Orange County Negligent Security Attorney
Did you know that businesses in Orange County have a duty to protect you from danger? This helps to explain why so many business owners invest so much in security. If you are injured as a victim of a crime while visiting a business, the owner could be responsible for your damages.
Contact the Law Offices of John Rapillo to learn about how we can help you recover the money you deserve. Our Orange County negligent security attorneys will fight to make sure that you are fairly compensated for your injuries. Call today to schedule a free consultation with our skilled legal team.
Understanding Negligent Security in Orange County
What exactly is negligent security? When can business owners be responsible for injuries that you suffer because of violent and/or criminal activity on their premises? California law states that:
- An owner of a business that is open to the public
- Must use reasonable care to protect guests
- From another person’s harmful conduct
- On that property
- If they can reasonably anticipate such conduct.
In other words, negligent security simply means that business owners fail to provide adequate safety measures to protect guests from reasonably foreseeable danger.
Business Open to the Public
Negligent security can attach to any owner of a business that is open to the public. Examples of business that are open to the public can include:
- Grocery stores
- Jewelry stores
- Antique shops
- Parking garages and parking lots
- Stadiums, and
If a business invites guests or patrons onto the property, whether by appointment or during set hours, it will be considered open to the public.
Reasonable Care to Protect Guests
If a business is open to the public, the owner must take reasonable care to protect guests from harmful conduct. This duty does not require business owners to fully guarantee that guests will be safe from harm. Instead, businesses must assess their own properties and take steps to provide an overall layer of safety. The degree to which a business owner will have to embrace safety measures will often depend on the location and average crime rate in that area.
Reasonable care may exist if a business owner:
- Installs security cameras and other surveillance equipment
- Installs lights in parking areas, walkways, and other potential targets of criminal activity
- Warns criminals that the premises are under constant video surveillance
- Hires security guards to monitor and/or protect the premises, and/or
- Hires and employs competent staff.
Whether or not safety measures are reasonable is a subjective question of fact. This means that it will depend on the particular circumstances of each individual case.
What counts as harmful conduct? In California, this can be defined to mean “physical harm caused by the accidental, negligent, or intentionally harmful acts of third persons or animals.” This can include physical harm that results from being the victim of a criminal act.
A business owner can only be liable for harm caused by a third person if the harmful conduct is foreseeable. In other words, the owner must have some indication that criminal or harmful behavior could potentially harm guests. Indicators of that harmful conduct may be foreseeable include:
- A history of crime or harmful conduct at the business itself
- A heightened crime rate in the surrounding area
- Recent string of crimes in the area
- Specific threats of harm targeted at the business or area, or
- Broken windows, break-ins, and acts of vandalism.
If harmful conduct could be anticipated, do business owners have an obligation to hire security guards? Not necessarily. A business must only hire a security guard if there is a “heightened” foreseeability of danger, as “shown by prior similar incidents” or similar prior acts at that location.
Damages Available to Negligent Security Injury Victims
The harmful and/or criminal acts of a third person can cause you to suffer from a wide range of injuries. Even the least serious injuries can still disrupt your life for an extended period of time. Your injury may force you to miss time at work and is likely to generate costly medical bills. Filing a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent business owner can allow you to recover the money you need and deserve.
At the Law Offices of John Rapillo, our attorneys will pursue compensation on your behalf. In most cases, you will be entitled to receive both economic and non-economic awards.
Economic damages are intended to help you with the financial costs of your injury. Receiving economic damages should put you back in the financial situation you were in before you were injured. Commonly awarded economic damages include those for:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Disability, and
- Reduced earning capacity.
Our attorneys will thoroughly investigate your accident and injury to make sure that all of your financial costs are identified. We do not only look at your actual costs today, but also work to determine how your injury may affect you in the future.
Some injuries will not have a specific or direct financial cost. These injuries are no less serious, and our attorneys will make sure that you receive the compensation you deserve. Commonly awarded non-economic damages include those for:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Disfigurement, and
- Loss of enjoyment of life.
Have you been injured because of a business owner’s negligent security measures? Contact our Orange County personal injury lawyers to schedule a free consultation. We will fight to make sure that you receive the compensation you deserve.
Statute of Limitations for Negligent Security Claims
California limits the amount of time you have to file a personal injury claim for damages. In most injury cases, including those based on negligent security, you will have two years from the date of your accident to file a claim. You can be prevented from getting the money you need if you don’t file your claim before the statute of limitations expires.
There are exceptions that can allow you to extend the amount of time you have to file a claim. These include:
- There was a reasonable delay in the discovery of your injury
- The negligent business owner is incarcerated or cannot be found, or
- You were a minor when you sustained the injury.
It’s important to contact an attorney as soon as you can after your accident. Call our Orange County negligent security attorneys today to get started on your legal claim.
How Our Orange County Negligent Security Lawyers Can Help You
Have you been injured as a guest at an Orange County business? Could your injury have been prevented if the business owner had utilized reasonable security measures? If so, you may be entitled to compensation. Our Orange County negligent security lawyers can help you maximize the financial settlement or award you receive. Here’s how:
- We handle all aspects of your legal case and let you focus on getting better.
- We thoroughly investigate your accident, find out why it happened, and identify who is to blame.
- We protect you from the manipulative tactics often used by insurance companies.
- We work with experts to make sure that your case is valued properly.
- We aggressively pursue compensation on your behalf and hold negligent business owners accountable.
The attorneys at the Law Offices of John Rapillo have more than 30 years of legal experience. We understand that an unexpected injury can change your life forever. We also know that filing a lawsuit can help you recover the money you need and deserve. Call us today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help you.