Renting a residential or commercial space from other property owners is an integral part of life. If a property owner fails to complete adequate safety measures or warn visitors of private or public property dangerous conditions, these landlords can be held liable for negligent security.
For example, negligence security claims are not something most people think about when visiting premises like a bar, gasoline station, apartment complexes, or a large department store.
Visiting a bar or nightclub is also an experience where property owners should do their best to make you feel safe as a visitor. The need for the feeling of security within the property should be universal.
A smart property owner will install security cameras in known dangerous areas of their premises, and even hire armed security guards in particularly dangerous business locations.
Most of our clients were injured due to a bouncer attack or poor security never imagined in a million years the property owner wouldn’t help them or prevent their injuries, to begin with.
Also, it must be buffeted in good faith by the property owner, or property owners to avoid any potential negligent security cases brought by a Los Angeles negligent security lawyer.
If you’ve been injured due to absent or inadequate security measures, contact the Los Angeles negligent security lawyers at Ehline Law Firm to discuss your case and protect your rights and those of your loved one.
However, in many personal injury claims, the landlord or property owner failed to fulfill their obligations to provide adequate security in common areas or a poorly lit night club parking lot to avoid a car accident. Sometimes they break their implied promise to their visitors and tenants when they should have beefed up security patrols.
The likelihood an assault or other harm could be avoided only increases when property owners go the extra mile for Los Angeles negligent security victims.
This can allow a bad situation to unfold at a bar, convenience store, apartment buildings, a nightclub and even office locations you may work. Did you or your loved one suffer such a dilemma in Los Angeles, California?
The pain and suffering experienced by a victim can pass, but sometimes the damages are permanent, requiring top notch premises liability attorneys to prove your case. Our lead Los Angeles personal injury attorney has over 15 years experience helping assault victims just like you with their premises liability cases against negligent security personnel and others!
Case precedent is clear:
Need help? Negligent security lawsuits are our specialty.
The term ab initio is a Latin term that means “from the very start.” By law, tenants and visitors have the opportunity to present evidence the landlord or other property owners knew their property was unsafe.
Clients who call us often wait too long to protect the statute of limitations or see a doctor. Follow this list of things to do when failure to provide proper security leads to criminal activity from the very start.
Tenants and visitors to their property who are attacked or injured have the same rights and burdens of proof. However, tenants do have additional contractual remedies that visitors cannot access the property’s structure.
Guests can rely on California laws requiring the property owner to make guests safe from known dangers at or near the property.
Both guests and tenants must show the landlord did nothing to remedy. But unlike a tenant, a visitor could sue both the renter and the landlord for rape or assault.
And if the landlord fails to take steps to provide security, then you probably have a case. But if the prospective tenant knew the area was dangerous, this could hamper the case. (Learn how to prove a case here.)
There can be many cases in which the property can become deemed unsafe and requires action. For example, if there was a robbery or shooting on the premises. Most of the time, this means the landlord got notified.
Having a bad bouncer or chaperone is another form of negligent security. Except for this time, the employing owner or landlord failed to do an adequate background check or allowed bouncer attacks to take place for some time. So this is called negligent hiring, and we can help you sue for that.
So this is not something most people think about.
Your job is to mitigate your potential risks by researching the zip code and locale. So, in that case, there is never any need to sue. And this is because you will never become a victim.
Gatherings at nightclubs or bars are a way to have fun with a friend or group of friends. But a barroom brawl or assault was never on anyone’s list, right? Also, patrons expect bouncers to keep order and the building to be safe.
There are many legal theories lawyers use to prove a case like this. But first, you need to understand some basics, so here we go.
Constructive knowledge is the term that indicates such knowledge. But an assessment of what had been happening around the business remains at issue.
Failing to provide adequate security doesn’t just mean hiring a guard. It also means guarding against dangerous conditions on your property.
Type of harm suffered in negligence security cases includes:
These types of incidents happen due to a defect or failure by the property owner or management. So they fail to maintain the building securely and adequately.
The other types of harm that can occur may include criminal conduct in the form of:
Most bouncer attack lawyers will tell you that patrons of a nightclub or bar usually are not concerned with criminal dangers. After all, these establishments typically have security guards, right? The bouncer is another name for “private guard.”
