Fort Collins Negligent Security Lawyers
When we enter our favorite stores, malls, gyms, or bars, we expect the staff and management to do everything they can to keep us safe. After all, we support their businesses with our patronship; they should have a vested interest in our wellbeing. Sadly, that is not always the case. While sometimes this leads to a slip and fall accident, other times the consequences are far more serious.
After a violent crime, victims are often left in shock as they deal with the difficulties of the criminal justice system and trying to move on with their lives. Violent attacks, robberies, and muggings can have both a negative emotional impact and a negative financial one. However, if the crime could have been avoided had, the property owner taken proper precautions, such as by hiring security or securing entrances, then you may be eligible for compensation. To determine if you can pursue damages, you should contact a Fort Collins negligent security attorney at the Tenge Law Firm, LLC. Call us at (970) 212-4777 to schedule a free consultation.
Negligent security cases are one of the most unique types of premises liability claims, but they are not too dissimilar from a slip and fall or faulty wiring. Colorado laws acknowledge that property owners and managers are required to provide a duty of care to their tenants and guests. This means they must keep the premises free of any hazards and, if they know about a hazard, they must fix the issue within an acceptable amount of time and warn guests. For slip and fall cases, this means cleaning up a spill and putting up signs to prevent an accident.
With a negligent security claim, your argument is based on the fact that the property owner should have known that a violent crime could have been committed. Depending on what neighborhood in Fort Collins you live in, this could mean paying attention to local crime rates and using the same level of security as other businesses. If most of the apartments in your area have security guards, keypads at entrances, and surveillance cameras, your property owner should employ the same tactics to prevent assaults. In addition, if there has been a string of violent crimes, either on the property or nearby properties, then the owner should update the security protocols and systems to protect patrons.
However, if this was an isolated incident, then it may be difficult to prove that the owner acted negligently. Alternatively, if they were not aware that a gate was broken or an assault had never been reported, Colorado laws would not find them liable for any injuries. In order to prove a property owner acted negligently, you must demonstrate that their security was lacking through:
- Broken gates, locks, and doors
- Faulty or broken security cameras
- Lack of security personnel on the property
- Poorly trained security personnel
- Unfulfilled maintenance reports
- Local crime rates
- Police reports
Accessing what evidence is relevant in your case will depend on where the assault happened and what security measures were already in place.
Colorado laws do not limit negligent security claims to only apartment buildings and can include any number of properties that a guest or tenant may legally enter. So long as you are not trespassing and the property owner is aware that you are on the premises lawfully, or had good reason to be aware, you may file a claim against a:
- Grocery store
- Department store
- Night club
- Liquor or convenience store
- Gas station
- Cruise ship
- Public garages
- Public pools
Violent crimes can occur at any of these properties, some of which are due to inadequate security measures. But even if a property owner failed to prevent the crime, you must still demonstrate that the crime led to “great bodily harm” and that you suffered damages, or financial costs, due to the incident. This includes medical bills, lost wages while recovering, and psychiatric aid if you suffered mental trauma.
The types of crimes that can constitute a negligent security claim include:
- Muggings that involve an injury
- Assault and battery
- Sexual assault and rape
- Attempted murder or manslaughter
- Any crime that leads to an injury
Victims of violent crimes in Colorado may be eligible for the Victims Compensation Fund, which may provide compensation whether or not negligent security took place. Many of the damages covered under a negligent security claim are also accounted for in the compensation fund, though they are much more limited and may not take into account the full costs of your injuries.
In addition, if the assailant is caught for the crime committed against you and successfully tried, you may be eligible for punitive damages. However, the state of Colorado does not allow victims to seek punitive damages and a negligent security claim at the same time. You must pick one or the other, but be aware that punitive damages are not meant to cover your medical costs, only punish the defendant. They may also be unable to pay for the damages or be eligible for an appeal, which means you may never receive proper compensation.
In contrast, a negligent security claim does not require the police to successfully catch the individual who hurt you. Instead, the claim is based on the negligent actions of a property owner and their duty to provide a safe environment for guests. Your attorney will also focus on getting the compensation you need to move on after a tragic, scary event.
In the state of Colorado, a victim must file a negligent security claim within two years of the date of your injury. This is otherwise referred to as the statute of limitations and it can make it difficult for victims to pursue a claim on their own. You are likely dealing with a large amount of emotional trauma, are struggling with returning to work, and having to adjust to your injury. Adding on collecting evidence, reviewing insurance policies, and investigating negligence is not your top priority.
But at the Tenge Law Firm, LLC, our Fort Collins personal injury attorneys will take on the majority of your legal burdens so you can focus on recovering. We have worked with multiple clients who were struggling after a traumatic event, providing everything from medical referrals to assistance with applying for disability. Our goal is to make sure you are taken care of throughout the entire process and are fully aware of any updates in your case so you can make informed decisions. Contact us at (970) 212-4777 to schedule a free consultation and to speak to a compassionate and knowledgeable legal team.
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