Knoxville Negligent Security Lawyer
In general, property owners have a duty to ensure that visitors are reasonably safe. This duty includes a responsibility to provide adequate security. Many people remember the tragic 2016 Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida. An individual was legally and morally responsible for this shooting. But the nightclub owners could have done more, and should have done more, to protect guests. For example, the shooter drove past the club in a suspicious manner a number of times. Yet club management did nothing to deal with the potential threat.
Unlike many club owners and other property owners, a diligent Knoxville negligent security lawyer at Fox Farley Willis & Burnette, Attorneys at Law never take shortcuts and never look for the easy way out. Instead, we thoroughly review your case and collect evidence that supports your claim. That’s the long way to build a case, and it’s also the best way to build a case. Once your claim goes to court, although we usually settle it out of court, we always secure the best possible terms before we recommend that you sign on the dotted line.
Negligent Security Basics
From a legal standpoint, a negligent security injury is much like a dog bite, fall, or other unintentional injury claim. Everything starts with a duty of care. Tennessee law divides victims into two categories, as follows:
- Invitee: Nightclub patrons and vendors are business invitees, even if they don’t actually spend money. Most private social guests are social invitees. Both kinds of visitors benefit owners. That benefit could be financial or nonfinancial. Therefore, the owner has a duty to ensure the property is safe. This duty includes a responsibility to frequently inspect the premises and properly address any injury hazards.
- Non-Invitee: Once again, there are two subcategories in this category. Licensees are people like Uber Eats drivers who have permission to be on the land but don’t benefit the owner. Trespassers are people like burglars who have no permission and produce no benefit. The duty of care is essentially non-existent in these cases. Licensees have some legal protection and some legal doctrines protect some child trespassers.
Theoretical responsibility is only part of the equation. Practical responsibility is the second part. Owners are only responsible for hazards they know about. Evidence on this point could be direct or circumstantial.
During a lawsuit’s discovery process, the owner has a duty to turn over “smoking guns” like security studies and repair estimates for broken cameras. Such a lack of security might not directly cause injury, but it indirectly causes it, because an evildoer takes advantage of this weakness. Circumstantial evidence, which usually involves the time/notice rule, is admissible as well. In either case, a Knoxville negligent security lawyer must establish knowledge by a preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not).
Once upon a time, landowners weren’t responsible for assault and other third-party injuries which happened on their property. But Tennessee law is different today. Now, landowners are responsible for a foreseeable (possible) injury.
Nightclubs usually have strong security measures, like armed guards and multiple cameras. Additionally, these owners train employees so they know what to do during an emergency. That’s because, at many nightclubs, fights often break out and other trouble happens. Such incidents are foreseeable. Donut shops, on the other hand, often have little or no security. Fights and other such incidents are incredibly rare at these places. These incidents aren’t foreseeable.
In addition to the type of business, other foreseeability factors include the location of the business or property and the area’s reputation as a high or low-crime neighborhood.
Contact a Hard-Working Knox County Lawyer
Injury victims are usually entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced Knoxville negligent security lawyer, contact Fox Farley Willis & Burnette, Attorneys at Law by going online or calling 865-500-HURT. Attorneys can connect victims with doctors, even if they have no insurance or money.