Premises injury cases may include assault, sexual assault, or rape if the crime occurs due to negligent maintenance or unsafe and dangerous conditions upon property owned by someone other than the victim. Property owners and business establishments have a duty to provide a safe environment for individuals on their premises, which includes adequate lighting, well-maintained locks, and security systems.
If you have been the victim of violence while on another person's property, you don’t have to suffer in silence. The perpetrator of the crime is certainly to blame, but the property owner may have failed to ensure your safety and should be held liable as well. Call Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP, at (212) 986-7353 to discuss your case.
Although crime can occur just about anywhere, certain locations attract criminals intent on committing violence or theft against others. Owners of these locations know about the potential for criminal activity, so they are expected to act in a reasonable way to keep their guests, employees, customers, and students safe. These locations include:
- College campuses: In recent years, college campuses have been under increasing scrutiny for violent crimes, especially sexual assaults. The campus’s owners and managers are expected to keep students and staff safe while they are on the property. This includes having sufficient lighting in all areas of the campus (including parking lots and garages), cameras in public locations, and paid security guards to respond to emergencies and watch for suspicious activity.
- Shopping centers: When people gather, it creates a natural environment for thieves and other criminals. The owners of shopping centers and businesses need to ensure their employees and customers remain safe on the premises. Sufficient lighting in parking lots is essential, as are security features like strong locks and windows. Large malls and similar locations should have paid security guards to ensure additional safety.
- Schools: Schools, especially housing young children, should be the best-protected locations. They should include security guards and metal detectors, and require identification of all adults who are on campus or picking up children. In the classroom, teachers should be trained in basic first aid to help injured children and do their best to watch for theft among students.
- Hotels: Hotel guests can become a faceless tide of humanity that flows through the business. This makes for a great environment for criminals to prowl for victims. Hotels need extra security features like proper locks on doors, cameras in public areas, and lobby security when appropriate.
- Hospitals: People are at their most vulnerable in hospitals, which makes them prime targets. Hospitals need to ensure their patients remain safe from outsiders and from potentially dangerous staff members. Hospitals need to thoroughly examine their potential employees before hiring them, and security needs to monitor who enters and exits the hospital and patient rooms.
- Laundromats: Due to their late hours, laundromats can be more attractive for theft, violence, and sexual assault. These facilities must be well-lit and should provide security for employees and customers alike. This includes good visibility throughout the facility to people outside, as well as cameras inside to monitor activity while the business is open.
In addition to filing criminal charges against the perpetrator of the crime, you may be able to file a claim to recover your damages against a negligent property owner. You may also have the ability to file civil charges against the perpetrator.
We have handled many types of premises liability cases. An emerging area of litigation includes claims against hotels, shopping centers, and other businesses, which have a known problem with crime on their premises yet have failed to protect their customers. Many of these cases involve victims who have been severely injured, raped, or even killed as a result of the business failing to protect its customers from known dangers.
If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of a dangerous or hazardous condition, the NY premises liability attorneys at Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP, would like to meet with you. Please call our office at (212) 986-7353 to set up an appointment to discuss your case.