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Birmingham Personal Injury Attorneys > Blog > Personal Injury > Filing An Alabama Negligent Security Lawsuit

Filing An Alabama Negligent Security Lawsuit


Negligent security is a tort (essentially, the civil version of a crime) that happens when the owner of an establishment negligently fails to provide adequate security and a crime is committed against a third party. It is essentially a form of premises liability, which is a legal theory that upholds the duty of a landowner to make their premises safe for visitors. A failure to do so can render the landowner liable for any damages their visitors sustain.

If you have been injured due to negligent security at someone else’s establishment, our Birmingham personal injury attorneys at Goldasich, Vick & Fulk can help you understand your options in terms of seeking compensation for the harm you have suffered. It can be difficult to establish that a landowner’s security was negligent, particularly on one’s own – but the right attorney can help set out the facts to strengthen your case for damages.

No Duty Of Care Owed … Usually

In general, a landlord or landowner has the duty, under Alabama law (and the law of most other states), to make and/or keep their premises safe for visitors. In some states, different standards of behavior are required depending on the status of the visitor, but in others, the same high standard is required for all. In Alabama, the same standard of care is owed to all visitors except trespassers; state law does not require a landowner to exercise any level of reasonable care for trespassers except to refrain from wantonly or intentionally injuring them and to warn them of any dangers if they are found to be in current danger.

The duty of a landlord or landowner to exercise reasonable care is set in stone; it cannot be ignored or written off as visitors assuming the risk of injury. However, in most premises liability cases, landowners do not have to protect their visitors against any risks from third parties. The only exception to this is if the risk is foreseeable – that is, if the average person could or should have reasonably foreseen potential harm in that situation. Negligent security actions occur when a visitor meets with foreseeable harm on another person’s premises.

More Common In Certain Locations

In theory, any kind of property owner or business owner can be sued for negligent security as long as they have responsibility for the property in question. However, some types of businesses seem to attract these types of lawsuits simply because of the possible combinations of factors that coexist. The most common situations for this kind of lawsuit in Alabama are:

  • Bars or nightclubs, where alcohol is served and very often, the focus is on patron turnover rather than safety;
  • Hotels and apartment complexes, which have a high burden of security, but also have several ways of gathering evidence if a crime actually occurs; and
  • Shops, particularly big box stores, which have large parking lots which may not be adequately lit or monitored.

It can be difficult for an injured plaintiff to establish foreseeability, but the best way to do so is to point to previous occurrences of the same event. This is also more likely to happen in higher traffic areas like bars, hotels, and shops than it is in residential areas – and if it has in your case, it can be one more factor to use in pointing to a pattern of negligence.

We Will Help Protect Your Rights

Being victimized in a place where you should feel safe can be a profoundly life-altering experience. If this has happened to you, the Birmingham negligent security attorneys from Goldasich, Vick & Fulk can help to guide you through the process of holding someone accountable. While money damages cannot restore your peace of mind, they can go a long way toward helping you get your life back on track. Contact our office today at (205) 731-2566 to schedule a consultation.

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