Boston Negligent Security Attorney | Call Our Experienced Injury Lawyers
Despite the fact that violent crime rates have fallen somewhat in recent years, both in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and throughout the United States, it is still a serious and ongoing problem.
According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, 1.2 million violent crimes were reported nationwide in 2013. In the city of Boston, in that same year, more than 5,000 violent crimes took place, the three most common being robbery, rape, and aggravated assault.
The Boston negligent security attorneys at Rubenstein Law understand that even when victims of violent crimes survive their ordeal, their lives are changed forever. In addition to enduring extensive physical injuries, most victims also bear emotional wounds that never fully heal.
It is absolutely true, of course, that the blame for all violent crimes rests with the assailants. It is equally true that many of these attacks would not have occurred had it not been for the negligent security provided by property managers and property owners.
If you were the victim of a violent attack that took place due to a lack of proper security, the Boston negligent security lawyers from Rubenstein Law are here to help. Call our Boston-area offices today to schedule your free initial consultation.
Understanding Massachusetts Negligent Security Laws
A subcategory of premises liability law, negligent security laws arise from situations during which one person is injured by another person and aims to hold the possessor or owner of the property on which the injury occurred liable.
Under normal circumstances, no one can be held accountable for the actions of a third party. There are however, in certain areas of law, a few exceptions. The injured party is entitled to pursue litigation against a property possessor or owner because they are required by law to supply appropriate security measures designed to protect certain parties from foreseeable acts of harm by a third party.
Basically, had the property owner or possessor taken reasonable precautions to protect legal visitors against foreseeable dangers, the attack, and subsequent injuries, would never have happened.
In cases involving negligent security, claims for damages might include compensation for:
- Medical bills
- Mental health care
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Decreased quality of life
- Loss of fellowship
A negligent security case can be rooted in any form of negligence from inadequately trained security guards to insufficient lighting and broken locks or malfunctioning security systems.
Some examples of locations in which violent crimes commonly occur and negligent security issues arise include:
- Restaurants and bars
- Parking garages and parking lots
- Dorm rooms and college campuses
- Assisted living residences and nursing homes
- Shopping centers and malls
- Arenas and stadiums
- Government buildings
- Apartment complexes
- Gated communities
There is no comprehensive list of all practical security measures that each kind of location is required to take in order to keep its visitors safe. This means that liability ultimately hinges on several factors that have to be considered by the court. That is one of the reasons why victims of violent crimes should take advantage of the free consultation offered by our experienced legal team before deciding what to do next.
In criminal courts, perpetrators are sometimes made to pay restitution to their victims. Unfortunately, that does not always happen. It is not uncommon for a defendant to be insolvent and unable to afford a defense attorney, let alone pay restitution of any significant amount. Even when a violent offender is financially capable, the objective of a criminal court is justice, not compensatory payments to the victim. And while certainly a worthy initiative, and one that is often essential for victims seeking some form of closure, it will not help them much with their medical bills or other associated expenses.
Additionally, by confronting the negligence of property owners who fail to provide suitable protection for their lawful visitors, we help to ensure that the same types of oversights do not happen again.
Proving Negligent Security in a Boston Personal Injury Case
It is worth mentioning that property owners are in no way obligated to guarantee that every person who enters their premises will be safe or free from injury. What they are obligated to do is act responsibly when a foreseeable danger is evident.
In determining whether or not a danger was foreseeable, the court will examine the location of the property, what allure it might hold for the criminal element, and if the area has a documented history of criminal activity taking place. For instance, the owner of a club where two shootings have occurred in the last three months will be held to a higher standard with regard to security than a similar club in an area with a low crime rate and no previous history of violent crimes.
Likewise, a bar that serves its patrons alcohol well into the wee hours of the morning is going to be held to more rigorous security criteria than a family restaurant that is closed by 10 p.m.
In order for a Boston negligent security claim to be successful, the plaintiff will have to prove that the property owner was aware or reasonably should have been aware that someone could be criminally victimized on their premises, either due to the nature of their establishment and/or the area’s high crime rate. You will also need to prove that in spite of this knowledge, the property owner failed to take appropriate action to reduce the risk.
