Negligent Security and Personal Injury: Holding Property Owners Liable

by Staff Blogger | October 27th, 2023

Far too often, shoppers leaving the mall late at night are shot or mugged as they walk to their cars. Sexual assaults can occur on college campuses and in dorm rooms. Office buildings, hotels, schools, and convenience stores can all offer prime targets for opportunistic crime.

Property owners must provide reasonable security to prevent crime. A lack of security in locations accessible to the public can even be considered negligence. If you or a loved one was in a Modesto personal injury incident on someone else’s property, consult an attorney skilled in negligent security incidents. They will know how to investigate the incident and whether a property owner failed to provide adequate security.

Negligent Security and Premises Liability

Negligent security and premises liability are important legal concepts if you’re considering taking legal action after being hurt on someone else’s property.

Negligent security refers to a property owner’s failure to provide adequate safety measures, putting people on that property in danger. It’s easiest to think of negligent security as a subset of premises liability with the added element of a failure to prevent criminal acts. Premises liability more generally involves seeking compensation for injuries from unsafe conditions on someone’s property.

The takeaway for both concepts is that property owners must keep their properties safe. If injury occurs due to negligence, the harmed individuals may have legal rights and options.

If you are considering your legal options after being assaulted on someone else’s property, look for an attorney who has experience handling negligence cases leading to serious injuries. Premises liability attorneys can help clients in civil cases stemming from assault, rape, stabbings, shootings, and wrongful death. They can advise victims of negligent security or unsafe premises on protecting their rights and seeking compensation for the injuries they’ve suffered.

Duty of Care and Property Owner Obligations

California Civil Code 1714 offers guidance on determining who is liable when someone else’s negligence causes an injury. Property owners in California are subject to premises liability laws. According to this legal concept, property owners are responsible for routinely inspecting their properties for hazardous conditions and rectifying them within a reasonable amount of time.

To keep the public safe, apartment complex owners, for example, must repair, replace, or provide reasonable warning about unsafe property conditions. If they should have known that dangerous conditions existed, they are considered negligent if they do not fix the problem or, at the very least, warn others about its presence.

Below are some of the most common examples of conditions that lead to injuries in premises liability cases:

  • Poor lighting
  • Limited access
  • Poor landscaping
  • Poor training/supervision
  • Broken emergency systems
  • Rundown equipment
  • Poor screening/negligent hiring

When You Can Sue for Negligent Security- The Four Essential Elements

In California, proving negligent security or premises liability requires four key components:

  1. Duty of Care: The property owner had a duty to keep the premises reasonably safe for visitors. This includes making sure there are no dangerous conditions.
  2. Breach of Duty: The property owner failed in their duty to keep visitors reasonably safe. For example, there was a wet floor with no warning signs.
  3. Causation: The breach of duty directly caused the injury or accident. For example, the wet floor caused someone to slip and injure themselves.
  4. Damages: The injured visitor suffered quantifiable damages such as medical bills, lost income, disability, or loss of quality of life. Damages may be claimed in the lawsuit.

In most cases, satisfying all four elements of negligence is challenging. It can be tough, especially for people who aren’t experienced attorneys, to prove that a breach of duty of care caused the damage or injury.

Building a strong case is where a negligent security attorney can help victims by gathering evidence to support their claim in court or settlement negotiations.

Common Types of Negligent Security Incidents

There are countless ways someone could get injured on someone else’s property. Negligent security cases often involve an assault or any other situation in which an injury occurred because there was no oversight or protection offered by the property owner.

Some of the most common negligent security injuries related to assault include:

  • Broken bones
  • Internal organ damage
  • Lacerations
  • Soft tissue damages
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
  • Pain and suffering
  • Physical impairment or disability
  • Scarring
  • Death

Compensation for Personal Injury in Negligent Security Cases

A fair settlement is typically calculated based on the attack you suffered, the injuries sustained, and the evidence you have. Here are considerations when evaluating a settlement offer:

  • Medical expenses: Medications, hospital stays, doctor’s appointments, and physical therapy.
  • Lost income: Injuries that prevent you from working at your regular job may result in a loss of income.
  • Out-of-pocket costs: Expenses such as childcare, housekeeping, etc., are usually compensable after an attack.
  • Pain and suffering: The emotional and mental turmoil you experience because of your injuries and the incident that led to the injuries.

Negligent security settlements have no standard value, and several factors, such as those below, can impact the amount of damages awarded:

  • Your injuries and the treatment you need.
  • Incident details.
  • Injuries that kept you from working.
  • How you contributed to the incident.

Get Help from a Negligent Security Attorney

A negligent security case requires a comprehensive approach. Our negligent security lawyers can help you determine why the accident occurred and who may be responsible. Sadly, victims often mistakenly blame themselves or dismiss what happened to them as bad luck.

Avoid self-blame and talk to an attorney who understands your situation. Berg Injury Lawyers is a law firm dedicated to helping victims obtain damages after a negligent security incident leads to an injury or wrongful death. Contact us today.