Negligent Security Attorney Oakland
Property owners in Oakland can be negligent for a number of reasons. Whenever a property owner fails to provide a safe environment for innocent members of the public, questions are raised. One of the ways in which a property owner can fail in this duty of care is by not providing adequate security. When property owners or managers fail in this regard, other individuals can suffer serious injuries. In a normal personal injury case, these injuries might involve someone slipping on a wet floor or falling down dimly lit staircases.
However, the injuries caused by inadequate security can be much more shocking in nature. These injuries involve being the victim of violent crimes, such as assault, and can involve knife wounds, trauma to the head from a blunt instrument, or even gunshot wounds. In order to recover from these injuries, individuals must shoulder the financial burden of extensive medical expenses. During this recovery period, they may also be forced to miss work, which prevents them from receiving wages. Even after these injuries have healed physically, individuals may be left with psychological trauma due to being victimized by violent criminals. As a result, injury victims may require additional counseling and other psychiatric treatments. All of this can result in serious financial distress.
Fortunately, you can recover all the compensation you need to handle these financial pressures by working with an experienced personal injury attorney in Oakland. Our legal professionals can help you file a personal injury claim against the property owner who has failed to establish adequate security on their premises. If you are successful, you will receive a settlement that compensates you for your medical expenses and your missed wages. In addition, you could receive compensation for pain and suffering. These non-economic damages include things like PTSD, psychological trauma, and other related issues. It is best to reach out to a qualified attorney as soon as possible and start filing your negligent security claim right away.
When are Property Owners Required to Provide Security?
Property owners are required to hire security guards whenever individuals could be potentially harmed by criminal acts on their premises. If they fail to hire security, they could face lawsuits from those who are injured. While there is no law in California that forces certain businesses to hire security guards, most property owners do the right thing and implement some kind of security plan. This is because they understand that the cost of facing a lawsuit far outweighs the cost of hiring security personnel.
With all that said, there are certain businesses that are much more likely to need a serious security plan. If you can foresee a high potential for crime at a particular establishment, the owner will probably use security guards. These establishments include bars, nightclubs, concert venues, sports stadiums, fast food restaurants, and many others. Certain establishments may experience surprising amounts of crime. For example, restaurants that are open 24/7 can attract addicts and drunk individuals. Government-run establishments often require extensive security. Another example is an underground subway system where muggings are common.
Essentially, a property owner is responsible for enlisting the help of qualified security guards whenever they can foresee the possibility of violent crime on their premises. In some cases, it is clear that security is required. For example, if a number of assaults occur within a short period of time at a particular establishment, a reasonable property owner would understand that security is required. Alternatively, the same logic could apply to a business owner who is opening a new establishment in a neighborhood known for its high crime rate.
When is Security Good Enough?
When you file a personal injury claim against a property owner for inadequate security, a key aspect of your case becomes the definition of “adequate.” How much security is enough? At which point does a property owner become “safe” from lawsuits, having established a good enough security plan? Your attorney’s job is to show that the security was clearly inadequate, and they need to highlight the fact that your injuries would not have occurred if the security was good enough. On the other hand, the defendant will try to argue that the security was reasonably good under the circumstances, and your injuries were not foreseeable. If a property owner cannot reasonably foresee the possibility of a violent crime taking place on their property, they may not be held liable.
It is also worth pointing out that different types of crime may not be treated the same way when it comes to a personal injury lawsuit. Let’s say that a string of assaults occurred within a bar in Oakland. In response, the property owner hires a couple of “bouncers” to break up fights and eject unruly patrons. But what happens if, for the first time in the establishment’s history, someone is raped in the parking lot outside of the bar?
In this situation, the property owner may not be held liable. Since there were no prior instances of rape at the establishment, the owner could argue that these crimes were not foreseeable. They focused their security personnel on the interior of the bar because that is where all of the previous crimes took place. In contrast, not only did the rape take place in a different location, but it was also a completely different crime. Because of this, a court could decide that there was no way for the property owner to adequately prepare their security system and prevent the crime from taking place.
It is Not Just About Security Guards
Remember, hiring security guards is not the only way in which a property owner can prevent violent crimes from taking place. There are also a number of additional security features and upgrades that can improve the safety of an establishment. For example, one of the most basic forms of security is a locked front door. The same applies to locked windows. If a property owner does not take these basic precautions (especially in a high-crime area), they can easily be held liable for injuries suffered by occupants.
Another basic security upgrade is a security camera. Cameras are not only capable of catching criminals, but they also serve as a deterrent. When many criminals see security cameras installed on a property, they think twice about approaching. Some may abandon their plans altogether upon seeing a camera. Key cards also see frequent use in many establishments, especially hotels and workplaces. These relatively simple devices can provide a property with a considerable degree of security. Only individuals with the correct keycard can enter certain areas, such as parking lots or hotel rooms.
These security upgrades and features are seen as standard in many establishments across California. If a property owner fails to implement these systems and you become injured on their premises, your attorney can point this out. They can compare the lack of security features to the security systems utilized by other similar businesses. For example, a hotel with inadequate security can be compared to other hotels across Oakland with much better security systems. This can help the court understand that the property owner was acting in an unreasonable, irresponsible manner.
Security Guards Can Cause Injuries Too
It is also worth mentioning that security guards may actually be the cause of injuries in many cases. While many of these individuals are well-trained and responsible, they are not on the same level as police officers. Security guards can easily make mistakes, and sometimes these mistakes lead to serious injuries. For example, a security guard might mistake you for a criminal and attempt to apprehend you. In some cases, they may deploy a taser. They can also tackle you to the ground or put you in a chokehold. You can obviously file a personal injury claim if something like this happens, and recovering a settlement is usually quite straightforward because security companies typically have insurance for these kinds of lawsuits.
Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today
If you have been searching the Oakland area for a qualified, experienced personal injury attorney who can help you with this situation, look no further than Mary Alexander & Associates. We have dealt with a wide range of personal injury cases in Oakland over the years, and we are passionate about helping injury victims in California. Injuries caused by violent criminals can be especially impactful, since this is often an extremely traumatic experience. You may never fully recover psychologically from the experience of being victimized and hurt by another person, but you can recover financially.
Book your consultation today, and we can help you begin the process of seeking justice. You may find that taking legal action against those responsible for your injuries gives you a sense of closure. This can be an important part of the recovery process, and you can move on with your life with greater confidence after receiving your settlement. Reach out at your earliest convenience, and we will make sure you are getting the legal help you need to put this situation behind you once and for all.