Hayes, Williams, Turner & Daughtry, P.A.

Negligent security and premises liability laws

If you're robbed and beaten in your hotel room, can the hotel be held responsible? Can you hold your university accountable if you're assaulted in your own dorm? If you're attacked while accessing your storage unit on a secured lot, can you place blame at the feet of the storage company for not taking better measures to protect people?


Being attacked and injured on someone else's property doesn't necessarily mean that the property owner is responsible for your losses. A property owner's liability for the criminal acts of other people is often directly related to whether the incident that led to the injuries was foreseeable.

What makes a violent, criminal act predictable? Some of the things that have to be considered include:

  • Had other similar crimes happened in the area before?
  • How recent were those other criminal incidents?
  • How often had prior crimes happened?
  • How well-known was the danger?

Essentially, the easier it should have been for the business or property owner to know that people were in danger, the greater the responsibility of that business or property owner to make sure that there was adequate security. When they fail to act appropriately in response to a threat, that may be negligence.

For example, if the hotel owner knew that other guests had been robbed before you, it's reasonable to question why the owner didn't have a security guard on the grounds? Why were the lights in the parking lot allowed to burn out? Why weren't guests warned not to open doors unless they double-checked who was standing outside?

Premises liability claims involving negligent security can be complicated, but it's important to find out what you can do to assert your rights.

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