Murfreesboro residents regularly visit restaurants, bars, hotels, shopping centers, and other commercial businesses. While they may be careful to avoid common property hazards, such as slipping hazards, they may be unaware of third-party safety hazards.
When properties lack proper security measures, visitors are potentially at risk of harm from criminal activity. If you suffered losses from a third-party while on the premises of another, you should contact a Murfreesboro negligent security lawyer. A well-practiced injury attorney could help you seek justice and compensation for the injuries you suffered.
Definition of Negligent Security in Murfreesboro
Under premises liability law, property owners and landlords have different duties of care to make the properties they control safe for licensees, invitees, and trespassers. Negligent security falls under premises liability law because it is also based on the legal theory that a property owner must keep their property safe, even from third-party wrongdoing.
Tort of Negligence
Under the tort of negligence, a property owner owes a duty to visitors to provide the security a reasonable person would expect. For example, a parking lot in a high crime area of Murfreesboro might have security cameras, security guards, and adequate lighting. If it does not, the owner could be liable to a visitor who is mugged in the parking lot. To prove negligence, a plaintiff must show that the owner breached the duty to provide reasonable security measures, and that breach caused the assault by a third-party on the property.
Most criminals will look for ideal circumstances to commit their crimes. An unlit parking lot, with no guards or security cameras and overgrown bushes to hide behind, is preferable to a well-lit parking lot with guards or cameras. A local attorney could investigate the scene to determine if an owner failed to provide adequate security for visitors.
Tennessee Supreme Court Rulings on Inadequate Security Measures
In the Tennessee case, Cornpropst v. Sloan, the court ruled that business owners do not owe a duty to protect customers from a wrongdoer’s criminal acts unless they knew or should have known the criminal acts would occur. By that standard, store owners would not be motivated to provide security in parking lots.
Eventually, the Tennessee Supreme Court reconsidered the duties a shopping center and anchor store have to licensees and invitees in McClung v. Delta Square LTD. Partnership. The court determined that a business owner owes a duty of reasonable care to all guests and incurs liability for harm that occurs on their property caused by the criminal acts of third parties. A Murfreesboro lawyer could use this new standard to prove a property owner failed to provide enough security.
How to Stay Safe When Visiting a Public Property
It is important for people to practice caution when visiting a poorly secured property. Visitors can prevent harm from a third-party by:
- Being aware of their surroundings
- Carrying a whistle or pepper spray when alone
- Asking for a security guard to walk with them
Learn More from a Murfreesboro Negligent Security Attorney
If a criminal attacked and injured you while you were visiting another person’s property, a Murfreesboro negligent security lawyer could help you. Our team could review your case and investigate the premises to determine if the property owner failed to provide adequate safety measures to prevent third-party wrongdoing. To learn more, schedule a case consultation by calling today. We look forward to hearing from you.