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If You Are Assaulted, Who Can You Sue?

By Allen, Flatt, Ballidis & Leslie on January 31, 2020

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A report from the FBI showed that some Orange County cities saw a rise in violent crime in 2018, as stated in an article on Patch. These cities include Dana Point, Fullerton, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Wood, Lake Forest, Mission Viejo, Placentia, and San Clemente. Violent crime can occur anywhere. Even Irvine, which prides itself on being the safest city of its size for the 14th year running, experienced 160 violent crime incidents in 2018.

If you have been a victim of assault, it is only natural that you should want to recover compensation for your injuries. But who can you sue if you are assaulted? In some cases, your best chance of recovering damages may be to sue the owner of the property where the assault occurred, in a premises liability claim based on negligent security.

What Is Negligent Security In a Premises Liability Claim?

Negligent security is a type of premises liability that deals with civil redress for crimes and violent acts. On the basis of negligent security, an individual injured by a third party seeks to hold the owner or occupier of the property where the criminal injury was inflicted liable for his or her injuries. Injury in a negligent security case may arise out of robbery, assault, battery, or rape.

What Makes Property Owners Responsible for Third-Party Criminal Acts?

A negligent security claim brought by an injured party is based on the duty imposed on property owners and occupiers to provide reasonable security measures and protect lawful visitors from foreseeable crimes. It is assumed that the crime could have been prevented if appropriate security measures had been taken.

Why not sue the perpetrator of the crime instead? The simple answer is, it is easier for a visitor injured on a property to locate the owner or possessor of the property than to locate the perpetrator of the crime. In addition, the property owner or occupier is much more likely to carry insurance against which a judgement can be enforced, which greatly increases the chances of recovering damages.

What Must You Prove To Win a Negligent Security Claim?

If you are suing for negligent security, you will need to show that:

  • You were lawfully present on the defendant’s property.
  • The defendant had a duty to provide adequate security measures.
  • The defendant breached that duty.
  • Your injuries were foreseeable.
  • Your injuries were caused by the lapse in security.
  • You suffered physical, financial, property, or other damages as a result.

Why You Need a Lawyer

Negligent security has been evolving through case law since the 1970s and is based on complicated legal principles. For your best chance of success, you need an experienced attorney who is well-versed in premises liability matters. Our Orange County premises liability lawyers at Allen, Flatt, Ballidis & Leslie have decades of experience and a history of success for our clients. We have recovered tens of millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts.

If you have been injured in an assault on someone else’s property, call us at (949) 752-7474 to schedule a free consultation. We can tell you if you have a negligent security case, and what damages you may be entitled to claim.

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Posted in: Premises Liability

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