Landlords are responsible for ensuring that their premises are safe and reasonably secure. Lack of security can lead to robberies, sexual assaults, violent crime, and other incidents. If you are the victim of a crime on these premises, you may be entitled to compensation. At the Love Law Firm, our premises liability attorneys are ready to fight for you.
According to the Supreme Court of Appeals for West Virginia ruling in Mallet v. Pickens, 206 W. Va. 145, 522 S.E.2d 436 (1999), there is no longer a distinction between “invitees,” “licensees” and “trespassers” on properties. Because of this, businesses are responsible for ensuring that potential hazards are removed from the property and that there is a sufficient amount of security.
In West Virginia, the law that protects non-trespasser from injury and damages on another person’s property is considered premises liability. This law requires landlords to rid their property of potential problems that can lead to injury. One type of premises liability case against landlords is lack of security. This ensures that non-trespassers have the expectation to be safe on someone else’s property. This law covers all types of properties including grocery stores, apartment complexes, banks, college campuses, and more.
What is considered a lack of security?
In West Virginia, landlords are responsible for ensuring that their property is safe and secure so that people are not injured. If the landlord does not uphold these standards of security they can be held responsible for the damages caused.
Lack of security can include:
- Inadequate lighting in parking areas.
- No security cameras in common areas
- No working locks on entryways in an apartment complex
- No working alarm
- No security guards were needed
- Unreliable/Lack of secure access systems
These security standards must be maintained; if they are not, the landlord may be held liable for any injury that occurred because of it. For example, a lack of proper lighting and security cameras can lead to a person being attacked in the parking lot of a store. The landlord could be held responsible for this.
When is the Landlord Responsible?
While the landlord is responsible for maintaining a safe environment, the tenant is also responsible for giving them notice of such defects. In West Virginia, landlords can only be held responsible for damages/injuries if there was prior knowledge of the lack of security and they failed to act on it. For example, if the parking lot is insufficiently lit, notify the landlord. They will have to install lights or risk being liable for any injury that may occur.
Premises Liability Lawyer in Charleston, West Virginia
If you have been injured on someone else’s property due to neglect in detecting and rectifying a lack of security, you may be entitled to premises liability compensation. Lack of security cases can be difficult to prove and complex. Blame can be put on any number of people and finding one specific person can be difficult.
At the Love Law Firm, we have the experience and expertise to win your case. If you believe you have been injured or harmed because of a lack of security contact the Love Law Firm today at (304) 344-5683 for a free consultation.