NEGLIGENT SECURITY LAWYER IN CHICAGO, IL
Chicago Negligent Security Lawyer
Chicago is known for its extravagant, fast-paced lifestyle and happens to be top-ranked in terms of fun activity availability. However, when a city is filled with more people and offers more activities, more legal issues are sure to come as well. The city of Chicago has an average crime rate of 35 per 1,000 residents. We’ve also seen our fair share of inadequate crowd control measures needed to minimize the influx of criminal activity. While different Chicago locations will have different legal obligations, all business and property owners are legally required to provide adequate security in order to prevent reasonably foreseeable criminal acts on their premises. If these measures are not taken, the owners could be held liable for damages if someone becomes the victim of a crime while on their property. In situations like this, it’s crucial to hire a Chicago negligent security lawyer.
If you’ve been injured or are a victim of a crime due to inadequate security, contact a Chicago negligent security attorney at Curcio Law Offices by calling 312-321-1111. We provide a free case evaluation to discuss legal representation for your Chicago premises liability claim. Our experienced attorneys can help you understand property owner obligations, who is responsible for providing adequate security, and when filing a negligent security lawsuit is necessary.
What is Negligent Security?
When you visit a store, mall, hotel, nightclub, etc., you rightfully assume that the owner of that property has taken reasonable measures to protect you from harm. If someone falls on uneven flooring, for example, they can secure compensation through a Chicago premises liability claim. But unfortunately, not all injuries are the result of an accident; injuries are caused by criminal attacks too.
When a property or business owner fails to do this and someone is injured as a result, a negligent security claim can help bring that owner to justice. When a patron sustains a foreseeable injury as a result of inadequate security, the property owner can be held liable for the damages through a negligent security lawsuit.
Many claimants are victims of criminal violence on someone else’s property. Negligent security cases can help victims that suffered from an assault, battery, robbery, rape, and in the worst case scenario, wrongful death.
Negligent security often resembles one’s duty of care in a negligence claim.
When a property owner or business owes its patrons a duty of care, this means that the owner should have enough security measures put into place to prevent criminal activity and provide overall safety for the individuals who intend to visit.
While every negligent security claim is different, a few core legal principles apply.
Liability for a Chicago Business or Property Owner
In Chicago, a negligent business owner can be held liable if they fail to prevent foreseeable criminal acts on their premises. But what are foreseeable criminal acts?
Property owners in Chicago have a duty to understand their specific location and what security measures are needed to ensure that customers or visitors are safe while on the premises.
For example, if a business is located on a street that has a history of criminal activity, the owner can reasonably assume that one of their visitors may become a victim of a criminal act. Now, if the business or property owner does nothing to increase protection against this known threat, they may be held liable under Illinois law.
If a victim’s injuries are related to assault, murder, rape, battery, robbery, or any other form of criminal violence, then our Chicago negligent security lawyers will work to uncover previous criminal acts at or surrounding the premises to prove that the owner had constructive knowledge. When determining whether or not a property owner or business can be held liable, we’ll look into prior complaints, police reports, accident reports, and any other form of notifications for criminal activity that we can find.
Examples of Negligent Security
Reasons a business owner or property owner could be held liable include:
- Improperly secured entrances or exits
- Failure to run background checks on renters, employees, or maintenance crews entering the premises
- Missing or broken locks
- Failure to update locks or change codes
- Insufficient lighting
- Failure to remove intoxicated or violent guests
- No security cameras or detectors installs
- Failure to monitor existing security cameras
- Inadequate security for crowd-control measures
- Faulty alarm systems or no alarm systems in place
- No security guards or improperly trained guards
- Failure to comply with legal industry standards
Where Do Most Injuries Due to Negligent Security Occur in Chicago?
A few examples of the types of businesses or premises that could be subject to inadequate security include but aren’t limited to:
- Malls, retail stores, and shopping centers
- Apartment buildings, condo units, and destination resorts
- Gas stations
- Parking lots and parking garages
- Municipal or amusement parks
- Wildlife parks, amusement parks, hiking trails
- Schools, colleges, dorms, and daycare centers
- Theaters and concert halls
- Sports arenas
- Public swimming pools
- Office buildings
- Train stations, bus stations, and airports
- Bars and restaurants
- Banks and ATM kiosks
- Churches or other religious centers
Sadly, in Chicago, injuries caused by criminal activity can occur almost anywhere. If you were the victim of a crime while visiting someone else’s property, call one of the Chicago negligent security attorneys at Curcio Law Offices. All information discussed is protected in our attorney-client relationship, and this free initial consultation could help you understand what you’re legally entitled to. An experienced Chicago lawyer could help recover lost wages, medical expenses, and other damages resulting from someone else’s negligent security.
