Premises liability cases are normally associated with slip and falls and building hazards that cause injury. What you might not know is that you can file a suit against someone if their property’s negligent security lead to your injury. In Iowa, property owners have a legal responsibility to provide adequate security to all visitors who lawfully enter the property.
Violent attacks such as burglary, assault or sexual abuse can be easily avoided if the property owner implemented simple security measures as a deterrent. These procedures can be as easy as providing sufficient lighting or constructing a fence or barrier around the property. If you were injured because a property has negligent security, then it’s imperative you have legal representation ready.
West Des Moines Attorney for Negligent Security in Iowa
When you enter a public property, you don’t expect to be assaulted or violently attacked. In reality, if the property owner hasn’t established consistent security measures, then you are much more vulnerable to a crime. That is why it’s highly recommended you secure legal counsel if you were injured on a property with inadequate security. You could be entitled to a monetary award to cover your damages.
Learn more about how you can receive the compensation you deserve by calling McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C.. The personal injury lawyers at McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. have negotiated with numerous property owners and insurance companies regarding negligent security. We understand how adjusters work as well as what the best tactics are to use in a civil case.
Call us now at (515) 279-9700 to set up your first consultation free. McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. practices law throughout the greater Polk County and Dallas County area including West Des Moines, Perry, Miniburn, Polk City, Ankeny and Altoona.
Overview of Negligent Security in Iowa
- Why File a Suit When Your Attacker is Being Criminally Charged
- Requirements for Filing a Negligent Security Suit
- Why You Should Hire an Attorney to Represent You
- Additional Resources
Why File a Suit When Your Attacker is Being Criminally Charged
It’s possible your attacker has been caught and charged with a crime for their actions. While this is amazing news, it doesn’t mean you should let the property owner off the hook. In some cases, the owner of the property where you were attacked can also be held liable for you injures if they failed to take reasonable steps to ensure your safety.
Some reasonable security measures a property owner can employ to avoid attacks include:
- Appropriate Staffing – Having personnel on the property in numbers will significantly decrease the chance of an attack. This can include security staff, but doesn’t require it;
- Training for Staff – Both the security and night staff should have reasonable training in case they are met with an emergency;
- Sufficient Lighting - Having adequate lighting can make a huge difference on if an attacker decides to commit a crime or not;
- Security Alarms or Cameras – Installing reasonable security alarms and cameras are also a form of security that can lessen attacks; or
- Fences, Locks or Other Barriers – Having a barrier may keep attackers off the property
Deciding to pursue legal action against the property owner will have no impact on your attacker’s criminal trial. They will still go through due process and face the statutory penalties if convicted. Your attacker may be court ordered to pay restitution, but there’s no guarantee that you will receive that money in a timely manner. Especially if your attacker has been sentenced to years in prison or jail. Filing a suit against the property owner will hold them responsible for their insufficient security as well as provide some coverage for the injuries you sustained.
Requirements for Filing a Negligent Security Lawsuit
You shouldn’t dive in and file a lawsuit against the property owner until you know if you have the right to file a lawsuit, also known as standing to sue. Those who have a standing to sue have the legal right to bring a lawsuit against the respondent and recover damages. However, if you don’t have the right standing to sue then the respondent can simply file a motion to have your case dismissed and you’ll likely receive no compensation.
For these reasons and more, it’s highly encouraged you speak to a personal injury attorney. They can assess your claim and see if the property owner is liable for a lawsuit. Generally, you have the right to pursue a negligent security case if:
- You’re an adult who was harmed due to negligent security and are mentally competent;
- You’re a parent or guardian whose child was harmed in a negligent security accident;
- You’re a legal guardian of someone over the age of 18 and have the right to pursue litigation and fair recovery on their behalf; or
- You are a personal representative of the estate of a person who died because of a negligent security accident and you’re filing a wrongful death suit
Personal injury claims also follow strict deadlines under Iowa law. If you want to file a claim for negligent security, then you need to do so within the next two years from the date of your injury. The only way this statute of limitations can be extended is if you discovered your injury later. If so, then your statute of limitations begins on the date of discovery.
Why Should You Hire a Personal Injury Attorney to Represent You
Unlike a criminal trial, you’re not required to have legal representation in a civil case. Some plaintiffs will attempt to settle claims on their own without legal representation. However, many would say this isn’t a wise move. Insurance adjusters and the respondent may attempt to give you low-ball offers so they can settle as little as possible. They may even try to twist your words in mediation proceedings so they can have you admit to fault.
Some tactics insurance adjusters and the respondent’s legal representation may use include:
- Pressure you into settling quickly;
- Try to pressure you into talking about your injury, recover, or case in hope of you saying something that could be used against you in negotiation;
- Fail to give you all the information needed; or
- Give you low-ball offers to satisfy your immediate financial needs
Thankfully, if you have legal representation you don’t even have to speak to the insurance company or respondent directly. All communication will be handled by your attorney who has extensive knowledge on how adjusters attempt to trick petitioners. This means you’re much more likely to receive a fair settlement based on your injuries.
NASCO – Visit the official website for NASCO, the National Association of Security Companies, which is the biggest contract security association representing private security companies of highly trained security personnel serving in every type of business sector today. Learn more about state and federal regulations that dictate both the quality and effectiveness of private security services.
Liability in Tort – Comparative Fault – Visit the official website for the Iowa Code to learn more about what comparative fault is and why it’s important. When a person shares some of the blame for the injury alongside the negligence party, the court may detract from some of the monetary award that’s given to the plaintiff. Learn more about comparative fault, how it works in automobile crash cases and other accidents in the state of Iowa.
Premise Liability Lawyer for Negligent Security in West Des Moines, Iowa
If you or someone you know was injured due to a property’s lack of security, it’s imperative you secure legal representation as soon as possible. You may be entitled to damages from the property owner for failing to establish adequate security measures. Learn more about how to file a suit by contacting the attorneys at McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C..
The team at McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. has years of premise liability experience as well as a huge passion for representing injured victims. We want to extend our services to assist in your recovery today. Call us now at (515) 279-9700 to set up your first consultation free. McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. accepts clients throughout the greater Polk County and Dallas County area including West Des Moines, Altoona, Waukee, Perry, Johnston and Polk City.