Long Beach Negligent Security Lawyer

Long Beach Negligent Security Attorney

Following an attack or robbery, many people think of the perpetrator as being the only at-fault party involved. In California, property owners are responsible for ensuring that their properties are safe. If the owner did not exercise proper care, they can be held liable for monetary damages. This type of liability is called premises liability. A Long Beach negligent security lawyer can help.

McLachlan Law, APC, has many years of experience representing clients in these types of cases, and our law firm can work to achieve a favorable settlement.

Best Long Beach Negligent Security Lawyer

What Is the Negligent Security Law in California?

The negligent security law, also known as premises liability, applies to the civil courts. If you were robbed, attacked, or assaulted on someone else’s property, the perpetrator of that attack, if found, could face criminal charges.

The negligent security law would apply to the owner of that property, and those cases are brought forward by lawyers through a civil claim against the party who was in charge of the premises at the time the attack occurred. The form of relief that you can be given through a civil claim is monetary.

Negligent security cases in Long Beach are often brought following a sexual assault, robbery, or shooting on someone else’s property. Any incident that leads to harm, such as a slip and fall accident, can be grounds for civil action. What sets negligent security cases apart is the consideration of whether the landlord took action to prevent a crime from occurring.

A claim can also be brought against landlords. If the property is collectively owned by a group of business owners, those individuals can be sued. Any type of property is potentially subject to this form of legal action. Some of the more common examples include:

  • Nightclubs
  • Bars
  • Motels
  • Apartment buildings
  • Parking garages
  • Shopping malls
  • Nursing homes
  • Commercial properties

In California, anyone who owns one of these properties is expected to take reasonable steps to protect tenants and patrons from criminal conduct. This is true even when the misconduct comes from a third party. Keeping visitors and tenants safe is part of the job of a property owner. Common steps that a court would expect any property owner to take would include:

  • Placing security cameras
  • Hiring security personnel
  • Formulating practices and policies for deterring criminal acts

For the courts to find the property owner liable, the criminal conduct would have to be anticipated. This means that it was reasonably foreseeable. The courts will look at the totality of circumstances surrounding the attack when making this determination. Factors demonstrating that the property owner should have known there would be the potential for crime at the Long Beach property include:

  • Whether there is a higher rate of crime in the area
  • Past criminal acts at or near the property
  • Whether a tenant has a criminal record
  • Past warnings or concerns about safety that were brought to the property owner’s attention

Your negligent security lawyer can research the facts of your case so you can have a higher chance of receiving a favorable settlement or jury award. McLachlan Law, APC, has helped many clients settle these types of cases with favorable outcomes for the client.

Benefits of Taking Legal Action

If you were attacked, assaulted, or harmed by another person, those memories can be traumatizing. There are also financial costs associated with recovering from the injury. You may require years of therapy to heal your mental wounds.

With the work of a Long Beach negligent security attorney, you can be compensated for your injuries and suffering. This is done through a monetary settlement or jury award. This can be an important part of your recovery. Holding a negligent party accountable for their actions can provide a level of comfort as you heal. A monetary judgment in your favor can help you pay for past medical builds and plan for the future.

Financial settlements from the perpetrator, who may also be facing criminal charges, are rare because any liability insurance they have would not cover malicious acts. Criminals are often indigent, and the courts cannot force someone to pay who does not have money. That often leaves legal action against the property owner as a better use of the victim’s time and resources.

Common Examples of Negligent Security

If there is a hospital in an area of town known for high crime and the hospital administrators reduced or eliminated the contingent of security guards, the owners of that hospital could be held responsible for any injury or death that occurred on their property as a result of a criminal act. If the hospital allowed the public to use the hospital staff’s parking lot, then anyone who was harmed in the parking lot could potentially sue the hospital’s owners.

Landlords and property owners have a responsibility to keep tenants and visitors safe. If a tenant is known to have active involvement with criminal associations, like gangs, then the landlord or property owner has an obligation to evict that tenant. Any apartment or mobile home park contract would have provisions for the removal of a tenant for public safety reasons.

