Negligent Security Attorneys in Costa Mesa
People visiting a restaurant, bar, nightclub, or hotel are not expecting to be mugged, assaulted, or raped, but it can happen when businesses fail to provide adequate security on their premises. Apartments and shops in unsafe neighborhoods should provide adequate security measures to ensure the safety of their guests, from keeping all entrances secured to hiring and training proper security personnel.
When property owners fail to take measures against safety concerns, they can be held liable for negligent security claims. To do so, you will need the legal aid of an experienced law firm. Contact the Costa Mesa premises liability attorneys at Allen, Flatt, Ballidis & Leslie at (949) 752-7474 for a free consultation. We can explain to you your rights under the law and determine if you have a case of negligent security.
Businesses, whether overseen by a property owner or general managers, have a duty of care to lawful visitors to the property, which includes taking measures to remedy any known hazards and ensure the safety of their visitors. This duty of care extends to providing adequate security to protect visitors from foreseeable crimes. When an individual becomes a victim of a crime because a business, property owner, or manager breaches the duty of care, the victimized person is entitled to pursue damages against the negligent party.
There is no hard and fast rule as to what type of security a business establishment or property owner or manager must provide. It ultimately comes down to the crime rate in the surrounding neighborhoods and what measures other property owners have taken to prevent violent crimes. Negligent security may involve:
- Lack of security guards
- Inadequately trained or incompetent security guards
- Inadequate security patrols
- Lack of security protocols
- Lack of security cameras or alarms
- Inadequate lighting
- Lack of proper locks on doors, gates, and windows
- Malfunctioning security systems
- Lack of restriction on key duplication
Due to the broad scope of the law, negligent security injuries can occur on many different types of properties, including:
- Apartment complexes
- Hotels and motels
- Shopping malls
- Gated communities
- Sports stadiums
- College campuses and student housing
Yes and no. Bars and restaurants are not immediately liable for the actions of an individual who is intoxicated on their premises, even if they did sell that individual alcohol, per California Civil Code, Section 1714. In turn, they are not liable for the injuries that individual sustains as a result of being intoxicated or any injuries they inflict on another individual.
However, this law does not completely exclude bars, restaurants, or liquor stores from liability. While alcohol is a factor in bar fights, it is ultimately up to the choice of the aggressive individual to inflict harm on another patron. The property owner should attempt to stop all fights, whether by hiring bouncers, or refusing entry to violent offenders. When they fail to do so, the victim may file a negligent security claim.
Foreseeability is an important factor in holding a property owner or manager liable in a negligent security claim. If the property owner or manager was aware of likely criminal conduct on the premises, then a dangerous condition existed that should have been remedied. To demonstrate that the property owner or manager knew or should have known of likely criminal conduct by third parties, your attorney can show evidence of similar crimes that have occurred in the area, and how recently they have occurred.
Like any premise’s liability claim, negligent security cases can be difficult to prove. The burden of proof is on the injured party and establishing foreseeability can be complicated and may require hiring an expert witness. If you have been assaulted and harmed as a result of negligent security, your best course of action is to get an experienced lawyer on your side.
The legal team at Allen, Flatt, Ballidis & Leslie have a thorough understanding of California laws and first-hand experience handling premises liability claims involving negligent security. To schedule a free case evaluation, contact us at (949) 752-7474.
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