Assaults and Negligent Security: What You Need to Know

Woman in parking garage

When you’re at a bar, a nightclub, or even your own apartment complex, you probably assume property owners will take the steps necessary to ensure your safety and the safety of others on the premises. This may include hiring security guards, installing security cameras, and providing adequate lighting in parking lots and other dark areas.

The unfortunate reality is that some property owners may make it easier for criminals to commit violent acts against others by disregarding these tools. If a crime, such as an assault, occurs due to inadequate security features, a property owner may be held liable for any injuries or crimes that occur.

Providing Adequate Safety Measures

Barbed Wire Fence - Negligent Security

According to California premises liability laws, property owners have a “duty” or responsibility to ensure that guests (or residents) are reasonably safe.

This means that a property owner has a legal obligation to:

  • Maintain their property

  • Inspect their property

  • Repair any dangerous conditions; and

  • Give adequate warning of any dangerous conditions

While it’s true that most crimes themselves are unforeseeable, property owners must take any necessary steps to help ensure crimes are not committed on the premises.

There is no “strict rule” when legally defining negligent security; however, proving a security negligence case requires showing a court that the property owner:

1. Knew about a potential hazard,

2. Did not take the precautions to prevent injuries (and/or crimes), and

3. The injury and/or crime occurred as a direct result of this inaction

Here is an example of negligent security: a nightclub has an extremely busy night. There are more people than usual inside of the club and the amount of security is not enough to ensure the safety of everyone there. As a result of the lack of property security, an individual is assaulted in the club. In this situation, the property owner may be held liable for inadequate security.

Protecting Your Rights

The emotional and physical pain that stems from assaults is something that may never truly be resolved. Our team of compassionate legal advocates is committed to holding negligent parties accountable by helping injury victims seek compensation for their injuries. Turn to Fowler | Helsel | Vogt for help pursuing your negligent security case.

Contact our firm at (559) 900-1280 to schedule your free and confidential consultation.

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