Becoming victim to a violent act such as robbery, assault or rape can be significantly damaging both mentally and physically. If your assailant is identified, you can pursue recovery from them for economic damages (such as medical bills, the cost of rehabilitative services, property damage, etc.), non-economic damages (pain and suffering) and in some jurisdictions in egregious cases, punitive damages (solely designed to punish an assailant). Since liability insurance won’t pay damages for any intentional criminal acts committed by their insured, any damages awarded to you will come straight from your assailant. Unfortunately, in many cases, assailants won’t have the assets to cover your damages.
However, depending on where an individual is assaulted, robbed, etc., they may be able to make a negligent security claim against a property owner. For example, if you are physically assaulted in a mall, where security officers are present, you may have a claim against the commercial establishment if it can be proven that their security was negligent or inadequate in protecting you. Another example would be if you were staying at a hotel and an assailant was able to break into your room and rob or assault you while your door was locked. The hotel owner may be held liable for negligence in failing to ensure that your hotel room was safe.
If you’re ever the victim of an intentional, violent act on another’s premises and feel that the property owner(s) failed to keep you safe from said violent attack, speak with a personal injury attorney right away. If a property owner is found liable for failing to keep you safe on their premises, they’re liability insurance becomes a resource to compensate for your damages.
Certain jurisdictions require establishments (such as bars and clubs) to hire security to keep their patrons safe. If you suffer a violent attack in such a facility, and there is no security, this serves as proof that the property owner was negligent (in not hiring security) and therefore liable for your damages.
If the establishment you were assaulted in is located in a jurisdiction which does not require establishments to hire security, your personal injury attorney must prove that violence frequently took place in said establishment and that the property owner should have foreseen potential occurrences of violence in the future. For example, if a club has had numerous assaults take place within the establishment, the property owner should have reasonable foreseeability that more assaults will occur and is therefore negligent in not hiring security to protect its patrons. Inadequate security to handle reasonably foreseeable violent acts may also be seen as negligence on a property owner’s behalf. For example, a security guard may be untrained or undertrained to adequately protect an establishment’s patrons. In scenarios such as this, the security company that employs the security guard may be held liable too.