In most cases, the attorney for the plaintiff will need to work with a security expert who is able to examine the evidence and testify as to whether or not the property owner failed to satisfy security requirements. The expert witness will also have to review the nature and frequency of any crimes reported in the general area, what, if any, security initiatives were in place, and whether or not additional measures were reasonably required.
The plaintiff will also need to demonstrate that their presence on the property was lawful. That is to say, they were an invitee, licensee, or tenant, rather than a trespasser.
Those who have been injured in a violent crime in Boston, caused at least partially by negligent security measures, are entitled to seek compensation. Reach out to a Boston negligent security attorney today.
Common Boston Negligent Security Claims
Negligent security claims generally cover assaults, injuries, sexual assaults, murders, or robberies that occurred due to inadequate lighting, forced entry, unsafe stairwells or elevators. These types of cases can also be brought because of insufficient security or surveillance in parking garages, parking lots, banks, hotels, ATM kiosks, college campuses, dorm rooms, amusement parks, shopping malls, stadiums, assisted living residences, nursing homes, or hospitals. A landlord might also be held liable in a negligent security case.
Numerous other types of negligent security cases have been tried in more recent years, including injuries and deaths that have taken place due to terrorist attacks, workplace violence, online activities, identity theft, and failures of Megan's Law.
Some of the most common Boston negligent security claims include:
Dorm Rooms and University Campuses
Attending university is one of the most exciting and important times in a person’s life. Sadly, universities are also hunting grounds for predatory criminals, and, as a result, hundreds of college students become victims of violence every day in the United States. If you or a family member were attacked or otherwise injured by another person on a university campus, and you feel that better security on the premises could have prevented the attack, a Boston negligent security attorney from Rubenstein Law may be able to help you get the recovery you deserve.
Criminal attacks on university campuses are a much more prominent issue than most people realize. 38,100 crimes were reported on university campuses across the United States in 2017. Sex crimes are a particularly severe problem. A report published by the Department of Justice shows that 25% of all women will endure some type of sexual assault during their late teens, and the American Civil Liberties Union reported that as many as 95% of all sexual assaults go unreported.
The high percentage of dorm room and campus attacks is commonly attributed to a mixture of disproportionate alcohol and drug consumption and a problem among younger people surrounding what constitutes sexual consent. An overwhelming majority of sexual attacks on campus do involve alcohol. Schools need to take appropriate actions to make sure that their students are safe, and if they are negligent in providing sufficient security measures, they should be held liable.
Negligent Hospital Security
It is crucial to public safety that managers and owners of a property have proper security in place and have taken reasonable efforts to ensure that any legal visitors are safe from foreseeable danger. This is especially true when the property in question is a hospital. Hospitals are full of patients who are already injured, sick, or in need of treatment.
When hospital patients or visitors are attacked by someone who clearly should have been denied access to the grounds or detained by security, they are utterly defenseless. The injuries caused by hospital attacks are often quite severe. When a hospital manager or owner fails to provide adequate security and somebody is attacked and injured on the premises, they could be held legally responsible and be made to pay compensation. Hospital security could be deemed inadequate if:
- Elevators, stairwells, hallways, exits, or entrances are dimly-lit or not lit at all
- The hospital failed to implement or observe a security policy
- The hospital neglected to furnish security cameras or other surveillance equipment
- A dangerous person was able to bypass security
- Hiring and training benchmarks for hospital security are insufficient
- Previous violent attacks have occurred or the owner or manager could reasonably have anticipated that an attack would occur and did nothing to deter it
Call the Boston area offices of Rubenstein Law today for a free consultation regarding your potential negligent security claim.
Negligent Mall and Shopping Center Security
Shopping malls attract crowds, and crowds attract opportunistic criminals, assaults, robberies, and injuries. Whether you were injured due to a store’s negligence, or you were assaulted by a violent criminal who managed to use the lack of mall security to their benefit, contact the negligent security lawyers at Rubenstein Law today to get started on a negligent security claim for financial compensation for your damages.
Malls are usually packed with people who are there to spend money, particularly around the holidays. This is just one of the characteristics that make shopping centers and malls inviting to criminals. Malls also tend to have crowded parking structures, which criminals are often attracted to, as well as multiple entrances and exits offering a quick and easy getaway.
