What Are the Elements of Negligent Security?
You may be able to bring a negligent security lawsuit if you were injured due to a lack of adequate security measures on premises belonging to someone else. There are several elements you need to prove in order to recover compensation.
Customers and other visitors to a property should not have to fear for their safety. If you were the victim of a crime on another’s premises, our lawyers can determine if you have a claim for negligent security.
For a FREE and confidential case evaluation, call Burg Simpson at 702-668-2070 today. Our negligent security lawyers serve clients in Las Vegas, all of Nevada, and nationwide.
What Is Negligent Security?
Negligent security refers to the failure of a property owner or occupier to put reasonable security measures in place on their premises, resulting in harm or injury to lawful visitors. Virtually any type of property can have issues with negligent security, including residential buildings, commercial establishments, parking lots, hotels, schools, and public spaces.
For the security on the property to be considered “negligent,” it must be shown that the property owner failed to take reasonable steps to prevent foreseeable harm to visitors, tenants, customers, and other individuals. Such a failure may result in preventable incidents of violence, theft, assault, or other criminal activities for which the owner of the premises may be held liable.
What Are the Elements of Negligent Security in Nevada?
As the name suggests, a negligent security lawsuit is brought on the basis of negligence. Negligence is the basis for virtually all personal injury claims in Nevada. There are four basic elements that must be satisfied to establish negligence:
- Duty of Care
- Breach of Duty
Proving a negligent security case on your own can be difficult. A knowledgeable lawyer can collect evidence on your behalf and pursue legal action against the property owner or occupant.
What Is the Duty of Care?
Individuals who are lawfully on the premises are owed a duty of care by the property owner or occupant. The duty of care encompasses multiple responsibilities for the safety of visitors, including their security on the premises.
Property owners have broad responsibilities when it comes to the safety of customers, guests, etc., but they are not expected to prepare for every tragic possibility. When establishing the duty of care of a property owner for the wrongful acts of another, it must be shown that “the wrongful act that precipitated the plaintiff’s injury was foreseeable” (see the Supreme Court of Nevada’s opinion in Estate of Smith v. Mahoney’s Silver).
What Is Foreseeability?
Property owners have a duty to reasonably anticipate or predict that a certain event or harm may occur based on the circumstances present at the time. This is known as foreseeability, and it is often a key component in negligent security lawsuits.
For example, if the owner of a property receives reports of criminal activity on the premises (such as robberies, sexual assaults, etc.), harm to a guest would be considered foreseeable. If the owner fails to improve security on the property and a visitor is actually harmed as a result of criminal acts, then the owner may be held liable.
In Nevada, the liability of an innkeeper (i.e., the “owner or keeper of any hotel, inn, motel, motor court, boardinghouse or lodging house”) for injuries sustained due to the actions of a third party is based specifically on the foreseeability of the wrongful act (see Nevada Revised Statutes 651.015). Foreseeability may also apply in negligent security cases arising on other properties, but it is a particularly important consideration if you were injured at a hotel, motel, etc.
What Is Breach of Duty?
Negligent security cases are centered on the failure to implement reasonable protocols and procedures for the safety of lawful visitors. These may include:
- Proper lighting in public areas
- Functioning door locks
- Placement of warning signs (e.g., “No Trespassing”)
- Installation of security cameras
- Hiring and training of security personnel
- And more
An experienced negligent security attorney can determine the applicable duty and whether negligence was a factor. The absence of one or more of these security features may represent a breach of the duty owed to the plaintiff.
What Is Causation?
You must show that the negligence of the property owner directly led to your injuries. While the actions of a third party (usually a criminal trespasser) may have been the actual cause of harm, evidence of negligent security on the premises can support your right to compensation.
What Are Damages?
Damages are the economic and non-economic losses you sustain due to an incident on an unsafe property. These may include current and future medical expenses, lost wages and loss of earning capacity, pain and suffering, and more.
What to Do If You Are Attacked on Someone Else’s Property
The rate of violent crime in Las Vegas is higher than the national average. If you or someone you love is a victim of a violent crime in Las Vegas, it is important to preserve your right to pursue legal action against the owner of a property for injuries arising due to negligent security.
Key steps to take after an attack resulting in bodily injury include:
- Get medical attention for your injuries.
- Report the incident to the police—call 911 or file a report online.
- Take photos of the premises, especially of security measures (or the lack thereof) in the vicinity.
- Get statements and contact information from eyewitnesses.
- Notify the owner or manager of the property; you may be asked to fill out an incident report.
- Preserve the clothes you were wearing at the time, damaged personal property, etc.
- Request a copy of the police report.
- Obtain copies of your medical records.
- Keep any and all bills, receipts, etc. for the expenses you incur.
- Seek legal guidance as soon as possible.
You have 2 years to file a negligent security lawsuit in Nevada. Take action promptly to ensure you have adequate time to make a claim.
Do You Have a Negligent Security Lawsuit?
Understanding your legal rights after an accident or incident on another’s property can be difficult. Burg Simpson has an in-depth understanding of premises liability law, and we can fight for the compensation you deserve for injuries arising due to negligent security.
Our lawyers have extensive experience advocating for those who have been injured on unsafe premises. We can negotiate a favorable settlement on your behalf or, if necessary, file a negligent security lawsuit to pursue the maximum compensation you are due. Our trial attorneys will not hesitate to fight for you in court if it means obtaining the outcome you deserve.