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Security and Premises Liability

Having a security guard on site of a property can promote a safer premises for visitors and deter people from trespassing or partaking in actions that they might get injured from. However, having a security guard onsite might also add further liability for injuries if an accident does occur on a premises. Below, our expert team of premises liability injury attorneys from West Coast Trial Lawyers break down how inadequate security and how 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 ensure a safe visit to their premises. 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 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 result in a trespasser or unwelcome visitor breaking into a property and causing harm to others on site. 
  • Not warning visitors about any known risks or dangers. Not having signs up about 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 keeping up to safety standards. Neglecting upkeep can lead to the belief that a property is abandoned and thus can lead to trespassers or unwelcome guests on the property. Neglecting safety standards can cause for serious accidents and injuries to occur. 
  • Not responding to a security alert or emergency call. If somebody reports to you activity on your property that needs emergency attention and you, as the property owner, fail to take action to respond to the emergency, you can be held liable for any injuries that occur. 
  • Not maintaining adequate lighting in dark areas. Bad lighting or lack of lighting can create situations for assault to happen on a premises and the property owner can be held liable for any injuries sustained in such an assault. 
  • Not installing and/or not monitoring security cameras. Not installing cameras is inadequate security for visitors on premises. However, it’s not enough to just have cameras on site. They must also be actively monitored in order to be considered as a tool used to adequately secure the property. 
  • Not providing professionally trained security guards or patrol people. Not having a security guard on site of the property is not a necessity, but lacking a security guard can build a case against the property owner for not providing adequate security.

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 prevent the accident, 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 and getting hurt in the process or partaking behavior that could result in an accident. Sometimes though, 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, they avoid liability themself for causing further harm, but 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 guests 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. Having a security guard can still be a great way to prevent security negligence claims from happening on your property.

Posting Signs to Waive Liability

While having a security on site can be one way to prevent premises liability, the caveats of having a security guard on-hand is explained above. Having signs posted around a business is an essential security feature that can prevent liability from being placed on the business owner. Signs that explicitly warn of any known risks or dangers is the best way to avoid premises liability for accidents that occur on the premises after the visitor took the risk of visiting on their own account away from the potential dangers at hand. 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”, and “No Trespassing” for a reason. Through the use of this signage, property owners are stating that they are not liable for injuries that occur on their property, though there is a chance that they still might be. An experienced premises liability injury attorney can break down whether a property owner is liable for injuries sustained on their property or not.

Need a Premises Liability Injury Attorney? West Coast Trial Lawyers Can Help

If you have sustained injuries in the as a result of a premises liability injury, our experienced team of premises liability injury 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 888 341 9802 or email [email protected] to schedule a free consultation with our experienced, caring, and compassionate expert personal injury legal team.


If you have been injured in an accident, you can count on the legal team at West Coast Trial Lawyers to fight for your rights every step of the way. Contact us today to schedule your free case evaluation with a personal injury attorney.
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