Recovering Damages After An Assault Or Mugging
We expect to feel safe when we enter a shop, a restaurant or our own apartment building and often trust the property owner to ensure that safety. When they fail to do so, guests and tenants can become victims of violent crimes. After an assault or robbery, you may be in pain, having a debilitating injury, and feel scared. While the Seattle Police Department may catch your assailant and bring you some form of justice, you may still be dealing with costly medical expenses and emotional trauma.
There is only so much that the criminal justice system can do to assist victims after a violent crime and it often cannot deal with the initial problem: the lack of proper security measures. However, if a property owner acted negligently in implementing safety protocols and you were a victim of violent crime, you may be eligible for compensation and should contact the Seattle injury attorneys at Pendergast Law by calling 888-539-9211. Our law firm has over four decades of experience advocating on behalf of victims and is available to discuss your case with a free consultation.
What Constitutes Negligent Security?
Proper security measures are often based on the local crime rate and vary from neighborhood to neighborhood. Depending on where the attack occurred in Seattle, the property owner should have implemented the necessary protocols to ensure all guests and visitors remained safe on the premises. When it is clear that there is a known threat in the neighborhood, such as reports of violent crimes and thefts, and the property owner does not implement appropriate protocols, they can be held liable for injuries that their guests sustain through criminal activity.
When property owners cut corners and fail to implement these protocols when there are reports of violent crimes in the neighborhood, tenants, guests and visitors can become victims of:
- Assault and battery
- Sexual assault and rape
These crimes can occur on any property that lacks proper security measures and property owners of both commercial and residential spaces can be held liable for negligent security. Places that can be the site of negligent security and violent crimes include, but are not limited to:
Each neighborhood and property require different security measures to prevent violent crimes, but common forms of negligent security that occur at these properties are:
- Improperly lit stairwells, parking lots and entrances
- A lack of security cameras
- Faulty or broken security cameras
- Unlocked gates, windows or doors
- A lack of proper fencing or gates
- A lack of security guards
- Inexperienced security guards
- Failing to respond to reports of violent crimes
When these measures are not taken in a neighborhood with a high crime rate, residents and visitors can become seriously injured, whether they are in a dark parking lot or their apartment building has a broken lock on the front gate. But these tragic events could have been avoided if property owners had taken threats seriously and implemented the necessary security measures and protocols.
Holding Property Owners Accountable
Filing a claim against a property owner requires you to demonstrate that:
- The property owner was required to provide security measures to protect guests and tenants.
- The property owner had the knowledge that a crime could occur on the property.
- The property owner failed to implement the necessary protocols to prevent such crimes.
- Failing to implement said protocols resulted in injuries and damages.
Generally speaking, property owners are required to protect all guests and tenants on their property, but there are limitations. For example, an individual who was trespassing in an apartment complex or broke into a shop would have a hard time blaming a property owner if they suffered an injury. In contrast, tenants and landlords are bound by legal contracts, which ensures that a landlord will provide a safe condominium or apartment complex.
However, what security measures they provide will ultimately depend on the local crime rates. If it is well known that multiple robberies have been committed in a neighborhood or that other properties have proper security measures, you could demonstrate that the property owner could have foreseen potential crimes and acted to prevent them. Your attorney can utilize local crime reports published through the Seattle Police Department to support this argument.
Lastly, if a property owner failed to implement security measures and a crime occurred, the crime must have led to bodily harm and damages to the victims. Damages can constitute any financial costs you have suffered due to your injuries, such as ER visits, follow-up appointments, lost wages or emotional trauma that requires therapy. You may then attempt to recover these costs through a premises liability claim against the property owner. But to ensure you receive fair representation in your case and have a fighting chance at compensation, you will need a skilled attorney at your side who understands the liability laws that govern Seattle.
Legal Representation For Victims
The trauma of an assault or mugging can be extensive, moving beyond the bodily harm you have experienced. You can suffer from anxiety and depression, feeling unsafe in your home, neighborhood or even going to the ATM. While we cannot go back and prevent this crime from befalling you, the Seattle negligent security attorneys at Pendergast Lawcan advocate for proper compensation after an injury.
We have stood beside multiple clients throughout the Seattle area and successfully negotiate for fair settlements on their behalf. While we have the skill and knowledge to advocate for a sizable settlement, we also have the expertise to go to trial with your case. Call us toll-free at 888-539-9211 to learn what options are available to you.