Negligent Security

Can I Sue a Landlord or Other Business for Assault?

You may have a claim against a landlord, store, bank or other business if you were injured on their property or if your loved one was killed on their property.  These cases are considered “premises liability” claims (discussed below). If the harm was caused in part by a lack of adequate safety measures to prevent assault or other harm, then there is an issue of negligent security.

Property owners are responsible for protecting visitors from harm, and that includes criminal activity like assault. They must provide adequate security. Proper lighting, security patrols, and security hardware on the doors and windows are at the top of the list.

Most lawsuits for inadequate security involve apartments and businesses. The laws for premises liability also cover homes, motels, clubs, shopping centers, and just about any other building open to the general public.

Can I Sue a Bar if I am Shot or Beaten Up?

Yes, you can sue a bar if you were shot or beaten up if

  1. there is sufficient evidence that the bar was negligent and
  2. that your injuries (brain damage, for example) were caused by that negligence.

Examples of Negligent Security

Examples of negligent security include:

  • A landlord fails to comply with laws requiring locks on windows and doors.
  • When an owner of property knows that it is dangerous, the owner is liable for any injury caused by a failure to provide security guards or other reasonable safety measures if the public is invited on the location or it is known that the public visits the location.
  • Due to the number of bank robberies, banks are dangerous places. Banks are liable for inadequate security which leads to injury.
  • If a business owner or other property owner knows of a dangerous individual on the property, he is liable for any injury that is caused by that individual.
  • Employers are liable for negligent hiring, including failure to do background checks on predatory employees.

Premises Liability

Premises liability is a theory of liability that holds the owners and occupiers of property legally responsible for accidents that happen on the property. For example, if someone dies in an apartment fire because the landlord didn’t replace the batteries in a smoke alarm, the family of the person will have the right to sue the landlord for money to compensate them for their loss.

Whether you have a premises liability claim will depend on why you were on the property, if you were invited onto the property or are a trespasser, and what caused your injury.

An owner or occupier of property is negligent and liable for money damages if reasonable care was not taken to prevent a foreseeable harm.

What to Do I Do if I Have Been Injured?

Assault HelpHere are some steps you can take to increase your chances of getting what you need and deserve.

  • Promptly report the incident to the police.
  • Seek immediate medical treatment. If you were raped or sexually assaulted, request an appropriate examination to document your injury.
  • As quickly as possible, get the names, phone numbers and addresses of all witnesses involved. Take photographs of the scene if you can.
  • Do not sign any documents relating to the incident. Do not discuss your case with anyone except the police. Most parties that you will need to deal with, including insurance companies, do not have your best interests in mind.
  • Find a good Minnesota lawyer as soon as possible. You may have to file a suit within a specific time frame, according to the “statutes of limitations.” You also need to keep in mind that evidence in cases like yours can disappear overnight.


If you have been injured on someone’s property, you may be able to recover the cost of your medical bills, pain and suffering, and loss of earnings, both now and in the future.

To receive compensation, you must prove that the property owner owed you a duty of care; knew, or should have known, that there was potential for crime on the premises; failed to provide adequate security; and that the failure to provide security was a direct cause of your injury or damages.

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