The huge number of cars on the road requires the use of large parking lots. These are often poorly lit and unattended. This makes them perfect places for criminals.
Victims of crimes occurring in parking lots should know that the owner of the parking lot can be held civilly liable for the property.
Formerly, the law, which is still in force in some states, decreed that owners had no liability for assaults that occurred on their property and had no obligation to protect their customers against them.
This has changed. Today, the courts consider all the circumstances of an assault to decide whether the victim is entitled to compensation. Judges or juries consider the following factors to decide whether the owner should have taken more measures to protect their customers from assaults.
These factors are:
- The statistical crime index in the area,
- Any history of similar events in the crime scene,
- The attractiveness of the place for criminals to exercise;
- And the existence of security measures such as adequate lighting, security guards, security cameras, etc.
In a recent case, a woman was assaulted in a parking lot attached to a company. The area had a low crime rate and no assault had occurred in the business’ property in over 12 years. However, a court ruled that the woman should be compensated because the assault was predictable; the area had
poor lighting, there are always people wandering in the parking lot, there were no security guards to patrol the place, and the company could have taken more safety measures to prevent assaults.
Anyone driving to a business site should try to park in safe and well lit areas. You should also be attentive when leaving your vehicle and returning to your vehicle to notice the presence of potential offenders.
At night, request to be accompanied to your vehicle by a guard or employee. Any person who suffers damage as a result of an assault near any business should consult their lawyer to evaluate if, considering all the circumstances, the property owner is responsible and civilly liable for the injuries and damages.