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Is a Business Liable for an Assault in the Parking Lot?

 Posted on December 06, 2021 in Personal Injury

Kent County Premises Liability LawyerWinter weather can be delightful, but it can also bring a host of dangers. There is ice and snow to slip in or hydroplane on, and frostbite to worry about. Now that it is fully dark outside by the time most people are leaving work, there may be additional safety concerns related to crime. Parking lots outside bars, malls, and other businesses can become dangerous in the evenings when there is little light and not enough security. 

For some businesses, failing to provide adequate security when there is a known risk of criminal activity can lead to premises liability. If you suffered a criminal attack while entering or leaving a business, you will want to speak to an attorney to determine whether you may be eligible for compensation. 

When is a Business Liable for Crimes on its Premises?

A business cannot - and is not expected to - prevent all crimes on its premises. The problem with criminals is that they are unpredictable and not likely to follow an establishment’s rules. However, in certain situations, a business does have a duty to take reasonable steps to protect its patrons from a foreseeable risk of harm, even if that risk is caused by criminal actors. 

The key is that the business must have known about the risk of criminal harm. If the neighborhood is generally safe, and the business is not aware of any particular reason to suspect that criminals are rendering its premises unsafe, its duty to provide protection is likely minimal. However, if there have been several known muggings or carjackings right outside a certain establishment, it may have a duty to take action to prevent another. When a business becomes aware that its customers are in actual danger from the criminal element, that is when it must act to reduce that risk.

What counts as reasonable security will vary depending on the type of business, its resources, and the known risks of the area. Adequate lighting is generally essential, as crime is less likely to happen in well-lit areas. Bars and clubs may require a live security person; security cameras may be sufficient for other establishments. You will need to have an attorney take a close look at the facts and circumstances surrounding your case, as the law can be difficult to navigate in this area. 

Call a Michigan Premises Liability Attorney

If you were attacked in a parking lot or on a business’s premises, John D. Tallman, PLC, Attorney at Law, may be able to recover funds for you. Call 616-361-8850 to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Grand Rapids premises liability lawyer




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