Negligent Security

What is Negligent Security?

In California, a business or property owner whose premises are open to the public can potentially be held liable for the criminal conduct of a third party. We find this has occurred when a business or property owner has failed to use reasonable conduct or care to protect customers, patrons, tenants or other guests from criminal conduct and they should have anticipated that such a criminal act was a risk. 

Examples of Negligent Security can include:

  • No security cameras or malfunctioning camera equipment
  • Untrained and unqualified security guards
  • Lack of security guards
  • Doors that cannot be locked
  • Inadequate or missing lighting
  • Broken fences or gates
  • No alarm system or malfunctioning alarm
A Property Owner May Be Liable

Business and property owners can be liable if they fail to provide adequate security and a person suffers property damage, injuries, or death on their premises. Property owners have the duty to keep their customers and visitors to their property reasonably safe. Basic security measures can prevent foreseeable dangers like an attack, an assault, or an armed robbery. These cases can occur with all types of premises, such as residential or commercial property, whether public or privately owned. Most commonly, negligent security is found to occur at Restaurants; Bars; Nightclubs; Gas Stations; Factories; Schools and Universities; Workplaces; Hospitals; Hotels; Parks and Playgrounds; Parking Garages and Parking Lots; Banks; Apartment Buildings; and Shopping Centers and Malls. 

Injured plaintiffs can potentially be successful with a negligent security case if they are able to prove that:

The Property Owner Has a Duty of Care

While the specific requirements regarding security can differ from one business or property to another, a property owner should provide basic security measures such as adequate lighting. The duty of care will change and evolve with the type of facility that the negligent security occurred, and what a reasonable expectation of security existed at that facility. 

Negligent Security Caused the Injury of the Plaintiff

In order to have a claim, the plaintiff will have to prove that a negligent security incident caused their injuries and any monetary, property, and other potential damages. This is not a straightforward burden as negligent security cases necessarily involve some sort of bad acting third party. 

The plaintiff will also have to prove that the crime was foreseeable and that the property owner should have been able to foresee the crime. This can be tricky to prove; however, a negligent security lawyer can help to gather the appropriate evidence that may prove foreseeability.

Evidence can include any proof of previous crimes at the premises or in the nearby area. The crime rate in the area around the property can also serve as evidence. A negligent security lawyer can consult with local law enforcement and establish whether there were calls to the police regarding previous crimes at the premises or in the immediate area surrounding the property in question.

Timely Action Can Be Essential

If you have a negligent security case, it can be important to act quickly. Many states have deadlines for filing personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits, such as negligent security claims. In some states, the statute of limitations is relatively long, giving plaintiffs up to four years to file a personal injury claim. Other states' laws can be prohibitively short, and victims may have only one year to file their lawsuit, starting on the day the injury occurred.

A negligent security lawyer can help you file the necessary paperwork within any deadlines that may apply in your state. Timely action will also ensure that evidence does not simply disappear over time and any witnesses have a fresh memory of the incident. Acting quickly can help you seek the settlement you deserve.

With a successful negligent security claim, you can seek damages for your injuries, pain and suffering. If you have been injured by a criminal third party on the premises of another person or business, contact our office for a FREE consultation. 

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