What Defines Premises Liability?

Premises liability is a term that describes the legal responsibility that an owner and occupier of a property have for accidents and injuries that occur on their property.  These injuries may be caused by a variety of conditions or equipment on the property

Negligent Security – Where It May Happen

In general, business owners are not liable for crimes that occur on their property. However, property owners do have a duty to implement reasonable security measures designed to prevent or deter crimes. The California Supreme Court determined the duty of the property owner is determined by balancing the foreseeability of a criminal act against the burdensomeness of the security measures proposed to prevent that act. Reasonable security measures may include increased lighting, security guards, improved or additional locks, and property perimeter protection. A breach of this duty to provide reasonable security is called negligent security.

Common places where negligent security can occur include:

  • ATMs
  • Sports stadiums
  • Elevators or stairwells
  • Shopping malls
  • Apartment buildings
  • Parking lots/garages
  • Office buildings

Have you been the victim of a crime because a property owner failed to provide adequate security? Negligent security is a complicated area of the law. You need to retain a competent negligent security attorney who can conduct a thorough investigation of the property and its owners. Professionals may be able to find evidence of prior incidents on the property and other information crucial to your case.

When Security Personnel Uses Excessive Force

Security personnel, who may be security guards, doormen, or nightclub bouncers, can verbally request you leave a place of business for good cause. If they are required to physically remove you from the premises, they must not use excessive force to do so and they do not have a right to physically assault you in the process.  Under the law, force should be used in only the minimum amount needed to achieve a legitimate purpose.

If you have suffered injuries at the hands of security personnel, you may have a personal injury claim. It’s important that you consult with an experienced California personal injury attorney who can educate you on your rights and investigate the claim quickly and thoroughly.

Assault and Battery on Premises

Assault occurs when an attack is made on another person, even if that attack did not include physical contact. Under the law, some verbal threats are considered assaults.
A person can be held liable for assault in civil court if:

  • There was intent to cause harmful or offensive contact.
  • The threat was such that the victim believed personal harm was imminent.

Battery occurs when the victim is subjected to harmful or offensive physical contact that causes injury.

If you’ve experienced assault or battery on the property of another person, you may have a claim for damages against the property owner under California law. Assault and battery can take place in a variety of public settings including bars, nightclubs, parking lots, or even storage facilities.

Experienced Premises Liability Attorney

Speaking with an experienced premises liability attorney is necessary to ensure your legal rights to compensation are fully protected in the event of any of the above scenarios.  Call Brian S. Nelson law today at (310) 277-5300 to schedule your free consultation.


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