In Oklahoma, a property owner has a duty to certain guests to provide a hazard-free environment or, at the very least, provide adequate warning of existing hazards. If a property owner fails to uphold this duty, and if a guest sustains an injury on his or her property as a result, the injured party may file a Ponca premises liability claim. What can an injured party do, though, if his or her injury is not a result of a dangerous property condition but rather, of the harmful acts of a patron or trespasser?
In the event that another guest or a trespasser causes harm to innocent patrons, the property owner may still be held accountable thanks to the theory of negligent security. At BDIW Law, we are familiar with Oklahoma’s premises liability laws and can help you determine if you have a negligent security claim.
What is Negligent Security?
Negligent security, despite popular belief, does not just mean that a property owner failed to arm its doors with security guards or qualified security personnel. Though certain property owners may be guilty of negligence for failing to do either/or, negligent security has a much broader definition. The following omissions may serve as grounds for a negligent security claim:
● Incompetent or poorly trained security personnel;
● Lack of security lighting;
● Inadequate lighting;
● Insufficient number of security patrols;
● Absence of security alarms; or
● Lack of or insufficient locks on windows and doors.
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Like any personal injury case, the plaintiff has a duty to establish the existence of certain elements. For instance, the plaintiff must prove that the property owner owed the injured party a duty of care and that lack of care resulted in actual damages. However, an additional element plaintiffs of a negligent security case must prove is that the defendant failed to take reasonable care to provide adequate security.
“Reasonable care” varies from property owner to property owner. For instance, convenience store owners are held to especially high standards as convenience stores are often the targets of robberies. Establishments in particularly bad areas of town must take extreme measures-such as equipping their windows with bars, encasing the cashier’s booth in bullet proof glass, or placing silent alarms next to the register-to keep both patrons and staff safe.
Other establishments, such as malls, hotels, or retail stores have a duty to ensure guests are safe both on their premises and in their parking lots, where a lot of crime tends to happen. Bars and nightclubs may have to employ security guards and bouncers after certain hours.
Causes for Negligent Security Actions
Injuries caused by negligent security can take many forms. However, some more common causes for negligent security claims are as follows:
Each of these incidences have the potential to cause both physical and mental harm. For this reason, law firms like our own fight on victims’ behalves to hold negligent property owners accountable in the hopes that doing so will reduce the incident rates of negligent security injuries.
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Negligent security claims are particularly difficult to win. If you or aloved one sustained injuries as the result of a negligent property owner, contact the Ponca City premises liability attorneys at BDIW Law to discuss possible recovery options.
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