Foreseeability In Premises Liability Claims

Premises owners must exercise reasonable care to protect their invitees from harm caused by apparent risks of injury, and an important part of this duty of care is “foreseeability.” While this care is usually limited to areas to which guests are invited or may be reasonably expected to venture, owners may not have the same liability for what is unforeseeable. For example, an owner does not have a duty to protect an individual on the premises from an attack by an individual over whom the owner has no control, unless the attack was “reasonably foreseeable.”

The legal sense of foreseeability has been defined as “proving that the proprietor knew or should have known of the dangerous propensities of a particular patron…or by proving that a proprietor knew or should have known of a dangerous condition of his premises that was likely to cause harm to a patron.” It’s important to remember, however, that foreseeability alone is insufficient to hold a property owner legally liable for an attack by a third party on his/her premises, as the injured victim may also need to prove that the crime could have been prevented had the owner exercised “reasonable caution.”

In a negligent security claim for an attack by a third-party, it is essential that the claimant was rightfully on the property at the time (i.e. not a trespasser) in order for an initial duty of care to exist. Next, exactly who had control of the premises must be determined, and this is not always clear-cut, as many business premises are maintained by multiple parties. Also, ownership does not always equal control, as control is often of greater importance when determining liability in the claim.

It may also be necessary to check the property owner’s contract provisions in case they have accounted for more security than the owner actually provided; liability may fall on the owner if a visitor relied on representations of security which weren’t provided. Different district courts have different standards for establishing and determining foreseeability in negligent security claims, so having an experienced attorney on your side is essential to earn full compensation for your injuries.

If you or a loved one has been injured on another’s property due to negligence, contact Agruss Law Firm, LLC for a free consultation. We are a Chicago-based injury law firm representing individuals (and their families) who have suffered an injury in an accident. We will handle your case quickly and advise you every step of the way, and we will not hesitate to go to trial for you.

Lastly, Agruss Law Firm, LLC is not paid attorneys’ fees unless we win your case. Our no-fee promise is that simple. You have nothing to risk when you hire us – only the opportunity to seek justice.

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