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Can I recover compensation based on a lack of security?

When you set foot onto someone else's property, it is reasonable to expect you will not be injured. This legal theory falls under the legal term "premises liability." It means property owners are responsible for maintaining a safe environment for guests.

Premises liability applies to a wide range of property types and accidents. A classic example is the postal carrier slipping on a homeowner's slippery driveway. Other examples are:

  • A tourist falling off the deck of a poorly maintained cruise ship
  • Guests injured in a fire at an overcrowded nightclub
  • Tenants in an apartment building hurt when a ceiling collapses

In recent years, more cases involving the theory of premises liability have involved a claim that the property lacked security.

The most recent example in the courts comes from a mother who filed suit after the death of her son, who had been attacked outside a bar.

According to a news article, the complaint stated that the bar is commonly known as a place where students go to drink alcohol. The complaint alleged that the bar owners should have known that adequate security measures were necessary to prevent these types of tragedies. Simply put; the bar owner had a duty to provide security, in order to prevent harm to its patrons.

The issue of premises security carries implications for public facilities in the Pittsburgh area and nationwide. A few obvious examples are:

  • Arenas
  • College campuses
  • Convention centers
  • Hotels and motels
  • Malls
  • Parking garages

The list could go on and on.

In general, victims and their families should be able to recover damages from property owners who fail to provide adequate security. However, there is more to getting compensation than filing a claim or a lawsuit. Those injured on another's property will want to consult with an attorney, in order to have the best possible case built in their favor.

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