McArthur Law Firm

Can a Store Be Liable for Injuries Sustained Due to Crime?

iStock-92373920-resize-300x200.jpgFive aggravated assaults in a little more than a year - that's what the Bibb County Sheriff's Office is saying about a Macon convenience store. The store is a C-Mini Mart on Houston Avenue and it is no stranger to crime.

  • On April 25th, 2016, a woman stabbed her ex-boyfriend in the thigh as he walked up to the cash register inside the store.
  • October 7, 2016, a man was found in the store's parking lot with two bullet holes in his leg.
  • January 15, 2017, a vehicle was shot at three times in the parking lot.
  • In February 2017, shots from a nearby street corner broke the glass at the C-Mini Mart.
  • And in July 2017, a man walking toward the grass headed to the convenience store was shot in the back.

What do you do if you are injured due to crime in an area where it is known that crime is a frequent occurrence?

Negligent/Inadequate Security and What It Means for Crime Victims

Under the doctrine of premises liability, businesses have a responsibility to patrons to take all reasonable precautions to prevent injury. This is true of injuries involving crime, as well.

Negligent security expert witnesses often refer to convenience stores as crime magnets. This is because they are usually open late at night and require patrons to exit their vehicles to pump gas or to go into the store, and because of the late hours, many of these patrons are alone. Criminals prey on situations like this, and convenience store owners are aware of this danger. This is known as foreseeability. Indicators of foreseeability can include:

  • Prior crimes that occurred at the convenience store
  • The amount of crimes in nearby neighborhoods
  • Out or order or nonfunctioning installed security measures
  • The amount of security measures nearby convenience stores use to protect patrons

If you suffer injury in a high-crime area and you believe that competent, adequate and reasonable security could have protected you, you may be able to bring a negligent security lawsuit against the owner of the property.

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