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Is a business at fault for a crime on its premises?

On Behalf of | Apr 18, 2022 | Premises Liability

When people rent a room at a hotel for a convention or go out to a nightclub with friends, they do not expect to become the victim of crime. However, some criminal activity takes place in or near businesses. 

Criminals may target specific places where they know there will be tourists or people consuming alcohol. Businesses that are open late at night or that host people from out of town may be popular targets for those with criminal intentions. If someone gets assaulted or mugged, they may want compensation. 

Failing to protect customers could be negligence

To hold a business responsible for a crime that occurred on its premises, visitors would likely claim that their security was negligent. They could build a case for negligent security based on local crime rates or even a history of criminal activity near or at the business. If a business could have reasonably anticipated that criminals would target their patrons, then they should take steps to protect their customers.

Your company can therefore reduce the risk of such claims by investing in security before a crime occurs. Research has shown that illuminated areas can help deter crime. Motion-activated lights on your sidewalks and through parking lots could prevent a criminal from targeting a patron. Security guards, obvious cameras and premises that criminals cannot easily access are all also ways that businesses can protect their patrons from becoming crime victims.

Understanding rules that apply to premises liability claims can help you reduce the risk of a customer or visitor filing an expensive insurance claim or a civil lawsuit against your company.