San Francisco Negligent Security Attorneys

Everyday innocent people become victims of crime. In 2022, aggravated assaults were 67% of reported violent crimes in California; furthermore, 25% of violent crimes were robberies, 7% were rapes, and 1% were homicides. Sadly, many of these crimes could have been prevented with adequate security. 

California law requires that property owners take reasonable steps to protect against foreseeable threats to patrons and tenants on their property. What qualifies as “foreseeable” harm depends entirely on the context of the case, but repeated complaints of security risks or a known history of similar incidents on the premises and/or surrounding area are particularly strong indicators. Adequate security measures to effectively mitigate anticipated harm and should be tailored to specific threats. When failure to adopt reasonable precautions results in injury to a visitor on the property, the injured party may have the right to file a negligent security claim.

You should not have to suffer because a landowner failed to fulfill their required duty of care and left you unnecessarily vulnerable to harm. An experienced San Francisco negligent security lawyer can help you determine the legal remedies that are most appropriate for your specific case. 

California Negligent Security Laws

According to California Civil Code § 1714, “Everyone is responsible, not only for the result of his or her willful acts, but also for an injury occasioned to another by his or her want of ordinary care or skill in the management of his or her property or person […]” This statute establishes that property owners may be responsible for injuries that occur on their property due to lack of care in managing the property and pertains to all areas of premises liability claims, including negligent security. 

After taking the time you need to process what happened, we encourage you to take immediate action. If your injury was foreseeable and preventable by the property owner through the adoption of reasonable security measures under California Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) §335.1, you have two years to file a negligent security personal injury lawsuit from the date the injury occurred. Waiting too long could leave you without legal recourse. 

Where Can Negligent Security Occur?

A negligent security lawsuit can arise on any type of property, whether it is publicly or privately owned. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), these are some of the most common places where negligent security is a concern. 

  • Apartment buildings, 
  • Bars and nightclubs, 
  • Restaurants, 
  • Hospitals
  • Parks and playgrounds, 
  • Gas stations and convenience stores, 
  • Shopping centers, 
  • Factories and other workplaces, 
  • Hotels, 
  • Schools and universities, and 
  • Banks.

Regardless of where you were when the injury occurred, it is important to consider the circumstances surrounding the injury to determine whether negligent security laws apply. The degree of duty or type of reasonable security measures that are appropriate for each type of property may be different.

Who Is Liable in a Negligent Security Claim?

It is important to understand that negligent security claims are not filed against the perpetrator of the crime. The perpetrator might face charges in criminal court, which has a separate legal process and may result in punishments such as incarceration, probation, fines, penalties, etc., but monetary damages are not recovered by a victim in criminal court. 

This is why a negligent security case can be an important part of your recovery. Negligent security lawsuits are filed in civil court against the property owner or manager who can be separately compelled to compensate you for your losses and likely has liability insurance for that purpose. In some cases, it may be difficult to ascertain who can be held liable. For instance, if a business or individual was renting a commercial space, they may be liable for management of the security elements of the property according to its use, rather than the actual property owner. This added layer of complexity is another reason to ensure you have an experienced San Francisco negligent security lawyer on your side. 

Liability is generally established if the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care to protect against reasonably anticipated harm, but that duty was breached. In the case of negligent security, the court may look at a number of additional factors, including the following: 

  • The owner of the property had reason to believe that the visitor to the property may be affected by an active or imminent crime and failed to warn the authorities,
  • Prior incidents on the property or in the area made the criminal acts foreseeable,
  • Whether the plaintiff had the legal right to be on the property or if they were trespassing.

These factors will help the court determine the property owner’s level of accountability. Your San Francisco negligent security attorney can help determine if you have a valid claim and who can be held responsible for your damages.

Contact a San Francisco Negligent Security Lawyer

Those who have sustained injury may experience long term physical and/or mental effects.At Boucher, LLP, we are here to empower you and stand as advocates for your well-being. Our team has decades of combined legal experience and we are committed to achieving the results you need to move forward. Contact us to schedule your case consultation.