If a public or private property in New Mexico does not have proper security measures in place, and someone is sexually assaulted because of it, the owner can be held responsible. Property owners must be aware of potential dangers in the area and take appropriate measures to prevent injury or assault from occurring.
Liability brought on by sexual assault can occur in a number of different types of properties. An apartment complex in the area near the University of Southern Florida was reportedly sued by a sexually assaulted victim. The argument made at that time was that the area around the college had a high crime rate and that the complex should have done more to thwart crime and assault. Similar arguments have been made in many other states, including New Mexico.
The term “premises liability” refers to the fact that the owner is responsible for any injuries or accidents that occur on their property. Entities that may be liable for attacks and accidents include hotels, universities, schools, shopping malls and convenience stores. These places can even be held accountable for incidents that happen near them if there is a known chance of crime and extra security measures are not taken or sufficient warnings are not given.
There are a number of ways public places can help prevent sexual assaults and other crime opportunities. These include proper outdoor lighting, sufficient locks on all doors, posted warnings in high crime areas and on-premise security detail. With these security details, the chances of injuries or accidents and subsequent owner liability decrease.