Orange County Negligent Security Lawyer
With Offices in Huntington Beach
Do you need legal help?
Orange County Negligent Security Lawyer
With Offices in Huntington Beach
Do you need legal help?
- Georgia Cunradi
- D. Franklin Welch
- J. Weber
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Orange County Negligent Security Lawyer
When visiting someone else’s property, there is an expectation that the property owner take reasonable measures to ensure our safety. When these measures are neglected and we get injured as a result, the law says we have the right to pursue compensation for negligent security.
If you’re reading this, you may have been seriously injured on someone else’s property due to negligence. You may be in pain and have probably missed work. You’re probably feeling financial strain as a result. In addition, you’re most likely looking for the right person to help you with a negligent security claim.
We are here to help. Our firm offers free legal consultations. Call our Orange County negligent security lawyer today.
Don’t worry about needing to pay upfront to get answers about your claim. Give us a call any time and schedule a free legal consultation.
The information on this page should give you a general idea of what to expect in a negligent security claim. We’ll begin with the many ways you can unwittingly damage your claim. Next, we’ll share a client story to help give you additional information relevant to a claim like yours. Read to the end to learn as much as possible.
Common Negligent Security Claim Mistakes
There are several mistakes you can avoid simply by knowing what to watch for. Check out the errors below to help maintain the strength of your claim.
Failing to Gather Evidence at the Scene
Negligent security claims involve proving a property owner was aware of safety risks to visitors and did not take reasonable measures to eliminate those risks. As a result of this negligence, someone was injured.
If possible at the time of the injury, it’s important to record details about the scene and gather evidence. If you’re able to take a photo or brief video on your phone, for instance, get some footage of the broken steps you fell on, the loose banister, or the nail-ridden planks on the ground in the yard.
Naturally, not everyone will be able to do this. The circumstances of each case are different, as is the nature of the injuries. It goes without saying that the very first priority must be getting to safety and calling for help.
If you have been knocked down and injured in a bar with insufficient security, for example, it may be possible for a friend who was with you to get the contact information of a witness or two while you are treated for your injuries. Sometimes, a friend can get video testimony from witnesses. Gather any evidence that is reasonably available to support your claim, according to what the circumstances allow.
Not Going to the Emergency Room After the Incident
Negligent security often involves the commission of a crime as a result of insufficient security. When the incident involves assault, sometimes victims blame themselves, wrongly believing they are in some way responsible for what happened. This shame can cause a victim to refuse medical care.
If you’ve been injured due to negligent security, please be gentle with yourself. You are not to blame for your injuries.
Even if you don’t feel a great deal of pain at the time of the incident, it’s important to get checked for internal injuries you may be unaware of until the adrenaline in your system dissipates. This can take as long as eighteen hours. If you’ve got internal bleeding and skip the doctor until you feel pain, you may put your health at serious risk.
In addition to protecting your health, a medical exam will strengthen your negligent security claim. It will create a record of your injuries with a date and time that correlates with the incident. The closer your exam is to the incident, the stronger the proof that incident is what harmed you.
It may seem as though it should be clear that you were injured in the incident, even if you wait and go to the doctor the next day. Consider, however, that the insurance company will be looking for ways to lower the amount they must pay for your injuries. The more doubt they can create about how and when you were injured, the easier it will be to devalue your claim.
If you wait even a day or two before going to the doctor, the insurance company may suggest you couldn’t be all that badly injured because you didn’t go to the doctor right away. They may even suggest you could have been injured the day after the incident in an unrelated accident and then sought a doctor.
Don’t give the insurance company the chance to deflect responsibility for your claim. Go straight to the doctor after your injury.
Disregarding the Doctor’s Treatment Plan
When you get medical treatment for your negligent security injuries, you will be sent home with a treatment plan. This can take many forms, often including things like medication and wound care. It may also involve participating in a series of physical therapy appointments or other treatments.
Make sure that you are diligent about following whatever plan the doctor gives you. This not only includes things you must do, but things you should not do. If you’ve been told not to put your weight on a broken foot for two weeks, don’t hobble around on your cast. The cast is there to keep your bones immobile while they heal; it’s not going to prevent your weight from bearing down on those bones inside the cast if you attempt to walk on it.