If the landlord or property owner fails to remove the unsafe tenant, then the owner could be held liable if that renter harmed or killed someone.

If a woman leaves a premises because she is being sexually harassed and no staff members take steps to keep her safe, such as offering to walk her to her car or calling the police, then the woman could have legal grounds for suing the business if the harassing man harms her.

How Does Compensation Work, and What Can I Be Compensated For?

Compensation should cover your losses from an incident that resulted from negligent security. Sometimes, victims are reluctant to seek compensation for their injuries or the wrongful death of a loved one. Civil courts exist to ensure that anyone who was harmed can seek justice, and justice often comes in the form of monetary compensation from the at-fault party. If the facts are on your side, then you are entitled to compensation.

An attorney from a personal injury law firm can calculate what fair compensation could be in your case. This does not mean that the other party will immediately settle for that amount. There is usually a period of negotiation where both parties make offers and counteroffers.

Medical expenses are a common cost that victims can seek compensation for. Following an attack, you may require emergency medical services or long-term treatments. Violent attacks often lead to hospital stays. Without medical insurance, those expenses can easily reach tens of thousands of dollars. Even with insurance, you will have to pay your deductible.

A successful negligent security case can require that the property owner cover those losses through a settlement or court-ordered monetary award in your favor. The payments can also account for anticipated medical expenses in the future.

Following an attack, victims almost certainly miss time from work. This can cause a loss of income. Your lost wages and future lost wages can be included in any settlement or monetary award. If your injury leaves you disabled, that can be factored in as well.

Pain and suffering are also factors that can contribute to your compensation through a negligent security claim. Although it may seem complicated to place a monetary amount on emotional anguish, civil courts consider pain and suffering all the time. An experienced lawyer can calculate what you may be entitled to based on the facts of your case and what similar cases have awarded victims for their pain and suffering.

Wrongful Death Claims

In some cases, the lack of adequate security measures can lead to someone’s death. These wrongful deaths are devastating for the deceased’s loved ones. Whether they are the surviving spouse, heir, or immediate family member, these individuals can work with a wrongful death attorney to seek monetary damages. The survivors represent the estate of the deceased.

Although negligent security is a common cause of a wrongful death case, this type of civil litigation can also be brought against:

  • A healthcare professional for medical malpractice
  • Drivers who caused a fatal vehicle collision
  • Manufacturers of faulty products or medical devices
  • Bartenders who serve drunk customers who die or kill someone
  • Perpetrators of domestic violence

The age and earning capacity of the deceased person will be considered, along with compensation for pain and suffering. Funeral costs are another factor that will be considered.

What Does a Personal Injury Case Have to Prove?

Even when a criminal act appears clearly connected to inadequate security and negligence on the part of a property owner, proving a negligent security case requires an experienced attorney. They can gather evidence and testimony to prove that a preponderance of the evidence shows that your injury resulted from the defendant’s negligence. Your attorney can help prove the following.

Duty of Care

The first step requires showing that the property owner had a duty of care to keep occupants, tenants, and visitors safe. Part of that duty of care is taking steps to keep those spaces safe and secure.

Breach of Duty

The next step requires a plaintiff to prove that the owner of the property breached that duty of care. One example would be an apartment owner who knew that their electric gates were not working properly and remained open at all hours of the day and night. If that owner knew about the problem and failed to take steps to correct that issue, they could be held liable for any crimes that resulted from the faulty gates.

The Breach Led to Your Injury

Your negligent security lawyer can then gather evidence and testimony to show that the breach of trust led to your injury. This would involve making a connection between the lax security and your injury. One example would be proving that an area of a complex that was poorly lit became an ideal place for a perpetrator to stalk potential victims.

You Suffered Damages Due to the Breach and Injury

You will need to prove that you suffered damages as a result. This can be straightforward when the bodily injuries are serious. If the attack left you with emotional trauma, that can also be proven. Evidence of harm could include photos, therapy bills, and medical reports, among other potential forms of evidence.

