Negligent Security Lawyer in Phoenix
Premises Liability & Inadequate Security Lawsuits
Accidents and injuries can occur nearly anywhere – including properties owned and operated by private individuals or businesses that failed to fix dangerous conditions they knew or should have known about.
While these “dangerous conditions” commonly include hazards such as open holes, slippery surfaces, and fenceless or unsupervised pools that can contribute to slip and falls or drowning accidents, it also includes dangers associated with third-party assaults and altercations that could have been prevented with adequate security precautions.
If security failures cause you or a loved one to suffer harm and injuries on another’s property, you may be entitled to compensation. Our Phoenix attorneys at MayesTelles are available to discuss your rights and options for pursuing a potential case. Call (602) 428-7104 or contact us online.
Premises Liability: Negligent & Inadequate Security
Premises liability is a legal theory applicable to property owners and their legal obligations to ensure the safety of visitors, guests, and invitees. In Arizona, property owners have a duty to take reasonable steps to address potential hazards which may foreseeably cause harm– whether that means fixing a dangerous condition or posting adequate warnings for hazards owners knew or should have known about, or taking other precautions to reduce risks of preventable injuries.
Premises liability claims are inherently unique and fact-specific, and may range in complexity from open and obvious hazards like a slippery supermarket floor to situations where the link between an owner’s negligence and a victim’s injury is not so clear. Negligent security claims are among these more difficult cases, as they commonly involve:
- Robberies and theft committed by other guests or people
- Gun violence or intentional / accidental shootings
- Assault / battery, physical violence
- Fights at bars, nightclubs, and other similar businesses
- Sexual abuse or sexual assault
- Altercations at hotels, sporting arenas, and other venues
- Property management companies, security companies, and other third-party contractors
Examples of Security-Related Negligence
Negligent security claims generally allege a property owner failed in some way to take reasonable measures to ensure the safety of a premises and guests. This may stem from:
- Failures to hire a security service or utilize easily obtainable security devices
- Failure to employ an adequate number of security personnel
- Insufficient lighting or insufficient monitoring of premises
- Lack of security cameras / cameras not in working order
- Failure to maintain or fix broken gates, locks, and other places of access
- Failure to warn about potential dangers, risks of theft, or criminal activity
- Failures to monitor premises, prohibit access or entry, or de-escalate an altercation
- Lack of metal detectors / security and weapon checks
- Failure to act on knowledge of crime and / or criminals on premises or its vicinity
While every case is unique, there are some general ways to support claims of negligent security. This includes accumulating any and all evidence related to the underlying event, including incident or police reports, witness information, surveillance footage, and electronic records maintained by property owners.
As a means of illustrating a property owner’s actual orconstructive knowledge of foreseeable dangers, attorneys will commonly work with investigators to evaluate the scene and location of an incident, and preserve evidence which may show:
- Previous lawsuits filed over fights, robberies, or other crimes on the property;
- A history of break-ins, theft, or complaints filed by residents / patrons;
- Documentation of prior incidents from police reports, incident reports, and other sources;
- The likelihood of physical violence and altercations at a business or location;
- Pre-existing hazards that went unaddressed (i.e. broken lights or locks);
Proving a Claim
Generally, a premises liability claim will require plaintiffs to prove:
- A legal duty existed. In Arizona, property owners generally owe visitors and guests, but not trespassers, a legal duty to exercise reasonable care in maintaining a safe premises.
- The duty was breached. A property owner’s negligence and failure to address dangerous conditions constitutes a breach of duty.
- Causation. Provingthe property owner’s negligence caused the victim preventable harm; and
- Damages. Victimssuffered actual damages as a result of their accident / injuries.
Proving these essential elements looks different in every case, and especially so in those involving claims of insufficient, inadequate, or negligent security. However, when successful, these claims can allow victims and their families to recover losses arising from the incident, including costs of past and future medical bills, lost earnings and future wages, pain and suffering, and other economic and non-economic damages.
Though victims may also be entitled to compensation for property damage, Arizona does have laws limiting the liability of innkeepers who post signs stating they are not liable for lost or damages property not stored within a provided fireproof safe (A.R.S. 33-302).
Questions? Call (602) 428-7104 For a FREE Consultation
Whether your potential case involves a nightclub, bar, concert venue, or an apartment complex, premises liability claims alleging negligent security have many moving parts, and many potentially liable parties to investigate. As such, bringing your case to the attention of experienced attorneys is of the utmost importance – especially when preservation of evidence is critical, and the state of limitations for such cases is typically 2 years from the date of injury.
MayesTelles is comprised of award-winning attorneys who leverage over a century of collective experience. Discuss your rights and options for a personal injury case personally with a member of our team during a free consultation.