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Do I Have a Negligent Security Claim?

July 10, 2024

No one visits a public location expecting to file a negligent security claim. When you visit a bar, nightclub, hotel, parking garage, or any other business, you expect the business to take appropriate precautions to keep you safe. This includes providing adequate security. Unfortunately, many businesses do not take appropriate precautions to protect their customers—and, far too often, customers suffer serious injuries due to negligent security. 

Do you have a negligent security claim? 

Negligent security can take many different forms. If you were assaulted at a Chicago-area business under any circumstances, we recommend that you speak with a lawyer about your legal rights. An experienced negligent security lawyer will be able to assess your legal rights, conduct a thorough investigation, and seek appropriate financial compensation on your behalf. 

7 Common Examples of Negligent Security

Here are seven all-too-common examples of negligent security at bars, nightclubs, hotels, and other businesses:

1. Inadequate Access Restrictions

All businesses should implement access restrictions that are appropriate based on their location, the nature of their business, and other relevant factors. While individual businesses’ needs vary, these may include access restrictions such as:

  • Bouncers
  • Door locks, key cards, and security codes
  • Gates

When businesses fail to implement adequate access restrictions, this can expose customers to dangerous situations that could—and should—have been avoided. As a result, inadequate access restrictions will justify negligent security claims in many cases.

2. Inadequate Surveillance

Inadequate surveillance will justify negligent security claims in many cases as well. Here, too, individual businesses’ needs vary. Generally speaking, the greater the risks a business’s customers face, the more the business needs to do to protect them. As a result, failure to install surveillance cameras or employ security guards at bars, nightclubs, hotels, parking garages, and other businesses where safety is a significant concern will often justify a claim for liability. 

3. Inadequate Lighting 

Inadequate lighting is another safety concern that businesses can—and generally should—avoid. Whether a business fails to install adequate lighting or fails to replace burnt-out light bulbs, the business may be financially responsible under Illinois law if its failure facilitates an assault. 

4. Inadequate Fencing 

Installing adequate fencing can also be an effective, and necessary, security measure for many businesses. Once installed, security fencing also needs to be adequately maintained, as holes and other issues can allow for unauthorized and unmonitored access. Failure to install necessary fencing and failure to adequately maintain fencing can both give rise to negligent security claims in many cases. 

5. Ignoring Known Safety Issues 

Once a business identifies a safety concern, it must address the concern promptly. This applies across the board—from replacing light bulbs and fixing holes in security fencing to responding to unauthorized access. Unfortunately, many businesses do not adequately prioritize their customers’ safety, and ignoring known safety issues is among the most common grounds for negligent security claims. 

6. Non-Functional Security Equipment 

To serve its intended purpose, security equipment needs to be functioning properly. If a piece of security equipment is non-functional, this can put customers in dangerous situations without their knowledge. Some common examples of non-functional security equipment include:

  • Broken locks on doors and windows 
  • Broken security gates
  • Broken surveillance cameras 

Businesses should periodically check their security equipment to ensure that it is functioning properly, and they should fix any non-functional security equipment as soon as possible. If it will take time to fix a piece of non-functional equipment, the business may also need to implement temporary security measures during the repair process. 

7. Failure to Properly Train Staff

Bouncers, security guards, and other staff members should receive appropriate training so that they know what to do when safety concerns arise. Simply employing someone to stand at the front door or monitor the premises is not enough. Yet, this is all that many businesses do, and this puts their customers at risk in many cases. 

While these are some of the most common examples of negligent security, these are far from the only issues that can put customers, patrons, and guests at risk. If you have questions about filing a negligent security claim on any grounds, you should talk to a lawyer promptly. Businesses can be held liable for providing negligent security under a wide range of circumstances, and filing a successful negligent security claim can be critical for managing the financial and non-financial costs of an assault.  

Do You Have a Negligent Security Claim? Find Out for Free

Do you need to know more about filing a negligent security claim in the Chicago area? If so, we encourage you to contact us promptly. Our Chicago negligent security lawyers will listen to your story, assess the merits of your claim, and explain your rights and options.

Contact the personal injury attorneys at Coplan + Crane today online or at 708-358-8080 to schedule a FREE case evaluation. We welcome clients from across Illinois, including Chicago, Oak Park, Rockford, and other areas.