Generally, property owners and business owners are not responsible for protecting their visitors or customers from the criminal acts of third parties. However, there are certain situations in which a property owner or business owner can be held liable for failing to protect visitors to their premises.
At Drake & Collopy, P.C., our team of negligent security lawyers in Chicago will conduct a thorough investigation of the facts and evidence in your case to determine whether it is one where a legal claim can be made. Our ultimate goal is to build a strong case from day one in order to secure the maximum amount of compensation available for your injuries and losses. The first step is to get in touch with us for a free consultation to discuss your situation.
Proving Liability in a Negligent Security Claim
As mentioned above, it is well-settled in Illinois that there is generally no duty to protect others from the
criminal acts of third parties. However, there are several exceptions to the general rule where a property owner or business owner can be held liable for criminal attacks on their premises. These exceptions include:
- The Special Relationship Exception: Four special relationships are recognized under the law and may create a duty on the part of the property owner or business owner:
- Business inviter-invitee
- Voluntary custodian-protectee
However, a special relationship alone does not establish a duty to protect against the criminal acts of third parties. Rather, a claimant must also establish that the criminal activity was reasonably foreseeable. A criminal attack is considered reasonably foreseeable if the circumstances would put a reasonably prudent person on notice of the probability of such an attack.
- The Voluntary Undertaking Exception: A property owner or business owner who has taken actions that signal a voluntarily undertaking of the duty to protect others from the criminal acts of third parties may also be held liable. A voluntary undertaking is not a guarantee of safety, but it requires that the business act reasonably. It also requires that the victim suffered harm because of his reliance on the undertaking of the owner. Some of the factors that may reflect whether an owner has voluntarily undertaken to protect visitors from criminal acts include:
- Whether security officers monitored the premises and enforced security procedures
- Whether the owner had mandated certain security procedures
- Whether the owner had published safety and security procedures
- Landlord’s Failure to Maintain Common Areas Exception: A landlord may be held liable for the criminal acts of third parties if they fail to maintain common areas of the property and keep them safe. As with the special relationship exception, a victim must establish that the criminal act was
reasonably foreseeable at the time it occurred.
Common Locations in Chicago for Negligent Security Issues to Arise
Some of the most common types of premises involved in negligent security claims include:
- Apartment buildings
- Schools with dorms
- Hotels and motels
- Amusement parks
- Retail stores
Types of Compensation You May Be Entitled To in a Negligent Security Claim
The specific amount you can recover from your Illinois negligent security claim depends on the facts of your case, the legal issues, and the amount of damages you sustained. Some of the types of damages we can help you recover include:
Compensation for Medical Bills
All related past and future medical costs that you incur due to treatment required for your injury, including emergency care, hospitalization, surgery, assistive devices, rehabilitation, and medication, are included.
Compensation for Pain and Suffering
Compensation for all mental and physical suffering you experience because of your accident can be recovered.
Compensation for Lost Income
All the past and future wages that you lose due to your injuries will keep you from being able to work and earn money to pay your expenses, and care for your family can be recovered. The compensation can include income, benefits, commissions, and bonuses.
Damages for Wrongful Death
If you have a family member who passes away because of a premises liability accident, it may be possible to recover for all related medical costs, pain and suffering by the decedent, as well as:
- Loss of financial support
- Loss of companionship or consortium
- Funeral and burial costs
Contact Our Legal Team for Help with Your Negligent Security Claim
In Illinois negligent security claims, it can be very challenging proving that the property owner is responsible for injuries caused by a criminal attack. If you have been injured as a result of a criminal attack on someone else’s property, we recommend that you contact us right away. Our team will review and investigate the facts of your case and, if we determine you have a viable case, get to work right away to build a strong case. At Drake & Collopy, P.C., you can be sure that we will fight aggressively on your behalf to help you recover the maximum amount of compensation.