If you visit any private property in the state, you have the right to expect the owner has taken appropriate care of the premises and addressed any foreseeable safety hazards that may cause injuries. Every property owner has a duty of care to protect their lawful guests, visitors, and customers, and part of this is ensuring proper security. A Colorado security lawyer can help you pursue compensation for damages if you have been injured by negligence or inadequate security.
Understanding Premises Liability Law
Premises liability law pertains to the responsibilities of private property owners. When you visit any residential or commercial property, you have the right to expect the property to be free of foreseeable safety issues. This includes gaps in security. Hotels, apartment buildings, retail stores, and other properties must have appropriate security in place to prevent harm to their lawful visitors, guests, and customers.
It is important to remember the distinction between lawful and unlawful visitors to a property. A property owner only owes a duty of care to those who have express or implied permission to enter the property. They do not owe a duty of care to intruders or trespassers. If an individual illegally enters a property and suffers an injury, they have no grounds for legal recourse against the property owner.
Some common examples of negligent security that could lead to a premises liability claim include:
- Failure to install or maintain security cameras. Property owners must ensure cameras are properly monitored and address any malfunctions as soon as they become aware of them.
- Failure to ensure proper security staff. If a property requires security guards, the property owner must vet and train security staff to ensure they can handle their duties effectively and consistently.
- Faulty door locking mechanisms. This is especially crucial for apartment buildings and hotels so intruders cannot gain access to tenants’ or guests’ individual rooms.
- Failure to maintain a secure entry policy in residential buildings. In residential buildings, property owners should ensure that only tenants or guests can enter the floors of the building beyond the front entrance.
- Broken light fixtures that create safety hazards in entryways and parking lots.
These are only a few possible examples of negligent security that can potentially lead to serious personal injuries. When a property owner creates conditions or allows conditions to persist that make it easier for criminals to harm lawful visitors to their property, they face liability for any resulting damages.
If you intend to file a premises liability claim for negligent security, you can seek compensation for any economic damages you suffered from the incident. These may include your medical expenses, future medical treatment costs, lost wages, lost earning power, property losses, and your pain and suffering. Colorado law limits pain and suffering in most personal injury cases.
It is also possible to have grounds for a separate legal action against the specific party who harmed you. For example, if negligent security enabled an armed robbery or sexual assault, you could file a premises liability suit against the property owner and have grounds for a separate civil suit against the individual who committed the crime. An experienced Colorado security lawyer is the ideal resource to consult to determine the full scope of your legal options.
Q: What Is the Negligent Security Law?
A: The law for negligent security falls within the purview of premises liability law. A property owner has a duty of care to take reasonable steps to ensure the safety of any lawful visitors to their property and to prevent dangers they know about or should know about. For example, an apartment complex owner should have adequate surveillance and door-locking systems to ensure that only tenants and lawful guests can enter the building.
Q: What Negligence Law Applies?
A: Colorado upholds a modified comparative negligence law. This means that if multiple parties share fault for damages in a civil suit, each liable party will have a fault percentage assigned to show how much of the damages they are responsible for repaying. If a plaintiff is found less than 50% at fault, they can still claim compensation minus their fault percentage, so 10% fault would mean losing 10% of the case award. If they are 50% or more at fault, they cannot claim damages.
Q: What Are Commonly Cited Damages in Negligent Security Claims?
A: Most negligent security claims filed pertain to injuries and economic losses a plaintiff suffered from an illegal act that proper security could have prevented. For example, lax security or a lack of safety measures could enable an armed robbery on the premises. While the assailant has engaged in a criminal act, the property owner could be liable for negligent security because their failure allowed the act to occur.
Q: How Much Compensation Can a Victim Claim for Negligent Security?
A: A negligent security claim is a form of premises liability claim, and a premises liability claim falls within the extent of personal injury law. The plaintiff in a personal injury case has the right to seek compensation for all their economic damages, such as medical expenses, lost income, and property losses. They may also claim projected future damages like lost earning capacity. State law limits pain and suffering compensation in personal injury suits.
Q: Why Do I Need an Attorney for a Negligent Security Claim?
A: While it is technically possible to file a premises liability claim or any other type of personal injury claim without hiring legal counsel, it is risky and unlikely to yield the result you hope to see. When you have experienced legal counsel on your side, you can meet the procedural requirements of your case more easily, and you will be more likely to maximize your final case award.
The team at the Law Firm of Jeremy Rosenthal has years of experience helping clients throughout the state with all types of premises liability claims, including negligent security cases. If you believe that a local property owner is responsible for the harm you recently suffered, we can assist you in holding them accountable. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with a Colorado security lawyer you can trust with your case.