And their job is to protect you and the club, or bar, etc. If there is a scuffle, they must peacefully try to diffuse the situation.
So the bouncer is typically the employee who will have contact and cooperate with the police. So the idea is that the bouncer helps police in subduing or responding to a potential crime. But the bouncer is not usually a sworn peace officer.
Observing, report, and refraining from using emotions are the duties of a bouncer. And this is no easy task when dealing with patrons who may misbehave.
Sometimes customers are out of line and want to test their mixed martial arts skills on the bouncer or another visitor. In other cases, the security guard can step over the edge of their intended functions.
So now, rather than controlling dangerous situations, the bouncer makes it worse. If so, liability attaches.
News stories about violent bouncers are nothing new. Most happened in situations where bouncers assaulted patrons of nightclubs or bars.
In that case, a video went viral on the internet. Witnesses saw the security guard/bouncer punch the patron. Next, he robbed him in the bathroom of a strip club. The bouncer later said he believed the man was dealing drugs in the club.
The man required emergency surgery. The charges were assault and endangerment after his arrest.
He required facial reconstructive surgery after being injured by an improvised explosive device. Police suspected this bouncer of two similar assaults that occurred at the same club!
Police believed it was the same baton witnesses claim saw striking the man who had complained about his drink. The bouncer was arrested, charged with murder, and released on $50,000 bail.
When businesses fail to provide the needed security to their customers, it’s said that they show negligence towards security measures. A business that has the public coming within its premises has to offer protection to its customers.
In other words, if it is within the knowledge of the business that crimes or even a trip and fall can occur, it becomes a responsibility for the business to protect its patrons.
If crime causes harm to the patron or his personal property, the business will become held liable. What about when a gang-banger shoots up a club or a disco? Well, if the owner knows it’s a possibility, it is a foreseeable crime.
In other words, was there a history or knowledge that gang-bangers have caused trouble in the area? If so, liability attaches.
From foreseeability we mean that it was in the knowledge of the business (the runners of the business) that a crime can take place.
Negligent security happens when bouncers or owners and employees do not adequately perform their functions. So the result is a patron being harmed.
When a guest of a nightclub or bar is hurt, under the legal theory of premises liability, premises liability in the state of California outlines that the owner of a property must provide reasonably safe conditions. And this duty includes preventing any foreseeable harm to any visitor to the business.
Negligent actions by the employees of a bar or nightclub owner in the performance of their duties can make them liable to you. But you must suffer harm. That is what gives rise to your money damages award.
Attorneys for the defense will almost always argue they did not know about any potential problem. They will come up with a litany of excuses to avoid paying for the injuries.
So victims at the bar, nightclub, or regular old corporate offices have to prove the case. We just discussed that courts would look for whether or not a duty is owed. The defense will argue that even if the task was breached, it was not foreseeable.
So no liability lies even if someone was hurt from a crime. Plus, the mere fact a crime took place while you were hanging out matters not since it was not a PSI.
If those basic things are not present, the jury instructions will provide the framework to the trier of fact to find zero or partial liability.
“Series 1000 – Premises Liability
Whether the victim will win in a case where a third party committed a crime against you majorly depends on proving the crime’s Foreseeability. Most of this test comes from case law. But some courts have different thresholds and variations of this test in California.
Nonetheless, this is the threshold you must meet. And if not, the court could dismiss your case with or without prejudice to you re-filing the case.
So naturally, a real personal injury warrior will note that this is a critical element. This must become nailed down before you consider moving forward with your lawsuit. From Foreseeability, we mean that it was in the business’s knowledge (the company’s runners) that a crime could occur at or near the site.
It’s sometimes implied that the business knew or should have known about a crime or other dangers on the premises.
Examples of noncriminal events giving rise to landlord liability could be where could be:
But how do you show the owner knew or should have known about guests’ criminal or civil dangers. Well, one way is to show they understood the ceiling was collapsing or the trash in the garage was a fall hazard. However, most of the time, it is not that easy. Most of the time, we lawyers use the concept of constructive or implied knowledge.
Any crime that took place in the past that indicated that a crime might take place is enough reason for a business to take security measures.
How recently, a crime took place in the business’s vicinity where the victim has suffered harm. This is also of importance in deciding the Foreseeability of the crime.
