As you may know, property owners in Alabama have a legal obligation to maintain a reasonably safe environment for their visitors. This means that they must adhere to applicable safety regulations and building codes, conduct routine maintenance and take measures to remedy any hazardous conditions that arise. What you may now know, however, is that they are also responsible for protecting their customers from crime. While no one can predict when and where a crime will occur, it is a property owner's duty to implement reasonable and ordinary safety measures. If they fail to do so, they could be held accountable for any injuries that are suffered during the commission of a crime.
Again, it should be noted that this obligation is not all-encompassing. Property owners would only be liable for a customer's harm if they had acted negligently (i.e. failing to provide adequate security). So how would you prove that a property owner's negligence contributed to your injuries? First, you may be required to show that a pattern of crime had existed—as this should prompt a property owner to bolster their security. If you were assaulted at a gas station, for example, you could make a case for inadequate security by proving that 1) a similar crime had previously taken place on the premises and 2) the property owner had failed to implement safety measures that would deter further crime.
Such measures may include any of the following:
- Improving their outdoor lighting
- Hiring additional security guards
- Replacing / improving their locks
- Installing outdoor security cameras
- Building a fence around the perimeter
- Controlling access to the building
- Creating new security protocols
Since the duties of a property owner generally fall into three categories (administrative, interior security and external security), your best chance at building an effective case would be to prove that they had ignored certain crime risks and subsequently failed to integrate a security practice into the management of their facility—be it a hotel, apartment complex, restaurant or retail store. If you are unsure of whether or not you have enough evidence to support your claim, it is highly recommended that you entrust your case to a Montgomery personal injury attorney at Morris, Cary, Andrews, Talmadge & Driggers, LLC. Our firm is experienced in collecting evidence and building effective legal strategies.
In fact, we are known for securing significant verdicts and settlements—including one of the largest jury verdicts in the history of the state. For this reason, you can rest assured that your case is in good hands when you turn to our Montgomery premises liability lawyers for guidance. To get started, call our office at (888) 694-0174 for a free consultation or submit a free case evaluation form online.