Shaw Law Offices believes that almost every injury is preventable.
Most “accidents” are really a failure by somebody to follow the safest choice available. You should not have to bear the brunt of the negligence of someone else.
Sometimes that includes when a person is hurt or injured by other customers or patrons of a business such as being a victim of a criminal act by a third person at that business.
The lack of adequate security at stores and bars or taverns occurs on a routine basis. This lack of adequate security can lead to you being injured — something you didn’t anticipate or bargain for when entering the property of another person or business.
The laws in Indiana regarding negligent security are changing change rapidly. Recently, an Indiana Supreme Court case helped define what is “negligent security” under Indiana law.
Whether an injured person can sue the business when that person is injured by a criminal action by another customer or worker, the law looks first at whether the act was “foreseeable.” This is part of the determination of whether a “duty” existed to that injured person.
Whether a duty exists is a matter of law for courts to decide. See Goodwin v. Yeakle’s Sports Bar & Grill, Inc. (2016) Ind., 62 N.E.3d 384, 389. When foreseeability is part of the duty analysis, as in landowner-invitee cases, it is evaluated in a different manner than foreseeability in the context of proximate cause.
Speciﬁcally, in the duty arena, foreseeability is a general threshold determination that involves an evaluation of (l) the broad type of plaintiff and (2) the broad type of harm. In other words, this foreseeability analysis should focus on the general class of persons of which the plaintiff was a member and whether the harm suffered was of a kind normally to be expected—whether there is some probability or likelihood of harm that is serious enough to induce a reasonable person to take precautions to avoid.
Accordingly, there may arise “two particular situations” in a case, that is, whether there is any broad duty to protect an invitee from harm in general – and then whether there is any duty after further facts may show some speciﬁc probability or likelihood of harm. See Rogers v. Martin (2016), Ind., 63 N.E.2d 3 16, 323. What a landowner knows and has reason to know is fundamental to the determination of foreseeability and duty. See Hamilton v. Steak ‘n Shake Operations, Inc., 2018 WL 1 177676 (Ind.App. March 7, 2018).
Although the issue of duty is generally a question of law, Indiana law recognizes that a factual question may be interwoven with the determination of whether the harm suffered was of a kind normally to be expected in a particular case, making the ultimate determination of the existence of a duty a mixed question of law and fact. Rhodes v.Wright (2004), Ind., 805 N.E.2d 382, 386; Helmchen v. White Hen Pantry(1997), Ind.App., 685 N.E.2d 180.
Similarly, as a general rule, a person’s status on the land, (whether invitee or licensee) along with the duty owed by the landowner, is a matter left to the determination of the trial court and not the jury. Winfrey v. NLMP, Inc., (2012), Ind.App., 963 N.E.2d 609.
The Indiana Supreme Court has made it harder than ever to recover for negligent security cases. You’ll need an experienced lawyer who has handled dozens of “negligent security” cases like Attorney Jeff “JJ” Shaw.
Call or Text (877) 225-5742 and get your lawyer working on your case within 10 minutes from the comfort of your home.
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