Personal Injury Law
When you’re on property that is not your own, you generally have good reason to trust that your security – and overall personal safety – is not being unreasonably compromised. Why is this trust so easily extended under most circumstances? The answer to that question is complicated but it is thanks, in no small part, to the fact that property owners are legally obligated to maintain their land and structures in such a way that hazards and safety risks are significantly mitigated.
This legal obligation means that if the security of land or a structure needs to be managed in a certain way to better ensure the safety of residents/occupiers, visitors, and guests alike, property owners must meet the challenges of that obligation. In many instances – including scenarios involving multi-unit residential buildings and commercial property – honoring that legal duty of care involves installing security cameras, maintaining sufficient locks, installing proper lighting, and may even involve posting security guards.
What Happens When Security Efforts Are Insufficient?
As an experienced premises liability lawyer – including those who practice at Council & Associates, LLC – can confirm, people are too often hurt as a direct result of the failure of a property owner to attend to their legal duty of care concerning the security of their land and/or structure(s).
For example, say that the resident of an apartment building is attacked in a common stairwell located near the entrance of the building. The attacker is unquestionably responsible for causing the victim’s harm and can be held accountable for that responsibility via a personal injury lawsuit. Yet, upon investigation, it is determined that it would have been nearly impossible for the attacker to enter the building had it been outfitted with an industry standard locking system that only admitted residents and their guests via keys, fobs, or unique ID cards.
In the above scenario, the victim of the attack could potentially sue the owner and/or property manager of their residential building in addition to their attacker. Why? An injury victim is not limited to the number of parties they may sue in order to obtain rightful compensation for physical harm. Instead, they may pursue damages in direct proportion to the amount of fault assigned to each party.
Why Percentages of Fault Matter
An individual or a third party – like a property management company – can be held legally and financially liable for their portion of fault in a personal injury case. In determining what percentage of fault multiple parties can be held liable for, lawyers must assess how directly each party’s actions contributed to the ultimate cause(s) of a victim’s injuries.
Consider the scenario above. Say that it is determined that the attacker is 70% liable for the victim’s harm and the property owner is 30% liable. The value of the victim’s losses is $100,000. The victim can pursue $70,000 in damages from the attacker and $30,000 in damages as a result of how fault has been portioned in their negligent security/personal injury case.