Negligent Security in Parking Lots and Garages
Walking through a parking garage can be unnerving, especially late at night or if you’re alone. Unfortunately, parking garages are a frequent target of criminals, and innocent people can suffer severe injuries if attacked. If the garage does not have adequate security, attacks are more likely.
If you’re attacked in a parking garage in St. Louis, can you hold the owner liable if their negligent security measures made an attack more likely? In some cases, the answer may be “yes.” To find out more about your specific case, contact the experts at Sumner Law Group, LLC, for a free consultation.
What Counts as Inadequate Security in a Parking Garage?
Some of the significant safety concerns parking garage owners should address to maintain safe premises include:
- Lighting – Potential attackers in a parking garage are more likely to strike in dark areas. The garage should be well-lit so patrons can see entrances and exits, as well as anyone who might wish to harm them. Garage owners should also make sure any broken fixtures or burned-out lightbulbs are fixed or replaced.
- Entrances and exits – Parking garages should have gates monitored by security guards to make sure nobody is inside the garage who should not be. Any doors or other entrances to the premises should be adequately secured, ideally with an alarm system.
- Fences – A fence around the garage could help deter potential attackers from entering the facility.
- Cameras – Surveillance cameras can be a powerful deterrent if a criminal sees them and realizes they could be caught if they commit a crime. If an attack occurs, police can use photos or videos of the incident to identify and catch the perpetrator.
- Warning signs – Patrons of a parking garage should be warned of potential dangers they may face so they can take whatever precautions they feel are necessary, such as hiding valuable items from view in their vehicles.
If you are attacked in a parking garage, and the owners did not adequately address these or other concerns, you may have a case for a personal injury lawsuit against the owners.
Negligent Security Lawsuit Factors
To claim any compensation from the owners of a parking garage if you’re attacked on the grounds, you must prove four core elements:
- The parking garage owners owed you a legal duty. That means showing the owners had a responsibility to take reasonable steps to ensure your safety. This requirement should be satisfied as long as you were legally in the garage or on nearby grounds.
- The parking garage owners breached their duty to keep the property safe. That means proving the garage’s owners failed to take the necessary steps that could have prevented you from being injured.
- You were harmed due to negligent security. That means you suffered some sort of physical injury in the attack. In many cases, this is one of the easier elements to prove as long as you have your medical records.
- Adequate security would have prevented the attack. That is often one of the harder elements to prove, as the garage’s owners will likely argue there was no way to prevent the attack or that there was no way to see it coming. An attorney can help you investigate and gather the evidence you’ll need to build a strong case.
Foreseeability of the Crime
One key element of negligent security lawsuits involving parking garages is whether an owner could have anticipated the attack. In areas that may be prone to crime, parking garages should take more care when it comes to security. In areas with little crime, garages may not have to worry as much about security. If the garage could not have reasonably foreseen the attack you sustained, it will be much harder for you to recover compensation.
The Parking Garage’s Responsibility
Ultimately, a parking garage’s security responsibilities come down to mitigating risks as best they can, as there’s no way to fully prevent all crimes from happening. Many parking garage owners don’t take security seriously enough or don’t want to pay to adequately guard their property, so you should talk to a lawyer as soon as possible if you were attacked in a garage.
Contact a Negligent Security Lawyer to Review Your Best Legal Options
Brent A. Sumner is the Managing Partner at Sumner Law Group, LLC. He focuses his practice exclusively on cases that involve serious personal injuries. Over the years, he has successfully represented thousands of individuals and families, recovering millions of dollars in compensation for injured accident victims.