Chicago, like many major metropolitan areas, has a high violent crime rate. In fact, during the past year, more than 400 people died from violence within the city.
Many of these serious and fatal incidents of violence occur in public places: Stores, movie theaters, shopping malls, parking lots, parks, housing developments and apartment complexes. And in all too many cases, steps could have been taken to prevent these terrible events.
If you or a loved one is harmed by violence in a public area, it is important to have your case reviewed by an experienced attorney. At Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C., a lawyer from our firm can assess whether you are eligible for compensation to help you through a trying time.
Contact us today. We serve clients and their families throughout Chicago and Illinois. Our consultations are always free.
Who Can Be Held Responsible for Violence in Public Places in Illinois?
Perpetrators commit violence for any number of reasons. For instance:
- A criminal may use violence as a means for carrying out a robbery
- A disgruntled worker may lash out at a former employer
- A jilted spouse may attack a wife or husband
- A perpetrator may be mentally ill and unable to control violent impulses
A business or government agency that owns or maintains a building or public area can’t be expected to control these types of violent individuals.
However, they are expected to protect visitors from violence or warn about certain risks. If they fail to do so, and you or a loved one suffers harm because of this failure, the party should be held responsible.
For instance, if a property owner / occupier knows about a pattern of violence taking place on a property they hold open to the public, that party should take reasonable measures such as:
- Notifying police about the problem
- Installing lighting, fencing, barriers and security cameras to deter attacks
- Providing “hot line” phones to call for help
- Hiring security guards to patrol high-crime areas on the premises
- Warning visitors about recent events or areas to avoid after certain hours
It depends on the circumstances. For instance, if a mall owner has seen a problem with shootings or weapons on its property, it may be reasonable to install a metal detector at its entrances or hire full-time security personnel.
If a property owner/occupier does undertake these safety measures, they must do so properly. For instance, parking lot lights should be maintained. Security personnel should be trained to identify and react to violent attacks. Metal detectors should keep weapons out.
If the property owner / occupier hired a security company to carry out this safety plan, and the company failed to do so, then that company should be held responsible as well.
What Can You Recover If Harmed in a Public Place in Chicago?
A person who is the victim of a shooting, assault or other violent incident in a public area may suffer serious physical injuries. These include:
- Bullet wounds
- Stab wounds (external cuts and punctured internal organs)
- Concussions or traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injury (including paralysis)
In addition to physical damage, those who suffer from or witness a violent attack in a public place may also experience serious mental harm such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Whether the harm is mental or physical, the victim can seek compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and other losses.
Our Attorneys Serve Public Violence Victims in Chicago and Illinois
If you have suffered harm from violence that occurred in a public place in Chicago or elsewhere in Illinois, you should seek compensation for your losses. By taking action, you may actually force a business or government agency to make its property safer for future visitors.
To learn more about your rights and options, contact Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C., today. We will discuss your case right away in a free and confidential consultation.
For More Information:
- Despite The Headlines, Chicago’s Crime Rate Fell In 2013, National Public Radio
- 48 Years of Crime in Chicago, Yale Institution for Social and Policy Studies