Palm Springs Negligent Security Lawyer
Crimes can happen anywhere and cause physical and mental distress to a victim. Public and commercial spaces—as well as workplaces and residential properties—can fall prey to robberies and assaults, and a property owner is often responsible for preventing danger for their customers and employees.
A property owner or employer could have inadequate security if a crime on their property could have been prevented by reasonable precautions. Holding a property owner accountable also involves a legal standard of foreseeability, which a Palm Springs negligent security lawyer could explain and investigate. Our premises liability attorneys are ready to help with your claim.
What is Negligent Security?
Not every crime that occurs can lead to a negligent security claim, as a property owner’s responsibility depends heavily on the circumstances. Generally, any person has a responsibility to act with care and to maintain their property so as not to cause injuries to others, and California Civil Code § 1714 establishes that responsibility as legal liability.
Some examples of negligent security could include a lack of security personnel or infrastructure, such as inadequate security guards at a mall or jewelry store or malfunctioning security cameras. Even poor lighting, a lack of emergency exit signage and broken locks on doors or windows could count as negligent security.
These kinds of precautions against an intruder or a rowdy patron are usually considered reasonable, and a property owner operating without them could expose themselves to a claim of negligent security. An attorney could help evaluate a negligent security case in the Palm Springs area.
Pursuing a Negligent Security Claim
With Section 1714 generally creating liability for a property owner, a claim for damages might seem simple. However, courts consider the additional legal factor of foreseeability before deciding a property owner must pay for injuries caused on their property.
In cases such as Mora v. Baker Commodities, Inc. and Portillo v. Aiassa, the courts determined the dangers a property owner is supposed to prevent must be foreseeable. The reasonableness of an absent precaution alone does not mean a property owner had to provide for it.
Instead, an injured person should also ask certain questions. Did the property owner know the area has high crime rates, or their business might attract thieves? Have similar crimes happened at or near the property in the past? If the answers to these kinds of questions are yes, then the crime that occurred might have—or should have—been foreseen by the property owner.
Statute of Limitations
In addition to establishing the claim, a victim of a crime on another’s property also must consider the timing of their lawsuit. Right after a crime, a person might get caught up in any criminal investigation and testimony, but a statute of limitations prevents a civil claim after too much time has elapsed.
California Civil Procedure Code § 335.1 creates a general two-year statute of limitations for civil suits from the time of the incident. Suits against some entities—such as if a state or local government operates a site or building where a crime takes place—can have shorter timeframes.
An attorney in Palm Springs familiar with negligent security claims can help a victim figure out if a property owner should have foreseen a dangerous incident and if they still have time to sue. A lawyer may also have knowledge about security measures common in the area and could show a property owner did not prioritize their security.
Talk to a Negligent Security Attorney in Palm Springs
When you have suffered from a crime at a business, or even in a leased property, your first thought might not be to sue the property owner. A crime, especially a violent one, can cause physical injury and mental distress, and treating these injuries while cooperating with law enforcement should always be the priority.
Property owners still have a duty to prevent foreseeable danger through reasonable means. A Palm Springs negligent security lawyer could evaluate the situation surrounding the crime and see if you have a claim against the property owner. Call our team today to schedule a consultation and get started on your case.