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Negligent Security

Security Camera

Negligent security cases typically occur when there is a risk of criminal activity on a business or property, the security is inadequate, and a victim is injured by a criminal act on the property. The injured crime victim may recover money damages.

The crimes that frequently occur in negligent security cases are

  • Assault
  • Battery
  • Robbery
  • Murder
  • Rape
  • Sexual Assault
  • Kidnapping
  • Theft
DE Business Owners Should Protect Patrons from Crime

Delaware business owners have a duty to provide security and protect the public if the business owner knew or should have known there was a significant risk of criminal activity on the property. If the business owner fails to take reasonable steps protect the public from crime, the business owner will be found negligent. The business owner or the business’s insurance will pay money damages for injuries sustained by the victim.

Businesses that may be liable for negligent security are

  • Bars and restaurants
  • Fast food places
  • Nightclubs
  • Department stores
  • Grocery stores
  • Hospitals
  • Hotels
  • Amusement parks
  • Parking garages
  • Theatres
  • Music venues
  • Sports venues
Property Owners Have a Duty to Keep the Public Safe

In Delaware, property owners and landlords can also be “sued” or “held liable” for injuries on their property due to negligent security. A property owner who invites the public onto their property for business purposes must protect the public when there is a history of criminal activity on the property. Repetitive criminal conduct of any kind will suffice to put a property owner on notice that a person could be injured.

Owners or entities who own of the following types of properties may be held liable in a negligent security case:

  • Apartment complexes
  • Parking garages and lots
  • Malls
  • Shopping centers
  • Stadiums
  • Music venues
  • Sports venues
  • Schools/Universities
What Security Measures Should be Taken?

Business and property owners can take measures to protect customers and the public from criminal activity. Reasonable measures may include:

  • Hiring trained security guards
  • Installing security cameras
  • Installing security alarms
  • Installing adequate fencing
  • Making sure the area is well-lit
  • Making sure door locks work
  • Making sure gates lock

Inadequate security may result in liability on the part of the owner. In Delaware, a jury decides what security measures were reasonable under the circumstance.

Delaware property owners and property managers also have a duty to protect patrons from accidental or negligent conduct of others that occur on the property if the owner knew from past-experience there was a likelihood of it occurring. An injury victim may also sue property owners for rowdy and/or unruly patrons or tenants negligently causing injury if there was a history on the property.

What is the statute of limitations for a negligent security case in Delaware?

You have two (2) years from the time of the injury to file a lawsuit for negligent security. In a wrongful death action where the victim dies due to the negligent security measures of the property owner, the victim’s family has two (2) years from the time of death to file a lawsuit.

Negligent security cases may settle out of court prior to the expiration of the statute of limitations. You should contact my office as early as possible in a Delaware negligent security case.

If the matter cannot be settled with the property or business owner’s insurance carrier prior to the statute of limitations expiring, a lawsuit must be filed. It is preferable to file a lawsuit in advance of the statute of limitations expiration date on negligent security cases.

Contact Us

Contact Jason R. Antoine, Negligent Security lawyer at (302) 482-4802 for a free consultation. It does not cost anything to have Mr. Antoine review the facts of your case. Consultations on negligent security cases are always free.

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