Common Locations Where Negligent Security Occurs
In the Chicago area, many locations can become dangerous and unsuitable for guests when the owner fails to provide adequate security measures. Under Illinois premises liability laws, when a property owner owes you a duty of care and breaches the duty, and you sustain injuries as a direct result of the property owner’s negligent security, you can and should be compensated.
It’s very common for the following locations to have negligent security claims.
Inadequate Security at Hotels or Apartments
For instance, say a downtown apartment manager or owner is looking to welcome the newest residents, and fails to:
- Change the locks from the previous tenant,
- Run background checks to ensure no history of criminal violence for the residents, employees, or outside maintenance parties entering the properties,
- Install security cameras, surveillance cameras, or any recording footage as extra security measures, or
- Ensure that lighting is present in dark areas like staircases, parking lots, or dumpsters.
Then, the resident could find themselves in a dangerous situation.
For starters, apartment managers or owners should always conduct a background check for the safety of all residents. If an apartment complex or rental property lacks security cameras or doesn’t change locks or codes, regardless of the amount of crime in the area, this is bad business and typically enough blatant negligence to warrant a claim.
Furthermore, renters should always be able to see around the premises at night. If they aren’t able to visibly see a potential threat, then how can they possibly protect themselves against it? Without sufficient lighting, a location with a history of criminal violence is likely to have violence in the future as well.
Negligent Security Claim for Workplaces
Say a local club or bar needs a bouncer to help with unruly guests. The nightclub owner hires his or her inexperienced friend to fill this position. When a criminal attack occurs on one of the premises, the untrained bouncer doesn’t know how to provide security or how to prevent this criminal act. In this scenario, a property owner fails to protect visitors and provide adequate security, especially if the owner is aware of previous criminal attacks.
For a premises liability accident, the potential harm is not just limited to keeping the grounds free of wet or dry surfaces that could cause potential damage. What this means is that property owners have an obligation or duty to ensure the premises, including the land on which it thrives, are safe from criminal activity. It’s also their duty to ensure that they’ve included all of the proper security measures necessary to promote a safe working environment for all who enter. While property owners are not held liable for every criminal act on the property, they are responsible to renters, clients, and guests for foreseeable crimes.
Security Claims on Campus
Colleges and campuses generally have an unusually high number of accidents that occur on the property. These Chicago campus crimes often range in severity from unfortunate pranks gone wrong to criminal violence.
College parties can lead to intoxicated guests becoming violent, especially with inadequate crowd control measures. Regardless of the criminal acts, the premises liability cases for colleges and campuses beg for increased campus security and/or proper security.
Negligent campuses in Chicago — especially those that are aware of criminal activity and are negligent in providing adequate security — should be held responsible for injuries caused by negligence.
For example, if the campus has a parking garage known for its inadequate security, to prevent further criminal acts from occurring, a campus could:
- Hire security guards.
- Install security cameras.
- Ensure enough security officers are scheduled for each event.
- Protect visitors by any means necessary.
How to Prove Negligence
At Curcio Law Offices, our attorneys have extensive experience litigating various types of personal injury cases in Chicago. We provide a free consultation for those who are injured because an owner failed to provide a safe space.
In Chicago, our legal system heavily relies on two principles when determining negligence:
Duty of Care
In a negligence claim, the 4 D’s of negligence must be present:
- Duty of Care – The property owners owe you adequate security.
- Duty Dereliction – The property owners breached this duty by failing to provide adequate security. If a reasonable person could see a potential issue and would make adjustments, then by law, if an owner fails to make adjustments, he or she is acting negligently.
- Direct Cause – Your injuries were a direct result of the property owner’s negligence.
- Damages – The injuries sustained resulted in damages.
Similar to a duty of care, foreseeable danger relies on the reasonable person theory. If threats are reasonably foreseeable, then a reasonable person would have seen the potential for danger. Thus, preventing the danger.
For example, a hospital may install security cameras in the parking garage to avoid foreseeable criminal assaults. In the same way, a shopping center might add additional lighting for stairwells to prevent potential burglaries. Both of these situations involve a business owner anticipating a crime and taking adequate security measures to provide security and protect visitors.
Your reasoning for being at the location at the time of injury will also play a significant role in determining liability in a negligence claim.