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Premises Liability and Providing Reasonable Security in a Store

Each and every day, people across the United States sustain injuries – sometimes serious ones – as a result of accidents in locations that include stores, other types of businesses, schools, churches, governmental offices and other locations. The most commonplace types of injuries at public locations such as those noted here occur as the result of slip and fall accidents. Unfortunately, hundreds of people suffer injuries each month as a result of injuries sustained in locations like businesses as a result of being victims of violent crimes. As a consequence, understanding the legal doctrine known as premises liability and its application to providing reasonable security in a location like a store is imperative. Four specific topics are worth specific consideration when contemplating premises liability and store safety and security:

  • Essential definition of premises liability
  • Reasonable safety and security precautions inside a store
  • Reasonable safety and security precautions outside a store
  • Sexual assault and the safety and security of a store

Essential Definition of Premises Liability

The legal doctrine comes into play in accident cases involving personal injury. The doctrine of premises liability demands that the owner of store maintain its space in a reasonably safe condition. The failure to maintain the space occupied by a store in a reasonably safe condition results in the owner of the mercantile being liable or legally responsible for injuries sustained by a patron.

The doctrine of premises liability covers everything from slip and fall accidents to the maintenance of reasonable security protocols to keep patrons visiting a store safe and secure. For example, if a liquid spills on the floor of a store – the cliché being milk in the aisle of a grocery market – that hazard must be cleaned up in a prompt manner. Similarly, a store must maintain appropriate security protocols inside and outside of the store space itself, the specifics of which are discussed in a moment.

Reasonable Safety and Security Precautions Inside a Store

When it comes to the matter of premises liability and providing security for patrons of a store, a business owner is not obliged to make the store perfectly or absolutely safe. A store must be maintained in a reasonable safe condition when it comes to guarding against criminal activity at the premises. A store owner satisfies the reasonably safe mandate by undertaking security measures that a similarly situated business would take in comparable circumstances.

Reasonable Safety and Security Precautions Outside a Store

The responsibility of establishing security protocols to keep store patrons safe extends to surrounding, associated space as well. This typically involves keeping spaces associated with a store like a parking lot or structure reasonably protected against criminal activity. As is the case inside the premises, a store owner needs to implement similar security measures in associated space that a similarly situated business would utilize, including (or particularly) in a parking lot or parking structure.

Sexual Assault and the Safety and Security of a Store

An alarming number of sexual assaults occur on the premises of stores across the United States. These include incidents of sexual assault that occur within a store space itself but even more frequently in parking lots and parking structures associated with the merchant.

Examples of reasonable security protocols that need to be in place to reasonably protect customers from becoming victims of sexual assault at the premise cover a broad spectrum. They include thoroughly screening employees. (Sexual assaults that occur in or outside of stores many times are perpetrated by employees of a particular merchant.) They also include ensuring that parking lots and parking structures are suitably illuminated and, if the circumstances (including the location of the store) warrant, patrolled by security personnel.

As a patron of a store, a consumer as the legal right to be kept reasonably safe when on the premises of a merchant. This includes the legal right to be reasonably safe inside a store as well as when on a store’s adjacent premises like a parking lot or parking structure. An individual injured in a store as the result of being the victim of a crime best protects his or her legal rights by seeking assistance from a capable Doan Law Firm personal injury lawyer. You can connect with our personal injury attorney team any time of the day or night by calling (800) 349-0000.

There is no charge for an initial consultation with a Doan Law Firm personal injury lawyer. Indeed, we will never charge you an attorney fee unless we win your case for you. 

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