Negligent Security: Shopping During the Holiday Season

Year round, shopping malls must take preventative measures to prevent crimes like burglary, theft, assault, or another violent attack. With the influx of shoppers during the holiday season combined with the overall increase in retail crime (69% of retailers reported an increase in organized retail crime in 2020), it’s even more imperative that commercial property owners ensure visitor safety on premise.

According to premises liability laws, property owners can be held accountable if they fail to protect victims from imminent harm. Suppose they fail to do so, and an incident occurs on the premises. In that case, this could constitute negligent security, and the mall's property owner can become liable for the patron's injuries.

However, it's essential to understand that seeking a criminal charge against a third party is different from seeking a negligent security charge against the property owner. If this happens, here is what you need to know:

Who Can Be Held Responsible?

If an incident has occurred on the premises, resulting in injuries, the property owner will be held accountable for the damages. In this case, if an incident happened inside a specific store of the mall, the store owner and the property owner are responsible for failure to ensure customer safety.

Was The Crime Foreseeable?

To prove the property owner’s liability, the victim must prove that the crime they were involved in was foreseeable, and the shopping mall did not exercise a duty of care by keeping patrons safe from impending harm. The crime’s foreseeability on the premises may be proved in several ways.

Inadequate Security

If the shopping mall had inadequate security, such as lack of operable security cameras surrounding the premises or failing to hire trained security guards to patrol the location, especially in the parking lots at night, this could result in the area being at risk for a criminal act.

Failed To Provide Appropriate Lighting on Premises

Suppose the property owner did not provide well-lit areas, especially for customers to walk through the parking lot at night. In that case, poorly lit parking lots could constitute failing to provide a reasonable duty of care and failing to keep the property safe.

If the Premises Had Prior Criminal Acts

Suppose the mall's property owner was aware of prior criminal acts on the premises and did not enhance safety procedures. In that case, this could constitute negligence because they were aware of impending harm.

If a victim was seriously hurt, the incident could’ve been prevented based on the knowledge of a prior criminal occurrence on the property. The property owner was responsible for improving security procedures to ensure a repeated offense would not occur.

Injuries Occurred As a Result of Negligent Security

If a victim suffered severe injuries and physical, emotional, or economic damages due to a violent act, it’s crucial to gather evidence from the incident. If the shopping mall failed to provide an appropriate level of protection from harm, a victim may be able to prove this in several ways:

  • Statements of witnesses that saw the crime occur

  • An incident report from the scene of the crime

Contact Macon Negligent Security Attorneys

No one wants to fall victim to an attack at a shopping mall due to inadequate security and protection, especially during the holidays. Here at Adams Law Firm, we provide personal attention for all our personal injury clients. If you or a loved one have suffered injuries as a result of negligent security during the holiday season, contact our firm at (478) 845-1961 to find out how an attorney can help you.