Business owners are obligated under Missouri state law to take reasonable precautions to protect customers from suffering foreseeable and avoidable harm while on their land—as does anyone who opens their private property to public visitors. This “duty of care” applies to fixing and warning visitors about hazardous conditions, as well as taking steps to minimize the risk of a visitor being harmed by someone else’s criminal activity while on the property.
However, the nature of this “duty” can vary from person to person. Likewise, navigating state law to effectively demand compensation after being hurt in this way can be challenging without help from an experienced premises liability attorney. Therefore, when you are injured by a criminal act on someone else’s property, discussing your legal options with a Columbia negligent security lawyer should be one of your top priorities.
According to Missouri Revised Statutes §537.787, businesses and business owners have no particular “duty” to prevent criminal activity on their property. Likewise, these people are not automatically liable for injuries a property visitor suffers through illegal activity. That said, business owners must take corrective action if they are aware or should be aware that a particular type of crime is occurring or is likely to occur on their property; however, they must be given a reasonable amount of time to take that action.
In other words, landowners in Columbia must take reasonable steps to prevent “foreseeable” criminal acts on their property based on factors like a history of similar crimes on or around the property in question. Depending on the situation, fulfilling this duty could mean posting warnings about recent crimes for visitors, installing fences, setting up security cameras, and even hiring private security personnel.
Notably, landowners do not owe this specific duty of care to visitors who were trespassing, attempting to commit a felony, or actively committing a felony while on their land, nor are they liable for injuries that occurred through criminal activity while their business was closed. A knowledgeable attorney in Columbia can explain how liability works in negligent security cases during a private consultation.
The same damages that could be compensable in a standard premises liability claim could also be recovered in a negligent security claim, such as:
According to MO Rev. Stat. §516.120, most people hurt by someone else’s negligence have to file suit five years after sustaining their injury. Therefore, it is vital to the success of a claim to contact a hardworking lawyer in Columbia immediately after an inadequate security incident.
Filing suit over a landowner’s allegedly negligent security practices can be complex, even by the usual standards of premises liability litigation. Fortunately, you have help available to you from seasoned legal professionals who know, through years of successful case results, how to fight effectively on behalf of people in situations like yours.
A conversation with a Columbia negligent security lawyer could provide much-needed clarity and confidence about what steps you should take to protect your legal rights. Call our team at the Law Offices of Chris Miller today to set up a meeting.