Following doctor’s orders prevents the insurance company from trying to blame you if your recovery takes a long time and involves difficulties.
Don’t Allow the Insurance Company to Recorded Your Statement
After a negligent security injury, expect a call from the insurance company asking you to agree to go over what happened on a recorded line.
Agreeing to this is a mistake.
Unfortunately, the insurance company is not trying to help you. They are again looking for ways to save money, and they may succeed if they can record you saying something they can use to lower the value of your claim.
You would never intentionally say something to give the adjuster the impression the incident was somehow your fault. The problem is, you are probably going to be vulnerable after the incident, both physically and emotionally. The insurance company knows this, and you can bet the adjuster who calls is well-trained in the art of the interview.
Take for example the fact that assault victims sometimes blame themselves for their circumstances. If you accidentally answer the phone and find yourself on a call with an insurance adjuster, it is crucial you don’t say anything that resembles, “I’m sorry.”
It’s not uncommon for people to utter apologies when under stress, even for things they have absolutely no responsibility for. If the adjuster hears those words, to them it’s as good as an admission of guilt.
Most people don’t know that they are allowed to refuse to speak to the insurance company without the guidance of their lawyer. Your best course of action after being injured is to hand off communications with the insurance company to your Orange County negligent security lawyer.
Waiting Too Long to Hire a Lawyer
There are a few reasons a person may hold off on finding a lawyer for a negligent security claim. Some people are simply overwhelmed emotionally and physically and aren’t able to deal with the idea of getting a claim started right away. Some hope to handle their claims themselves, believing it will save them money. And still others assume they’ve got plenty of time later to get around to a claim.
It’s understandable to hold off on filing a claim when you are still dealing with the physical and psychological impact of your injuries. It’s important, however, to make a note to yourself to address it as soon as you feel able. The longer you wait, the weaker your claim is likely to be.
If you’re planning to take on your claim without a lawyer, it’s important to know that historically, people who forego lawyers are awarded many times less in compensation than those who hire legal help.
Hiring a lawyer ensures you’ll be able to accurately assess your damages so you aren’t short-changed when it comes to compensation.
Hiring a lawyer prevents the insurance company from devaluing your claim using their usual tactics, because your lawyer will see those coming a mile away.
Hiring a lawyer will send the very important message to the insurance company that if they don’t agree to an adequate settlement, they’ll be dragged into court.
A third reason you may be holding off on filing your claim is because you believe the California statute of limitations give you “lots” of time to file. If this is the case, you are making the mistake of worrying about the wrong “deadline.”
Expect any evidence to support your claim to disappear well before you come up against the filing deadline. Crime scenes get cleaned up, evidence can get lost, and witnesses may forget details over time or change contact information and “disappear.”
Don’t risk your chance to be compensated for the harm you’ve suffered; hire an attorney as soon as you are able.
Hiring the Wrong Lawyer for Your Negligent Security Claim
Once you get to the point of hiring a lawyer, take some time to be selective. Not every lawyer is experienced in negligent security claims. There are many practice areas within the law profession in which a lawyer may specialize. Negligent security claims fall within the practice area of personal injury, as they involve harm experienced due to lack of security measures taken by a property owner or manager.
Though these types of incidents often occur during the commission of a crime, a negligent security claim is brought in civil court. The lawyer you retain to handle your claim should be a personal injury trial lawyer with experience in negligent security cases.
Though most claims are resolved through settlement, there are no guarantees the insurance company will agree to a reasonable settlement amount. In such a case, your claim may need to go before a jury to bring you justice. You need to know the person you hire is capable of bringing you success, no matter which way your claim goes.
Orange County Negligent Security Client Story
The story that follows is intended to help you better understand your claim. Names and details have been changed to respect the privacy of our client, but the information remains relevant. Please read it through to learn as much as you can. When you’re done, give us a call— we’d love to discuss your specific claim.
On a warm evening in early August not long ago, Marco Valdez met up with his coworkers, Ray and Lucas, in the bar of a restaurant near his home in Huntington Beach, California.
