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Negligent Security Information Center

Negligent Security Information Center

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Frequently Asked Questions about Negligent Security

Q: What is negligent security?

A: Negligent security is a type of premises liability claim in which a person injured by a third-party attack while on another person's property seeks recovery for his or her injuries from the property owner. Landlords, business owners, universities and colleges, commercial and residential property owners, and others in possession or ownership of property may be found liable for negligent security.

Q: What kinds of claims are negligent security claims?

A: Historically, negligent security claims were largely brought by people physically attacked while on another person's property, such as tenants of apartment buildings, students assaulted on campus, customers injured while shopping at a mall or workers injured by other co-workers, for example. Now, the theory of negligent security claims may be expanded to include victims of terrorist attacks, identity theft and other cyberspace crimes.

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Your choice of attorney to represent your interests during a negligent security case could mean the difference between successful negotiations or expensive, ongoing litigation. Please contact our firm today to schedule a consultation with a personal injury attorney who can provide a clear explanation of your legal rights and options.

Negligent Security - An Overview

Negligent security lawsuits are asserted by individuals who are attacked or victimized on someone else's property. Premises liability law controls negligent security claims because they arise from the ownership or control of property or "premises." Under premises liability law, a property owner or the party responsible for maintaining the property may be held liable for the injuries of another if the injuries were the result of a dangerous condition on the property. While there are several circumstances that create unsafe conditions, negligent security law traditionally has addressed those unsafe conditions created by third-party attacks. New trends in negligent security law suggest that courts may be willing to extend the theory to injuries arising from terrorist attacks, originating in cyberspace and occurring at the workplace.

If you were injured in an attack or assault by a third party on someone else's land or premises, you should consult an experienced negligent security attorney as soon as possible about your available legal remedies.

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Workplace Violence and Negligent Security Claims

Experts estimate that workplace violence costs American businesses between $36 and $40 billion dollars annually. On average there are 1.7 million violent victimizations committed annually against persons at work or on duty. Most incidents involve simple assaults but 6 percent of all incidents involve serious attacks, rapes, robberies or murders. A significant percentage of victims of serious workplace violence require medical attention and/or hospitalization.

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The New Negligent Security Claims

The doctrine of negligent security allows recovery by injured parties against property owners and property managers for foreseeable criminal attacks by third parties. Under now well-established rules, attacks occurring at places like apartments, hotels and motels, condominiums, bars, college and university dormitories and campuses, shopping centers and malls, private clubs, amusement parks and other public areas or buildings may give rise to a negligent security claim. Recently, courts and legal commentators have indicated that the doctrine may be extended to cover new types of attacks and associated security risks, including terrorist attacks, identity theft and cyberspace attacks and Megan's Law failures.

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Landlord Liability for Criminal Acts and Activities

Landlords in most states now have at least some degree of legal responsibility to protect their tenants from would-be assailants and thieves and from the criminal acts of fellow tenants. These legal duties stem from building codes, ordinances, statutes, and, most frequently, court decisions.

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Safety at School: Negligent Security Claims On-Campus

Each year thousands of students at universities and colleges become crime victims. More and more, college students who are victims of a criminal attack on their college or university grounds seek to hold the institution responsible for not providing adequate security on campus. By filing a negligent security claim, the student may recover damages for his or her injuries.

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Negligent Security Resource Links

Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) Department of Justice
The OVC was established by the 1984 Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) to oversee diverse programs that benefit victims of crime.

The National Center for Victims of Crime
National charitable resource and advocacy organization dedicated to helping crime victims return to normal lives.

National Victims' Constitutional Amendment Project (NVCAP)
NVCAP is an organization supporting the adoption of an amendment to the U.S. Constitution recognizing the fundamental rights of crime victims to be treated with dignity, fairness and respect by the criminal justice system.

Bureau of Justice Statistics
Crime and crime victim statistics compiled by the United States Department of Justice.

Security on Campus, Inc.
A nonprofit organization committed to making American college and university campuses safer.

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