Inadequate Security or Surveillance In Parking Lots and Garages
Expanding on our previous example, parking structures can be extremely dangerous places, especially since they frequently have poor or no lighting, insufficient surveillance, or inadequate security. Injuries that most often take place in parking structures are usually the result of carjackings, robberies, rapes, and assaults. The injuries caused by these events are both physically and emotionally traumatizing. They can even be fatal since weapons are often involved. If you were attacked and injured in a parking lot or other parking structure in Boston and feel that negligent security or surveillance played a role in your injury, or if a loved one died in these types of circumstances, it is in your best interest to speak with an experienced Boston personal injury lawyer from Rubenstein Law as soon as possible.
Since parking structures and similar areas are places where criminals are known to be, it is foreseeable that violent crimes like those noted above will take place. Parking areas are usually wide, open spaces with little to no fencing, making them easily accessible to absolutely anyone. Enclosed parking areas are usually comprised of numerous levels, all of which include stairwells, elevators, ramps, hidden enclosures, dark corners, and large concrete posts, making it difficult for property owners to be fully aware of who might be around them.
However, in spite of these obstacles, operators and owners of garages and lots still have a responsibility to try to prevent injury to lawful visitors on their premises. Surveillance is exceptionally important if these parking areas have previously been the site of criminal activities or if they are situated in an area known for its high crime rate. If you were injured in a parking structure, you might have a valid negligent security claim and be eligible to collect financial compensation.
If you or a member of your family were injured as a result of inadequate security or poor surveillance, we can help. The qualified lawyers at Rubenstein Law are adept at handling negligent security claims. Our attorneys have more than thirty years of experience with these kinds of cases and have delivered significant recoveries for hundreds of clients over the years.
DayCare Center Negligence
Injuries are the leading cause of unexpected deaths among children. So much so, that if you totaled up all the childhood fatalities from the next nine causes combined, injuries would still be the number one cause. There are many ways in which children can be injured, but falls from a height are the most common cause of severe injuries and fatalities. In daycare centers, falls are the leading source of hospitalizations in those between newborns and five years old. Falls have caused more serious injuries than poisonings, lacerations, and burn injuries combined.
Normally, minor injuries, like bumps, scrapes, and bruises, are a normal and even important part of growing up. Unfortunately, more severe injuries can and do happen. Most daycare center accidents are just that, accidents. However, there are also some that take place due to lack of proper security measures. In that case, you should speak to an attorney to find out your options for pursuing a claim.
Pursuing Compensation Through Negligent Security Claims
A negligent security claim is a form of premises liability claim in which someone who was injured during the commission of a violent crime seeks to hold the property owner accountable for failing to provide adequate security. The amount of financial compensation available in a negligent security claim will vary based on the nature and degree of the injuries that are sustained. The damages incurred are often quite high.
Some forms of financial compensation that could be available in a negligent security claim are:
- Medical expenses
- Counseling for mental distress
- Lost wages
- Lost or diminished future earnings
- Reduced quality of life
- Lifelong impairment
- Loss of companionship by the spouse of the injured person
A negligent security claim will cover not just the immediate medical expenses, but also any future care, either physical or mental, the injured party may need.
Deadlines for Filing Negligent Security Claims
Massachusetts law gives those injured in a negligent security case three years from the day of the event to file their negligent security claim in court. If your claim has not been filed by the time the deadline expires, your case will be thrown out and you will be barred from collecting any compensation whatsoever. With this in mind, working with our Boston negligent security attorneys as soon as possible after you are injured will protect your right to economic recovery. In some cases, the statute of limitations could be shorter than three years, so it's best to contact legal representation as soon as possible after the incident.
Call Rubenstein Law About Your Right to Compensation
Being injured in a violent crime is physically painful, emotionally stressful and financially overwhelming. You could be physically unable to return to work or require extensive physical therapy before you can even perform your daily self-care routine. At Rubenstein Law, we can ease your anxiety by helping you pursue full and fair compensation for your damages.
Our Boston negligent security lawyers will investigate the events that led up to your injuries and identify all potentially liable parties. By entrusting your personal injury claim to our firm, you may be able to collect financial compensation for the expenses your injuries caused.