A foreseeable crime is that which can be anticipated based on prior incidents. While the law does not require a premises owner to anticipate the exact act that occurs or predict whether an individual will commit a certain crime on a specific day, it does mandate landowners to attempt to prevent crimes which are reasonably foreseeable.
A key issue in most negligent security cases is whether there is sufficient evidence to establish that the property owner had reason to anticipate the nature of the harm that occurred. An experienced lawyer will know where to look for this critical evidence and how to establish foreseeability in Forsyth County negligent security and in doing so help an injured person obtain compensation from an irresponsible landowner.
What Constitutes an Unforeseeable Crime?
An unforeseeable crime is one which occurs without any prior indication of that risk. For example, if there had been no prior violent crimes on the premises or in the area, then the proprietor may be able to argue that they had no reason to anticipate violent crime on their property. However, the absence of prior violent crimes does not mean violent crime is per se unforeseeable. If there are repeated forced entry burglaries on a premises, it is foreseeable that one of those burglaries could result in violence. For this reason, it is critical to look at both the type and level of prior crime on a property in assessing and establishing foreseeability.
Crimes Associated with Inadequate Security
The most common crimes that stem from inadequate security and result in civil negligent security cases are shootings. Shootings at apartment complexes are especially common. Other types of crimes that occur and may result in a negligent security case could be rape or sexual assault. The common element is that the lack of proper security resulted in catastrophic consequences.
Who Decides whether a Crime is Foreseeable or Unforeseeable?
Ultimately whether or not a crime is foreseeable is a question for the jury. However, if the defense believes there is no evidence to support a finding of foreseeability, they may file a motion requesting the court dismiss the case on the basis of the crime was not foreseeable. The presiding judge must determine whether there is any evidence upon which a jury could conclude that a crime was foreseeable. If there is evidence upon which a finding of foreseeability could be made, then the judge would deny the defense’s motion. The case would proceed to a jury trial to determine whether the crime was foreseeable and whether the defendant acted reasonably in attempting to prevent the crime.
Ask an Attorney about Foreseeability in Forsyth County Negligent Security Cases
Property owners do not have a duty to eliminate all foreseeable crime, but they are required to act reasonably to try to prevent foreseeable crime. Consequently, if a foreseeable crime occurred but a jury concludes the crime occurred despite the defendant acting reasonably in attempting to prevent it, then the case would fail. However, what is reasonable in a given circumstance is often a fact-based, case-specific analysis. If you were recently harmed in a crime on someone else’s land, you should promptly enlist the assistance of a lawyer who has experience proving foreseeability in Forsyth County negligent security cases.
A diligent member of our team of lawyers could help you prove that it was a foreseeable crime and that the property owner or manager acted unreasonably in their crime prevention efforts. Let us help you establish the landowner’s negligence and prove that the incident that caused your damages was foreseeable and preventable. Call today to learn more about your options.