Are security lapses grounds for premises liability?

A Texas business owner might take many steps towards loss prevention in an adjoining parking lot. If someone slips and falls due to a known hazard, a lawsuit or insurance claim would soon follow. So, taking steps to address broken concrete and other perils becomes a top priority for some owners. Proprietors might wish to examine their exposure to liability due to poor security and resulting assaults, as well.

Security and premises liability

The net that premises liability casts could include many omissions on a business owner’s part. The owner might even face a lawsuit for mishaps resulting from a poor hiring decision. Addressing robberies and assaults committed by strangers might not rank high on a proprietor’s loss prevention plans. Such incidents may appear outside the business owner’s control. In reality, the owner could make decisions that increase security but opts not to do so. Such non-action might lead the owner into a negligence suit.

If the business has not been the site of any previous assaults or thefts, then the owner probably would not reasonably suspect a violent crime may take place. The same logic applies when the business isn’t located in a high-crime area. However, when several robberies or assaults occurred in the past, the owner should expect such incidents to happen again.

Taking steps to prevent crimes

Hiring a security guard to keep an eye on the parking lot could result in criminals going elsewhere. The same may happen when would-be assailants notice security cameras.

Adding better lighting, cutting away branches and shrubs that provide cover, implementing a “no loitering” policy, and restricting access to customers and employees may improve safety. The failure to take actions to improve safety might constitute negligence, leading to a lawsuit filed by a victim.