Negligent Security Attorneys in Richmond & Tappahannock, Virginia

Negligent Security

In Virginia, property owners can be held legally responsible if someone is injured on their premises due to a known safety hazard, such as a puddle of water in a store aisle or a broken stair. But what if the hazard is criminal activity? In other words, can you sue a property owner if you are the victim of a crime on their premises?

The answer to this question is complicated. It depends on a number of factors. But in some cases, yes, an owner can be held liable for failing to provide adequate safety measures for invited guests and others lawfully entitled to be on the property. A qualified Richmond negligent security lawyer can advise and represent you in such matters. Attorney Ryan Wind is a Virginia personal injury litigator with over a decade of experience. His team at Wind Law, LLC, can investigate the circumstances surrounding your crime and help determine what role, if any, negligent security played in your losses.

Property Owners Have a Duty to Protect Against Foreseeable Criminal Activity

When a property owner invites members of the public onto its premises, it has a duty to ensure the property is reasonably safe. This can include taking steps to prevent foreseeable criminal behavior on the premises. To be clear, a property owner is not automatically responsible for all crimes that may occur on the property. But a specific crime may be foreseeable based on a number of factors.

Negligent Security

For example, if there is a history of violent criminal activity on or near the property, that can put the owner “on notice” that there is a foreseeable risk of future crimes. Consider a bar or nightclub that operates in a known high-crime area or where there is a recent history of fights breaking out on the property itself. Under these circumstances, a reasonable owner would hire qualified security to protect the property. If they fail to do so, then someone injured in a subsequent crime on the property would have a viable claim for negligent security.

Again, it must be emphasized that negligent security cases can get quite complicated. This is due in part to Virginia’s “contributory negligence” rule. In any personal case, a negligent defendant can escape responsibility by showing the victim somehow contributed to their own injuries. This creates a substantial incentive for business owners and insurance companies to try and shift blame to the victim, even when they were injured by a foreseeable criminal act.

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A violent crime can leave a victim facing thousands of dollars in medical bills and lost wages, to say nothing of their ongoing physical pain and emotional trauma. When a property owner’s failure to provide reasonable security plays a role in such injuries, the victim has the right to demand compensation under the law. Our experienced Richmond negligent security attorneys can help. So if you need to speak with someone about your case as soon as possible, contact Wind Law, LLC, today to schedule an initial consultation.