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Inadequate security at a business could leave you a crime victim

New Orleans is a town known for raucous parties, incredible music, peerless cuisine and tourism. Much of the local economy revolves around the tourism industry, which helps maintain a steady flow of outside money into the local economy. However, all of those tourists and their vacation funds also make New Orleans a destination for criminals.

All too often, individuals who come to New Orleans looking for a good time could find themselves the victims of a mugging or similar criminal offense. Sometimes, those crimes were preventable if a business had taken adequate steps to secure its facilities.

Security measures ranging from cameras to security personnel can make all the difference in whether a facility is safe or dangerous to the public. If you were the victim of a crime in a dark alley on private property or in an area near a hotel without security cameras, you may be able to bring a premises liability claim against the property owner where the crime occurred.

Can you directly link a lack of security with the crime?

Criminals often plan their offenses, choosing to target vulnerable people and places. While you may not have been a specific target as an individual, the hotel or business you visited may have been identified as a vulnerable location by the criminals previously.

For example, when a business has a parking lot or alley that is close to a main thoroughfare but does not have adequate security or lighting, criminals may see that as a good location to wait for people to rob. Without cameras to identify them or lights to warn potential victims, criminals can act with perceived impunity in certain places.

If you can show that there have been multiple crimes in the same location, potentially because of the lack of security, or that adequate security measures could have helped you, this could give you grounds to seek compensation via a premises liability claim.

Premises liability involves the risk of injury or property damage to others

Anytime a property owner or business manager makes a location open to the public, they incur the potential risk that someone patronizing the business or visiting the space could wind up injured or suffering from expensive property damage. Lack of proper maintenance or neglect typically plays a role in successful premises liability complaints.

Complaints could stem from wet floors, improperly maintained wiring or a number of other risk factors that businesses could eliminate or at least reduce through more proactive maintenance and security measures. Most companies acknowledge that tourists are at increased risk for crime because they make easy targets for opportunistic criminals.

If a business or property owner doesn't take adequate steps to protect visitors from potential criminals nearby, they may have some legal responsibility for the financial losses the victim of the crime experiences.

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Vincent P. Scallan Law, LLC
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