Parking lots and garages can be very dangerous for several reasons. When property owners or managers fail to maintain adequate security on their premises, visitors can fall victim to criminal activity resulting in severe physical and psychological injuries.
If you were injured in a parking lot due to negligent security, you might be entitled to compensation through a premises liability claim. You can learn more about your legal options when you contact the knowledgeable Clayton attorneys of Sumner Law Group, LLC, for your free initial consultation.
Who Is Liable If I Am Injured in a Parking Lot?
Depending on the circumstances, any of the following parties may be jointly or severally liable if you sustain injuries due to inadequate parking lot security:
- The property owner or landlord – Owners and landlords of residential or commercial properties have a legal responsibility to maintain and secure common areas such as parking lots and garages. A property owner or landlord may be liable for negligence if they fail to correct unsafe conditions, provide adequate security and lighting, or warn visitors of potential hazards on the premises.
- A business owner – If a business owner rents a commercial property for their store, restaurant, or other business, they can face liability even though they do not own the premises. For example, a commercial tenant may be at fault for a customer’s parking lot injuries if their lease specifies they are responsible for parking lot security.
- A negligent security guard – If you were injured or assaulted in a parking lot despite an active security presence, the guard responsible for overseeing the area might be liable. Negligent security guards can put visitors or residents at risk if they fail to follow proper security procedures, fail to monitor hazardous parking lots, or get distracted while on the job.
- The security company – If a negligent security guard works for a security firm, the company may be vicariously liable for the security guard’s actions. The company could face additional liability if it knowingly hired an unqualified security guard or failed to provide proper training to its employees.
A seasoned lawyer can help you uncover critical evidence of negligent security and demand fair compensation.
Dangers of Negligent Security in Parking Lots and Garages
When a parking lot or garage lacks sufficient security, it can become a hotbed for criminal activity, making it unsafe for the people who park there. The following dangers, which can result in severe physical and psychological trauma, are common in lots and garages with inadequate security:
- Assault – When parking lots or garages are poorly lit, not monitored by cameras, and unattended by security guards, criminals are free to commit violent assaults that leave visitors seriously injured.
- Sexual assault – In especially tragic cases, vulnerable individuals in unsecured parking lots may suffer sexual assault and rape. These heinous crimes can result in extensive physical injuries and a lifetime of psychological trauma.
- Theft – If vehicles are unmonitored by cameras or security guards, criminals may feel emboldened to commit offenses such as carjacking and petty theft. Parking lot visitors can sustain physical injuries in addition to financial losses if they inadvertently interrupt criminal activity on the way back to their vehicles.
- Robbery – In some areas, criminals may carry firearms or other weapons to threaten or intimidate parking lot visitors into giving up wallets, jewelry, or other valuables. Taking another’s property by force is known as robbery, and it can leave victims with lasting physical and emotional scars.
How Can Property Owners Improve Parking Garage Security?
Parking lots and garages are so common that they’re easy to overlook. But since the unthinkable can happen at any time, property and business owners must prioritize parking lot safety and security by:
- Thoroughly inspecting the property – Owners can often discover everything they need to know by simply inspecting all areas of the lot or garage. That includes potential safety issues from poorly lit walkways, possible hiding places for lurking criminals, and enclosed areas with no video or security surveillance.
- Installing adequate lighting – Consistent, adequate lighting throughout a property increases visibility for visitors and deters criminal activity. Good lighting also has the added benefit of making visitors feel safer.
- Installing security cameras – High-quality surveillance cameras in prominent locations are among the most worthwhile additions to any security system. Strategically placed security cameras discourage criminals, reassure visitors, and record valuable evidence when incidents occur.
- Hiring reliable security staff – Professional, dependable security officers on patrol throughout parking lots and garages can identify potential hazards and create a safer environment for visitors.
- Using signs and traffic markings as needed – Installing signs can notify visitors of potentially dangerous areas or remind drivers to lock their vehicles. Signs can also deter crime by notifying potential criminals that the area is under surveillance.
- Addressing potential hazards promptly – Owners can keep visitors safe by repairing potential hazards promptly and ensuring all areas are adequately maintained, lit, and monitored.
How Long Do I Have to File a Negligent Security Lawsuit in Missouri?
When you suffer injuries due to negligent security in a parking lot or garage, Missouri law gives you five years to file a premises liability lawsuit. This clock starts ticking on your claim on the date you were injured.
If you wait to file a lawsuit until after the five-year deadline has expired, the court will be barred from hearing your case. That would mean you’d effectively lose your right to demand compensation for your losses, no matter how strong your underlying case.
Contact Our Experienced Clayton Negligent Security Lawyers Today
The Clayton negligent security lawyers of Sumner Law Group, LLC, have more than 50 years of combined experience helping injured people seek justice and fair compensation. Contact us to discuss the details of your parking lot injury case during a free initial case review.