Licensed in Missouri and Kansas

Compensation for Victims of Violent Crime

Kansas City is currently seeing the highest murder rate in its history. As of July 30, there have been 110 homicides in Kansas City, according to the Kansas City Police Department. As of June 30, the KC Star reported there have been 28 more homicides than the same time last year. As a Kansas City personal injury lawyer seeing homicide statistics this drastic, I want to inform the families of homicide victims of their potential right to money compensation. Under certain circumstances, a business or apartment complex may be liable for crimes happening on their premises, including homicide.

The Missouri legislature passed a law in 2018 called the “Missouri Business Premises Safety Act”. One of the statutes enacted with this law, Mo. Rev. Stat. Sec. 537.785 (2018), states, “There is no duty upon a business to guard against criminal acts or harmful acts on the premises unless the business knows or has reason to know that such acts are being committed or are reasonably likely to be committed in a particular area of the premises and sufficient time exists to prevent such crime or injury.” (emphasis added)

There are many situations in which a business owner knows or should have known that crimes are taking place on their property. For example, some apartment complexes are notorious hot spots for crime. One such place is Cloverleaf Apartments, as reported by KMBC News. Having been the scene of numerous murders and violent crimes, there’s no doubt the owners of Cloverleaf Apartments knew or should have known that crimes are likely to be committed there. Because of this, they owe a duty to guard against criminal acts and would be liable for money compensation for failing to do so.

Another situation in which a business knew or should have known about the likelihood of crimes on its property is when they are warned about a particular individual. Some properties have trouble with loiterers, like when people stand outside a convenience store or gas station asking for money. Those people can get violent and commit crimes against the store’s customers. It would be likely that in this situation, the store owner would be liable for money compensation to the customer because it knew or should have known those loiterers are likely to commit crimes.

If you’re one of the unfortunate souls who have been the victim of a violent crime at a business or apartment complex, or are have lost a loved one to violent crime, I would suggest you to look into a claim for money compensation. These places owe you a duty to prevent crime on their premises when they knew or should have known they have a crime problem.