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Premises Liability Can Extend Beyond Slips, Trips and Falls

May 26, 2015 Brown Moore Premises Liability

It is well-known that injury victims can typically pursue compensation when they slip, trip or fall due to dangerous conditions on property owned or managed by other parties. This is known as premises liability, and even trespassers can file lawsuits under certain conditions. Still, the real question involves determining exactly what constitutes a dangerous condition.

Clearly, a store patron who breaks a leg when falling into a pothole in a poorly-lit parking lot would have the right to seek compensation for injuries from the property owner or manager. A few photos of the pothole and lighting conditions would most likely provide effective evidence in a case like this. However, a Charlotte personal injury lawyer would need to dig deeper to prove store liability for injuries sustained due to something like gunfire within a public facility.

A Recent Report of a NW Charlotte Convenience Store Shooting Raises Questions of Liability

Obviously, individuals who shoot guns and kill other people are ultimately responsible for the injuries and fatalities they cause. Still, store proprietors also have a legal responsibility to take reasonable measures to keep visitors safe. A November 16, 2014, report by The Charlotte Observer describes a shooting situation that has more questions than answers.

According to the report, police believed that around 10:00 pm, two individuals were fighting in a store when several people arrived, shooting three people and resulting in injuries to two and a fatality to the third. This description raises many questions, such as the following:

  • Was the fight inside the store related to the shooting in any way?
  • Did any store employee on duty call the police when the fight began?
  • Did store employees have the opportunity to take any action to remove the in-store fighters from the premises?
  • Did the store have security cameras that recorded the initial in-store altercation as well as the shootings?
  • Was the store located in a known high-crime area that might have warranted hiring full-time or after-dark security guards?

When Security Questions Arise, Premises Liability Lawyers Need to Conduct Thorough Investigations

The answers to the questions behind this store shooting cannot easily be found based on the incident facts alone. To identify liability based on inadequate security, an experienced attorney would start by examining police reports, but he or she must dig much deeper.

An attorney would need to review everything from the criminal history within the region to the specific security policies used by the store. In fact, even if security cameras were in place, it would be important to make sure they were all operating properly and pointed in a way to cover the entire store interior.

It is essential to retain a premises liability law firm that understands the underlying issues related to storing security — and has access to a network of skilled investigators when needed to root out the details. For a free initial consultation to learn the next steps in this process, call us at 800-948-0577 or use our convenient online contact form.