our negligent security lawyers in Lexington as quickly as possible after you get hurt. Doing so will best preserve your right to compensation.
Evidence in a Lexington Negligent Security Case
A Lexington negligent security lawyer on our team will act to quickly secure evidence that proves a land or business owner’s liability, which may include:
- Photographs of the scene of the injury event and your injuries
- The police report or an incident report prepared
- Surveillance camera footage
- Maintenance records
- Prior reports of complaints, including lawsuits
- A building owner’s proof of insurance
- Crime data regarding the building and from the surrounding area
- Your medical records
The Lexington negligent security lawyer handling your case will use this information to build your negligent security claim when negotiating with an insurance company and at trial if your Lexington injury case can’t be resolved out-of-court.
Compensation You Can Recover in a Lexington Negligent Security Case
If you were hurt in a negligent security situation, you will likely have significant medical bills and missed time from work in Lexington, resulting in lost wages. Our negligent security lawyers can help you recover those economic damages, plus enough compensation that will cover your ongoing medical needs and time off work.
It’s also likely that your injury incident caused you unnecessary pain or stress and affected your ability to enjoy your life and the company of family members. Kentucky law allows you to recover non-economic damages associated with the following if you win your negligent security lawsuit:
- Loss of companionship
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
While economic damages like lost earnings and medical expenses are verifiable, non-economic ones are not. It can be helpful to have an experienced Lexington negligent security attorney help you calculate those non-economic incident-related damages for you.
Let Thomas Law Offices Negligent Security Lawyers Handle Your Case
You’ve already been through a lot by getting hurt. Pursuing a legal claim when you don’t understand all the complexities of the law that applies to these premises liability cases and the ramifications of making certain choices puts you at a disadvantage. It could result in you losing your Kentucky negligent security case and thus not having any recourse for recovering compensation for your mounting expenses.
Our Lexington negligent security lawyers know what to say and do to give you the best possible chance of having a successful insurance claim or civil lawsuit in Kentucky. This experience translates to a higher likelihood of us being able to secure fair compensation for you for all you’ve been through. Contact us by email or phone to schedule a free consultation as quickly as possible to preserve your rights.