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Personal Injury Lawyer in California: Understanding Inadequate Security

When someone ventures onto someone else's property or commercial establishment, the property or business owner has a legal obligation to keep them safe, especially if the visitor is there for the owner's benefit. If the owner fails to uphold that obligation and the visitor is harmed due to that negligence, the injured party may have a claim against the property owner. This claim will be based on premises liability law.

At Dordick Law Corporation, Personal Injury attorneys in Southern California (Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, Riverside, San Diego & surrounding areas) will help you through the process. We will conduct a thorough investigation and build a strong case. Contact us either online or at (310) 551-0949 for a free consultation to learn more about how inadequate security may have played a role in the harm you suffered. 

In June of 2013, Gary A. Dordick obtained a record-setting $55 million verdict for a Rancho Cucamonga man, Antonio Steward, against Stratus Security Services, Inc., when the private security guard at his apartment complex failed to protect him from gang members partying on the complex grounds. 

What Constitutes Adequate Security in California?

Under premises liability law, property owners should provide safe environments for their customers. To be determined as adequate, the type and extent of security must reflect the facts and circumstances. Properties in higher crime areas will require more security than properties in safer locations.

The type of duty a property owner or business owner owes to guests on the property varies slightly according to the type of business. Below are three examples of possible duties owed. 

  1. Interior Security. Property owners should have effective security, policies, and measures in place inside the building. This may include proper lighting or camera systems.
  2. Exterior Security. Property owners should have effective security, policies, and measures in place outside the building. This may include proper lighting of pathways or parking lots, security cameras, and/or security guards.
  3. Employee Security. Business owners or employers should provide background checks on prospective or current employees, especially in situations where vulnerable people are involved (like children or the elderly). Employees should also be adequately trained and supervised to recognize security issues or suspicious activities.
  4. Administrative Duty. A business and property owner should install some kind of system for reporting and collecting information on criminal activity near or on the premises.

Basically, the property or business owner must use reasonable care to protect their employees, patrons, and all guests from foreseeable harm. Upon failing to do so, they can be held liable for another person's injuries resulting from inadequate or negligent security.

Examples of Negligent Security in California

  • An apartment complex does not provide lighting in the parking lot or stairways and a woman is raped.
  • A hotel in a high crime area fails to provide a properly functioning security lock system and a criminal enters a room and assaults a guest.
  • A nightclub fails to intervene when an intoxicated person assaults another guest.
  • A bank fails to post a security guard outside in a high crime area and a person is robbed at the ATM.

Common Injuries in Southern California Stemming from Inadequate Security

When a property owner fails to provide adequate security and someone gets hurt, the results can be dire or even fatal. Crime victims often suffer:

  • Rape
  • Beatings
  • Stab wounds
  • Gunshot wounds

In even the least severe cases, victims are robbed of their money and valuables and left with the emotional distress of being the victim of a crime. In the worst-case scenario, the injuries prove to be fatal.

Proving an Inadequate Security Case in California

The victim must prove that the property owner, business owner, or another potentially liable party failed to provide adequate security. The victim must also show that that injury could have been prevented if adequate security had been provided.  

To build an inadequate security case based on premise liability law, you should establish the following:

  1. The incident leading to the injury was foreseeable and, therefore, preventable.
  2. The business did not act reasonably in failing to provide adequate security.
  3. Adequate security could have prevented the crime and with crime prevention, the patron may not have been harmed.
  4. There were previous issues and yet the property or business owner did not take appropriate action to prevent future incidents.

Negligent security premise liability cases are complex. There are many different scenarios that could play out. Thorough investigations, expert testimony, and more will be needed for a successful end.

Contact a Premises Liability Attorney in California Today

At Dordick Law Corporation, Personal Injury attorneys in Southern California (Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, Riverside, San Diego & surrounding areas) will help you fight to obtain the compensation you deserve due to injuries you suffered from negligent security. Contact us at (310) 551-0949 to schedule a free consultation. We will review your case and outline your best legal options so that you can make an informed decision about how to move forward.

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