Yes, this is key in most cases. So liability could lie if the incident that harmed you was similar to one that had taken place in the past. But they must be in the proximity of the business or premises. It could be said the owner should have foreseen similar scenarios in the future.
Also discussed below is another crucial factor when proving a crime’s Foreseeability or even a slippery floor case. Prior Similar Incidents are what lawyers look for to sue.
The similarity between the incidents that took place in the past and the plaintiff case remains essential. PSI or prior similar incidents can show it was avoidable if not but for owner negligence.
There is quite a debate and controversy in many court cases over PSI. Different state judges are of different opinions.
So if, for example, a past robbery had taken place in the nearby store, that would not instantly prove security negligence unless there was a similar robbery at your location.
But if it’s not similar enough, you can lose. So to prove the Foreseeability of the crime, it had to be similar. Get it so far?
PSI theory accepted by all courts?
From the above information, we can easily conclude that any victim who wants to prove that a business’ security is negligent must come up with ample evidence to show past crime or PSI. But you must show the company knew or should have known about the possibility of the crime at the minimum, not to mention a brain injury or wrongful death claim against the business owners.
The plaintiff will have to collect information about past cases. It is always best that the plaintiff collects information about similar topics. But bear in mind some courts think any crimes in the business’s vicinity should have encouraged security measures.
Bar fights are always a problem when alpha males mix ego with alcohol. Sometimes the bouncer instigated everything. Los Angeles is one of the most populous regions in the U.S. Crimes occurs in this area every minute.
Were you part of an incident, suffering harm? Also, while at the premises, was your property damaged? If so, you should contact an experienced law firm as soon as possible.
So let’s assume you did your due diligence. You still got assaulted or raped.
Now a legal advocate becomes necessary to assist you in collecting evidence. Also, your lawyer will distill it and present it to a court. No, lawyers are not free, but the better personal injury law firms work on a contingency fee basis.
Hence, you have a “partner.” Also, lawyers can help with negotiations with the owner or with insurance companies. Therefore, they can contribute to ensuring that your losses get covered. A property owner takes on a particular responsibility once they rent out their premises.
Noteworthy, Dram shop laws are on the books in 42 states and the District of Columbia. These laws hold the owner of the establishment and servers responsible in some cases. And examples include a drunken patron injuring another person inside or even outside of their establishment.
So, in that case, the bar or nightclub owners and servers may be held liable. And this remains true if they permit a patron to become visibly intoxicated at the establishment. But California uses the foreseeability test, not Dram-shop laws. Only a hight trained premises liability attorney knows how to score a home run.
In particular, sexual assault cases often see the rapist murdering the women or girls to eliminate witnesses to implicate them. When an incident at a nightclub or bar that kills a patron occurs, it could be negligence. So, you can sue for wrongful death and make a survival claim for your deceased loved one’s injury suffered before passing away.
Of particular interest, California cases are brought by the spouse, children, grandchildren, domestic partner, other dependents. And the personal representatives of the decedent may also sue with help from the right negligent security attorneys or law firm.
Two things will determine if damages get awarded to the heirs in a negligent security lawsuit.
What About Punitive Damages?
What About a Survivor’s Action?
Above, we discussed the various types of cases, statistics, and legal theories lawyers use to prove a negligent security case. Now that you understand more about your rights, you need to make a decision.
What is an example of a Negligent Hiring Case Ehline Had Against Gallagher’s Nightclub in Huntington Beach?
In Mary Pfeifer v. Gallaghers, our client tiny female client was choked by a bouncer. Her injuries included cervical lordosis and emotional trauma.
So there can be cases where negligence was the basis of the claim. As a consequence, we find those responsible for the fight or altercation.
Also, we can employ private investigators. Also, we collaborate with the police to gather evidence. So we do what is necessary to make your life whole again.
Our experience in similar cases has helped clients and their families. We take pride in assisting people to get their lives back on track. Also, these attorneys have expertise in residential and commercial rental laws.
So they have experience countering abuse and oversights by landlords. Call us today for a free, no-pressure consultation. We’ll come anywhere in the state to discuss your case with you. We will even travel to your apartment or storefront.
So we are not asking for any money unless we win for you. Also, we answer our phones and emails at any time of the day or night. Contact our Los Angeles injury attorneys for more information. Call us for a free case evaluation today at (213) 596-9642.