Injured Because Of Poor Security May Lead To Big Damage Award
Under North Carolina premises liability law, if you are injured while on another’s property, you may be able to collect damages. Property owners have an obligation to keep their premises safe, and if hazardous conditions exist on the property, owners must warn visitors. A common type of premises liability case emerges when a person is injured by an intentional, violent act of a third party while on another’s premises. Can the innocent victim collect?
Generally, property owners have no obligation to protect people on their property from criminal acts by a third person. Owners of commercial property cannot ensure the safety of every customer entering their premises and have no duty to guard customers from unforeseeable criminal acts.
Foreseeability brings liability
When criminal attacks or other dangers are foreseeable, North Carolina law declares that operators of commercial establishments have a duty to protect customers from these foreseeable criminal acts. Business and property owners are obligated to take reasonable steps to provide security and safety against anticipated acts. The following are examples of reasonable security measures recognized by North Carolina courts:
- Warning signs
- Surveillance cameras
- Proper lighting
- Security officers
- Alarm systems
- Screening of guests
- Fully operational locks and gates
- Dismissing guests who are violent or drunk
- Crowd control measures
The obligation to implement these safety and security steps depends on the unique circumstances of each property. Conducting background checks on employees depends on the unique circumstances of each premises and the history of criminal acts occurring there.
What you may recover
If you were injured by a third party on another’s property, you may be able to collect to damages for medical expenses, emotional distress, lost wages, property damage and loss of earning capacity in certain circumstances. North Carolina is a state that follows the principle of contributory negligence, which means that if you are found to be partially responsible for your injuries, for whatever reason, you cannot receive damages from the defendant.
The legal staff of the Law Offices of Brian deBrun PLLC has been assisting Charlotte residents with all types of personal injury cases, including premises liability. For more information, call our office to schedule a free consultation.