Security and Premises Liability
How Security Guards Affect Premises Liability Cases
Having a security guard on-site of a property can promote a safer environment for visitors and deter people from trespassing or partaking in actions that they might get injured from. However, having a security guard on-site might also add further liability for injuries if an accident does occur on the premises. Below, our expert team of premises liability attorneys at West Coast Trial Lawyers break down how inadequate security, along with having security guards present on a property can affect premises liability.
Inadequate Security Can Cause Premises Liability
All property owners owe their visitors a duty of care, which means that they are expected to have a safe environment for visitors to enter. This includes offering a duty of care for visitors on premises that they are renting out. However, exceptions exist for trespassers, who are not required a duty of care, unless they are a child. Providing inadequate security is one form of negligence that can be a cause for premises liability cases. The following are some examples of inadequate security:
- Not fixing broken gates, locks, fences, or doors. Leaving these fixtures unattended can allow a trespasser to enter the property and cause harm to others.
- Not warning visitors about any known risks or dangers. By not having signs up to warn visitors of potential risks, hazards, and dangers is a sure-fire way to attain liability for injuries sustained on your premises.
- Not maintaining an establishment’s appearance or meeting safety standards. Neglecting your duty to upkeep the premises can lead to the belief that the area is abandoned, thus influencing trespassers to step foot onto the property. Ignoring your responsibility of following safety standards can also cause serious accidents and injuries.
- Not responding to a security alert or emergency call. If someone or something notifies you of any dangers or hazards on your property that need immediate attention, and you, as the property owner, fail to take action to respond to this issue, then you can be held liable for any injuries that occur.
- Not maintaining adequate lighting in dark areas. Bad lighting or lack of lighting may help an assaulter attack another individual who is on the same property as them. Under this type of situation, the property owner can be held liable for injuries caused by the assault.
- Not installing and/or not monitoring security cameras. By not installing cameras, it creates inadequate security for visitors on the premises. However, it’s not enough to just install cameras on-site. They must also be actively monitored in order to be considered as a tool used to efficiently secure the property.
- Not having professionally trained security guards. A security guard is not a necessity, however, it would help improve the safety of the property owner’s premises. By having little to no security guards on-site, it can build a case against the property owner for not acquiring enough security to protect visitors from potential hazards or dangers.
The Pros and Cons of Security Guards
Having a security guard on the property can amplify safety measures and possibly prevent accidents from happening. However, if accidents do happen and the security guard on duty did not do their job to protect those on the premises, this might place greater liability on the property owner. When a security guard is on-site, their presence can help deter people from either trespassing, getting hurt, or partaking in activities that could result in an accident.
Sometimes, security guards neglect taking action or choose to not interfere in a situation to avoid being held liable themselves in the case of an accident or injury. In this situation, the liability goes to the property owner who hired them. Other times, a security guard might involve themself and use an unwarranted amount of force causing further injuries to a guest. If you do decide to hire a security guard to provide extra safety measures for the visitors on your property, you must hire a professionally trained security guard who is vigilant, knows how to enact safety measures, and de-escalate situations to prevent further accidents from happening. Overall, having a security guard can still be a great way to prevent security negligence claims from occurring on your property.
Posting Signs to Waive Liability
Having signs posted around a business or home is an essential security feature that can prevent liability from being placed on the business owner or homeowner. Signs that explicitly warn of any known risks or dangers is the best way to avoid a premises liability claim. It is for this reason that we commonly see signs, such as “Swim at Your Own Risk,” “No Lifeguard on Duty,” “Enter at Your Own Risk,” “Beware of Dog,” and “No Trespassing.”
To learn more about an accident or injury occurring on your own property, it is highly suggested to reach out to an experienced premises liability attorney. They will break down whether or not a property owner is responsible for whatever type of incident takes place on their territory.
Need a Premises Liability Attorney? West Coast Trial Lawyers Can Help
If you have sustained injuries while on someone’s property, our expert team of premises liability attorneys at West Coast Trial Lawyers can help you recover financial compensation for the losses you have suffered, including medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Call us today at (213) 927-3700 or email [email protected] to schedule a free consultation with our knowledgeable, caring, and compassionate legal team.