When to Hire an Attorney

The statute of limitations for most personal injury cases in California is two years. If you miss any legal deadlines, you may not be able to sue for damages. Some clients may be reluctant to take legal action. One reason may be that they think their injuries are only minor. Some may worry that their landlord will retaliate against them.

Hiring an attorney can afford peace and security because your legal representative can take steps to protect you from any form of retaliation. Beyond providing you with compensation for your injuries, taking legal action can ensure that the property where the crime occurred is made safer.

In an ideal world, property owners would take proactive steps to provide for the safety and welfare of their tenants and visitors, but this is often not the case. A successful claim can set an example for your community. Taking legal action can even lower the risk that a future criminal act occurs at the location where the attack occurred.

Even if the attack didn’t result in serious injury, you could still have legal grounds for seeking compensation from the property owner. One way to find out is to schedule a consultation with a local attorney who regularly handles negligent security cases.

What to Expect During Your Court Case

As with other civil court cases, there are basic steps that unfold in a negligent security claim. Once you sign on with an attorney, they may reach out to the property owner or the owner’s legal counsel. Some cases begin with the mailing of a demand letter seeking monetary compensation. If the property owner does not respond, your lawyer can file the case in the appropriate county that has jurisdiction over the case.

The next phase involves gathering evidence and testimony. As your lawyer builds your case, the defendant may agree to a settlement offer. If both sides do not agree to a settlement, the case will go to trial, where a judge or jury will determine if the defendant is at fault and how much they owe in compensation. If the case goes to trial, your lawyer can represent you in court.

Witnesses will describe events related to the case, and your attorney can admit evidence into the court to bolster your claims. Juries are free to determine what amount of compensation is appropriate for your case.


Q: Can I Still Sue Even If I Wasn’t Invited to the Property When I Was Attacked?

A: Yes, you can still sue if you were an uninvited guest at the property, but that may complicate your case. The defendant may use those circumstances to portray you as a trespasser. Even if you were on the property without invitation when you were attacked, it is still worth speaking with an attorney to see if you have grounds for suing the property owner.

Q: How Much Does a Negligent Security Lawyer Charge?

A: Lawyers often charge $200 to $400 an hour. More experienced attorneys can charge more. Some law firms work on a contingency basis. This means that they are paid when a case settles. In those situations, the lawyer earns a percentage of the settlement or jury award. You can ask your lawyer about billing during your initial consultation.

Q: How Long Will My Case Take to Settle?

A: Your case may take months, several months, or even years to settle. Having a strong case can improve the chances of achieving a favorable settlement through a shorter timeline, but there are no guarantees in court. Having patience can sometimes benefit your case. New evidence can be discovered, and defendants can grow tired of the litigation process.

Q: Can I Still Sue If the Perpetrator Pleads Guilty to a Crime?

A: Yes. You can still sue, even when the perpetrator pleads guilty to the crime. Civil courts look at different factors than criminal courts. In a negligent security case, the court’s main focus is on the property owner, not the person who committed the violent act. Proving that an attack occurred is important. Proving the criminal culpability of that attacker is of less importance when the focus is on the property owner.

Q: What Might a Defendant Argue?

A: The defendant in your case may try to make arguments that undermine your claims. For example, they may say that they took adequate steps to secure a location. They may also try to attack your character by saying that you were partly to blame for the attack because you were out alone at night. No matter what they argue, we can use the available evidence and our knowledge of California’s laws to rebut their accusations.

Q: Can Anyone Assaulted on Private Property Potentially Sue the Property Owner?

A: Yes. Anyone who lives or works at the property can sue for negligent security. Random visitors can also take legal action against the business or property owner. What matters in these types of cases is that the property must have a duty of care and fail to take that duty seriously.

Schedule Your Negligent Security Lawyer Consultation Today

If you or a loved one was recently attacked on someone else’s property, you could be entitled to monetary damages. Even when the property owner’s negligence is clear, it takes an experienced law firm to see these complicated cases through. McLachlan Law, APC, has helped many clients achieve favorable settlements following a violent crime. To learn more about how our law firm can represent you in court, contact our office today.

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