You may already be aware that a property owner is liable for the injuries that occur on their property. Every homeowner or business owner must take the necessary steps to ensure that their visitors, guests, or customers are taken care of and out of danger. This raises the question of whether the owner is liable for any crimes on their property.
Dangerous situations are not always the fault of the landowner. Sometimes, a criminal may enter the property unexpectedly, cause damage and leave. In a complex situation like this one, it is important to contact a Boston personal injury lawyer and understand your options.
What if the crime was a complete surprise?
Suppose a business owner has a store in a highly reputed neighborhood where no major crime has been reported in years. It is easy for anyone to assume that no crime is going to take place, and thus, people won’t worry about their security as much. However, a group of men came with guns and robbed multiple stores. This would be seen as an unexpected crime, and the business owner may not be liable for their customers’ damages.
According to the law in Boston, when a crime is completely unexpected, and the owner has no time to react, then they are not at fault. You could file a claim with the business insurance or even file a lawsuit, but holding a business accountable for a criminal’s crime is difficult.
The property owner is liable for injuries and damages of people who are either allowed to be on the property or are invited. This means that a trespasser cannot expect the same level of protection from the property owner. Legal protection is not given to people who are not supposed to be at the crime scene.
What if the crime was foreseeable?
There are cases when crimes happen out of the blue, and then certain cases are foreseeable. Victims of crimes are allowed to recover damages if the property owner is in a situation where they should have foreseen the occurrence of the crime.
If similar criminal activities had occurred on the property before, then any person should become alert and take reasonable care. Even if the past crimes were not exactly the same, they could still show foreseeability.
What about criminal liability?
Of course, when a person commits a crime, then the ultimate liability is on the criminal. The victim can directly sue them for their damages instead of dealing with the property owner at all. However, if the criminal has already been tried and convicted, it is unlikely that you will receive any money.