The bar was packed and they found they could barely hear each other over the crowd. They had to shout to be heard as they raised their glasses to toast the end of a grueling week at the marketing firm.
“…I said, sometimes I wish I’d gotten that bouncer job instead — far less stressful!” Marco shouted, as his coworkers laughed. He’d done all kinds of jobs back when he was in art school just trying to pay the bills. Never did get a call back on the bouncer jobs, though.
Back then, it had bothered him. Marco knew he wasn’t a big guy, but he had always been fit. And with a black belt, he could take down a guy that had 100 pounds on him, no problem. He’d tried to explain that to the bar owners, but they’d never believed him. He laughed now, remembering that, as he was leaving one bar, he’d overheard the bartender joke to the owner that they couldn’t hire him because a bar fight might “mess up his pretty face.”
What was it “they” said— “Living well was the best revenge?” These days Marco was doing just fine. Great job doing what he loved, lovely wife, three adorable little girls. Life was good.
Looking around, Marco noticed there was only one bouncer on duty. He thought that was odd, considering the number of people vying for space around the bar. He took a sip of his beer and wondered what one bouncer could do if the place disintegrated into a bar fight.
Marco stayed when his friends left to head to another bar. His wife, Luanne, was due to meet him there for dinner in 15 minutes. Assessing the crowd once more, Marco decided to call his wife and tell her to meet him at the place down the block. It was definitely not as popular, but the food was good and the conversation would be even better, since they’d actually be able to hear each other.
As he pulled out his phone, he realized he’d need to step outside to hear. He began to carefully pick his way through the crowd. The exit was only a dozen steps away when a guy to Marco’s right stepped back without looking, knocking Marco off balance to his left. He lost his footing and half landed in the lap of a woman at the bar, spilling her red wine down the front of a skin tight white tank top.
From that point, it was chaos. The woman screamed. Her giant boyfriend grabbed Marco by the hair and yanked him backward off of his girlfriend. Marco managed to regain his balance fast enough to block the guy’s first punch, but he kept coming. Definitely drunk, Marco realized.
The giant took another swing and Marco used the guy’s own momentum to throw him against the bar and hold him there while he yelled in the guy’s ear that he didn’t want any trouble.
By now the energy of the confrontation had infected the entire crowd and two other shoving matches ensued behind them. The bouncer stepped into the fray and was pounced on by two guys in fraternity sweatshirts.
With Marco’s arms tied up holding the bruiser against the bar, he was caught unprotected when somebody blindsided him in the temple with a heavy beer mug. Ears ringing, he hit the floor as his field of vision shrank to a pinhole.
Thankfully, Marco was unconscious when three of his ribs broke the fall of a guy who’d been knocked off his barstool as the giant roared up off the bar.
Marco woke up in the hospital to find Luanne beside him. His head was bandaged and he couldn’t see out of his left eye. He took a breath to ask her what happened and instantly regretted it as pain lanced through his chest.
Marco had a concussion. He had a broken nose and three broken ribs. He had also suffered a fracture to his left orbital bone that had required emergency surgery.
As the doctors prepared Marco for discharge the next day, they shared their concerns about the risk of meningitis following orbital socket fracture surgery. It could, they said, show up years later.
Marco was sent home with a restrictive treatment plan and instructed to return in a few days for a second computed tomography (CT) scan to check on the orbital break. He’d need a third scan in three-to-six months.
When the bandage came off his eye a week later, Marco suffered from double vision and his “pretty” face wasn’t so pretty anymore. The doctors talked about the possibility of another surgery to help correct the symmetry of his face, but the main concern was the recovery of sight in Marco’s left eye.
Marco and Luanne sat down at our office two weeks after his release from the hospital. He was wearing an eye patch, and explained that with double vision still haunting his left eye, the patch was necessary to prevent headaches.
How much does it cost to hire a lawyer?
Marco’s first concern was what it would cost to retain Attorney Timothy Ryan. “I’ve been out of work since ‘fight night,’” said Marco. “Money is tight, and I don’t know when — and frankly ‘if’— I’ll be able to return to my job.”
