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Negligent Security FAQ

Premises Liability Lawyer Serving Seattle

At our firm, we have been asked a few questions about negligent security which come up more frequently than others. Typically, most of our new clients will ask us the following questions:

What is negligent security?

Negligent security is a term used to describe the failure to provide the proper security measures for the safety of others. Of course, the term "negligent" presumes that the party who failed to provide the security had an actual duty to provide such security. Landlords, businesses, schools, hospitals and a myriad of other property owners and operators may owe a duty to their visitors and business invitees to provide the proper security to safeguard them from injury when on their property.

Must landlords secure their property for their tenants?

Yes. Landlords are liable for the common areas of their rental properties and keeping those areas safe for their tenants and other reasonably foreseeable visitors. In fact, in recent years, Washington adopted the rule that landlords can be liable for injuries resulting from snow and ice on their property. Proper locks on doors and windows, and other safety measures to keep their tenants safe from intruders must also be maintained by landlords. Typically landlords can carry insurance to cover the possibility of losses resulting from such occurrences as break-ins, slip and fall accidents, and other safety related issues.

What if I am a victim of a crime on someone else's property? Would the premises owner be liable for my injuries or losses?

Yes. If the property owner knew or should have known that a crime would likely be committed on the property, and they failed to take reasonable measures to safeguard their tenants or patrons, a cause of action could be brought against the responsible owner or manager of the property. How would the owner know that a crime would "likely" be committed? If similar crimes had occurred on the premises in the past, and the owner was on notice of these incidents, the law expects an owner to make reasonable safety and security measures to help avoid future incidents from harming his patrons or tenants.

If you have any other questions relating to premises liability and negligent security claims, please feel free to call our attorney at the Law Office of J.D. Smith, PLLC at any time. We would be glad to answer your questions.

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