Negligent Security and Injuries – I Was Injured or Assaulted in a Retail Store, a Mall or a Parking lot – Who is Responsible?
When we visit the mall or our favorite retail stores, we don’t expect to be assaulted or injured while we’re there. Far too often, however, unwitting shoppers sustain serious injuries due to the negligence or intentional actions of others, both while in stores and in the parking lot.
In this situation, many victims may be facing piling medical bills, and unsure of their options moving forward. However, anyone who has been accidentally injured or assaulted in a mall, retail store, or parking lot should understand their rights under the theory of premises liability, as well as how an experienced attorney can work on their behalf to help recover adequate compensation.
What is the Theory of Premises Liability?
The theory of premises liability is based on the idea that all property owners have a duty to ensure the safety of those who are lawfully present. This can take form in many ways, such as cleaning up spills in a timely manner or warning the public of their presence, removing any existing hazards, and otherwise taking reasonable actions to protect visitors from harm.
That’s not to say that the property owner can be held for any and all injuries sustained on their premises. To be sure, Kentucky divides visitors into three categories: invitees, licensees, and trespassers. Invitees are individuals who come onto the property for business purposes, licensees are those who are on the property simply with the consent of the owner, and trespassers are there illegally. Pursuant to Kentucky case law, property owners have a duty to “discover unreasonably dangerous conditions on the land and either correct them or warn of them,” and “maintain the premises in a reasonably safe condition.” For licensees, the duty is slightly less, although the property owner must still make the property reasonably safe or warn of any existing hazards. For trespassers, however, property owners are generally released of all liability for accidental injuries.
As such, victims of an injury sustained at a mall or retail store, or even in a parking lot, may have a claim against the owner for damages. Because premises liability cases can be so complex, however, injury victims are encouraged to contact an attorney directly thereafter for professional assistance.
Assault in Stores and Parking Lots
Of course sometimes injuries are inflicted not in accidents, but in assaults. And in this case, as well, it is often still possible for a victim to pursue a personal injury claim.
Take, for example, a situation in which a shopper is walking out to their car in a poorly lit parking lot with no cameras surveilling the premises, and who is assaulted by someone before reaching their vehicle. In this scenario, the victim could potentially file a personal injury lawsuit against the owner of the parking lot, alleging that the lack of lighting, surveillance cameras, and other forms of security represented a failure to maintain the premises in a reasonably safe condition. A victim could also file a claim if they were injured in the mall or other retail stores, as well.
Determining the liable party is not always an easy task, however. Indeed, the specifics of the claim will depend on where exactly the victim was assaulted, as well as who was responsible for maintaining the property. This is perhaps one of the most important reasons to reach out to a trained lawyer for help with this type of case.
Don’t Wait Any Longer – Contact Us for Help
If you or a loved one has been accidentally or assaulted in a retail store or parking lot here in Kentucky, don’t wait any longer to find professional help. Reach out to us today at the office of Lanna Martin Kilgore to speak with an advocate who is experienced and is eager to assist you. Lanna Martin Kilgore has been working with injury victims in Bowling Green and the surrounding areas for more than 25 years, and will use the knowledge she has gained to help you recover the compensation you deserve. Reach out to us when you’re ready at 270-846-3700 for a consultation.