Ryan assured the couple that since the firm works on a contingency fee basis, there would be no upfront expense.
“The firm covers all case expenses, such as investigation, administration, research, and, if necessary, litigation. In the end, we only get paid when we bring your claim to a successful resolution,” Ryan said.
How much is my claim worth?
Marco and Luanne were relieved that the firm’s contingency fee model would allow them to move forward with a claim.
“How much could a case like mine be worth?” Marco asked.
Ryan explained that in truth, there were no cases ‘like’ Marco’s.
“Your claim falls into a personal injury category called ‘negligent security,’” said Ryan. “So, like other negligent security claims, it revolves around injuries caused by the failure of a property owner to take reasonable measures to ensure the safety of visitors to his property.
“Some negligent security claims involve outright crimes, like muggings, that take advantage of a property’s poor security measures. Other claims are like yours, in which the property owner’s negligence created the ideal environment for people to get injured.
“That said, each person’s level of health at the outset of injury is different, as are the ways in which people get injured, the circumstances that injure them, and their ability to recover.
“What this means to you, Marco, is that I can’t pull a number for your claim’s value out of thin air without information. We need to start with an investigation and we also need to get crystal-clear on your damages.
“The investigation can begin immediately: speaking to witnesses, reviewing police reports, and gathering evidence. But determining your damages has got to come from you, Marco,” said Ryan.
“We’ll need you to heal back to what is called ‘maximum medical improvement’. This means the point at which your doctors agree that you are back to your pre-injury level of health.
“If your injuries turn out to prevent that level of recovery, then you’ll be at maximum medical improvement when you’ve recovered as much as you’re reasonably capable of. Getting there will mean you’re through with surgeries and the doctors know what the future care for your injuries looks like.
“When you reach this point, Marco, we’ll know your damages, and that’s when I can tell you the value of your claim.
“All of this means that your only focus right now needs to be on healing,” said Ryan. “Take your medications. Get as much rest as you need. Stay away from prohibited activities until you’ve healed. Do any physical or occupational therapy your doctors have ordered.”
Marco sighed. He looked very tired. “Okay, you’ve got my word to take this process very seriously.”
How long will my negligent security claim take?
Luanne took Marco’s hand and asked how long the claim was likely to take.
“While I can’t tell you that in concrete terms, I can tell you the two things your case timeline is going to depend on.
“The first is how long it takes Marco to reach maximum medical improvement. Once he gets there, we’ll know what his damages are, both economic and non-economic.
“When we know the damages, our firm will send a demand letter to the insurance company,” said Ryan. “From that point onward, how long the claim takes to wrap up will depend on whether or not the insurance company is willing to work out fair compensation.
“If they respond in a fair and reasonable manner, we can iron out a settlement and wrap everything up.
“If, however, they refuse to be reasonable, we’ll drag them in front of a jury.
“This possibility shouldn’t worry you, though,” said Ryan. “Our firm has a long and successful track record resolving negligent security claims via settlement and at trial. I wouldn’t be surprised if the insurance company responsible for your claim has heard of us. They may even decide to settle to avoid coming up against us in the courtroom. There are no guarantees, of course, but it’s happened before.
“Either way, we’ll be ready,” said Ryan. “That’s why I recommend that no matter whom you decide to retain for your claim, you hire a personal injury trial lawyer with a history of success in negligent security claims.”
Marco and Luanne were satisfied with what they learned in their free legal consultation and retained the law firm of Timothy J. Ryan & Associates. Today, we are happy to say Attorney Ryan got Marco nine times the amount the insurance company initially offered.
Call Our Orange County Negligent Security Lawyer Today
Hopefully, the information above has given you some clarity about your negligent security claim. Since no two cases are the same, we urge you to call our Orange County negligent security lawyer as soon as you can to schedule your free legal consultation. You don’t have to go through this alone. Let us be there to guide you.
Tim Ryan took my small personal injury case and turned it into a “win” for me. I appreciate his time, patience, and professional expertise in resolving this neighborhood dog injury issue for me. I feel safer because of Tim Ryan. Thank you!