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Can You Sue for Negligent Security?

March 4, 2024

Negligent security is an issue at many bars, nightclubs, parking garages, hotels, and other venues and facilities in the Chicago area. When businesses fail to provide adequate security for their patrons and guests, the consequences can be devastating. Assaults and robberies can leave victims with significant physical and emotional trauma, and they can lead to significant financial costs.

When You Can Sue for Negligent Security in Illinois

Regardless of whether an attacker can be identified, filing a personal injury claim against an attacker usually isn’t a viable option. Individuals who commit assaults and robberies generally don’t have the financial resources or insurance necessary to cover victims’ losses. As a result, victims must determine what other options they have available.

In many cases, the best option is to sue for negligent security.

Victims of assaults, robberies, and other crimes can sue for negligent security in many cases. In Illinois, all types of businesses have a legal duty to take reasonable steps to ensure the safety of their patrons and guests. If they don’t, they can be held legally accountable for victims’ financial and non-financial losses. Negligent security claims are fairly common, and crime victims who have negligent security claims can seek full compensation for their losses now and in the future.

Common Examples of Negligent Security

Negligent security can take many different forms. It is also important to understand that what constitutes negligence depends on the circumstances involved. For example, while a café in a location with lots of pedestrian traffic that is only open during normal business hours may not need to do much in terms of providing security to meet its legal obligations, a bar or nightclub that serves alcohol late into the night may need to do much more to protect its customers.

With this in mind, some examples of issues that can give rise to negligent security claims in Illinois include:

  • Insufficient Lighting – Businesses must ensure that their premises are properly lit. This includes lighting interior spaces that are otherwise dark and illuminating exterior areas at night.
  • Inadequate Locks – Hotels, motels, and other businesses must install adequate locks, and they must ensure that these locks are functioning as intended. They must also ensure that inappropriate personnel and other individuals do not have access to access codes, keys, or key cards.
  • Inadequate Security Personnel – Nightclubs, entertainment venues, and various other types of businesses may need to employ security personnel to monitor and control access to their facilities. If they don’t, their failure to do so may constitute negligent security.
  • Inadequate Surveillance – In addition to (or instead of) employing security personnel, businesses may also need to install security cameras or other surveillance systems. Providing adequate security may involve monitoring these surveillance systems and responding to safety threats as well.
  • Lack of Alarms or Warning Systems – Alarms, call boxes, and other warning systems can be highly effective means of security. When businesses fail to install these systems despite the need to do so, they can (and should) be held accountable.
  • Negligent Employee Screening – Hiring employees who have a criminal history or who are unqualified to serve in security roles can also give rise to negligent security claims. If a business knowingly offers job opportunities to individuals with a dangerous past, it must ensure that these employees do not present safety risks to others.
  • Unsecure Boundary Fencing – Installing boundary fencing can be an effective (and necessary) means of security for many businesses. Here, too, if a business fails to do what is necessary, crime victims who suffer the consequences can seek just compensation for their physical, psychological, and financial injuries.

Again, these are just examples. If you were assaulted at a business in the Chicago area and you have any reason to believe that the business should have done more to protect you (or if you aren’t sure and want to find out), you should discuss your legal rights with a premises liability attorney. Learning about your legal rights costs nothing; and, if you have a negligent security claim against the business where you got attacked, you can hire an attorney to represent you at no out-of-pocket cost.

Talk to a Negligent Security Attorney in Chicago for FREE

If you were harmed in a dangerous area as a result of inadequate security measures, the negligent security lawyers at Coplan + Crane want to hear your story. We have extensive experience helping clients with a range of premises liability claims; we understand the complexities of Illinois law in these cases and we know how to pursue the maximum compensation for our clients.

Contact Coplan + Crane today online or at 708-358-8080 for a FREE case evaluation. We welcome clients from across Illinois, including Chicago, Oak Park, Rockford, and other areas. We handle cases on a contingency basis, which means you don’t pay unless we win.