Impact of Security Measures on Premises Liability Cases

If you were injured on someone else’s Orange County property — whether private or commercial — and it wasn’t your fault, you may have a right to compensation.

Property owners in Orange County and all across California have a legal duty to keep their premises reasonably safe. This responsibility extends to implementing adequate security measures. Read on to learn more about the relationship between security measures and premises liability cases.

What Is Premises Liability?

California premises liability laws hold property owners accountable for the safety of lawful visitors and tenants. While property owners can’t protect you from all eventualities, they are legally obligated to take reasonable precautions against known or predictable dangers.

For example, restaurant owners must ensure that any wet floors have clear signage warning patrons and staff members.

If a property owner fails to maintain their premises reasonably safe, you may be able to seek compensation for any injuries, lost wages, property damage, and other losses that may ensue.

How Is Negligent Security Related to Premises Liability?

Negligent security claims are a subcategory of premises liability cases. Under California’s negligent security laws, property owners have a duty to implement adequate security measures to protect you from known or reasonably expected dangers. Naturally, the standard of care is higher in areas with high crime rates or on premises that may attract criminal activities, such as banks or parking lots.

Don’t waste any time if you or a loved one have become the victim of a crime due to negligent security: Contact a premises liability attorney as soon as possible to learn about your legal options. You may be able to seek compensation, but you must act now and call a lawyer with experience in handling negligent security measures and premises liability cases.

Examples of potentially negligent security measures include:

  • Insufficient lighting
  • Lack of or poorly maintained alarm systems
  • Poorly maintained security equipment
  • No or insufficient security guard presence
  • Inadequate security policies and procedures
  • Lack of or insufficient surveillance
  • Failure to increase security despite a history of security incidents

Common Negligent Security Incidents

What qualifies as adequate or negligent security is very context dependent, but some common examples of negligent security accidents include violent crimes such as:

  • Bar fights
  • Physical attacks
  • Armed robberies or muggings
  • Sexual assaults or harassment
  • Aggressive or dangerous behavior by security guards

Places Where Negligent Security Incidents Can Occur

Negligent security incidents are not exclusive to commercial properties but may also occur on private premises. Sites that often see negligent security include:

  • Parking lots
  • Shopping malls
  • Hotels/motels
  • Rental properties
  • Bars and nightclubs
  • Amusement parks
  • Workplaces
  • College campuses and dorms
  • Apartment complexes and condominiums

How Can Property Owners Prevent Negligent Security Incidents?

Although property owners may not be able to prevent all crimes, California premises liability laws require them to take reasonable and adequate measures to keep lawful visitors and tenants safe. As we mentioned earlier, property owners must take greater precautions to protect others from known dangers or in areas with high crime rates.

Examples of security measures that may be deemed adequate depending on the circumstances include:

  • Security guards
  • Sufficient lighting
  • Security cameras
  • Alarm systems
  • Door and window locks
  • Security fences
  • Restricted access to the property
  • Criminal background checks on employees or tenants

What Security Measures Qualify as Adequate?

Context plays a big part in negligent security claims. The same level of security may be deemed adequate or negligent depending on the circumstances. For instance, an apartment complex with a parking lot may require a higher level of security than a similar building without a parking lot.

That’s why it’s essential to hire an Orange County premises liability attorney with relevant experience and a proven track record of successfully handling these types of cases. They will be able to assess the context of the incident and advise whether you have a valid claim.

Here are some other property types that may necessitate heightened security measures:

Bars, Restaurants, and Nightclubs

These venues often go hand in hand with poor lighting and alcohol consumption that attract criminal activity. Property owners must take extra measures, such as hiring security guards and installing locks and alarm systems, to protect patrons and staff members. Running criminal background checks on security personnel is also paramount to prevent bouncer attacks against patrons.

Garages and Parking Lots

Robbery and assault are major concerns in garages and parking lots. At a minimum, property owners must ensure adequate lighting and sufficient security staff presence.

Banks and ATMs

Financial institutions are expected to implement some of the highest security measures. Security personnel, alarm systems, security cameras, and physical barriers are essential to ensuring the safety of clients and staff members.

Hotels, Motels, and Rental Properties

Theft, unauthorized visitors, and antisocial guest behavior are some of the common security concerns in the hospitality industry. Property owners must implement adequate security measures to protect guests.

What Is the Statute of Limitations for Negligent Security Cases in California?

The deadline — also known as the statute of limitations — to file your lawsuit is the same as for other personal injury cases: two years from the date of the incident. If you miss that deadline, you will forfeit your right to seek compensation.

In some rare cases, the courts may extend the statute of limitations, but you shouldn’t count on that. Be sure to contact a premises liability attorney as soon as you can after the incident.

The longer you wait, the more time the property owner will have to build their case and create a defense strategy. They may use that time to start providing adequate security or tamper with critical evidence like security camera feeds.

Were You Injured in a Negligent Security Incident? Call Us at Khalil Law Group.

Like many victims of violent crime, you may be feeling overwhelmed and confused after the incident.

At Khalil Law Group, our legal team can explain the relationship between security measures and premises liability cases. We can also guide you at every turn as you seek compensation from the property owner, landlord, or another responsible party.

Call (714) 617-7870 to schedule your free consultation with a premises liability attorney in Orange County, CA.

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