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In Nevada, all types of property owners are legally obligated to keep their premises reasonably safe. For hotels, casinos, and other types of commercial properties, this legal obligation includes strong security measures to keep guests safe from the threat of robberies, assaults, sexual assaults, and other violent crimes. But sadly, not all property owners meet this legal obligation, and sometimes property guests are injured due to negligent security.

If you or a loved one was the victim of a crime and injured at a Las Vegas casino and you believe that inadequate or negligent security was to blame, you have legal rights. The team of dedicated Las Vegas security abuse lawyers at the Cottle Firm can review your case and determine whether you have grounds for legal action. Contact us today at 702-722-6111 to learn more about your legal options in a free consultation.

Premises Liability Law in Nevada

Injury claims involving negligent security fall under a legal concept known as premises liability. This term refers to the legal responsibility that property owners bear when an individual is injured due to unsafe or defective conditions on the property. Property owners are obligated to maintain a secure environment, and failure to do so can make them liable for injuries that occur as a result.

Premises liability can apply in a variety of personal injury cases, from slips and falls to injuries suffered by crime victims. Property owners are required to implement appropriate security measures to ensure the safety of their patrons or tenants, such as:

  • Surveillance cameras
  • Motion detectors
  • Adequate lighting
  • Security guards
  • Locks on windows and doors

Elements of a Premises Liability Claim

When a property owner neglects to maintain a reasonably secure environment and someone gets injured as a result, the injured party must prove the following five things to establish a successful premises liability claim:

  • The defendant in the claim owns or controls the property
  • The plaintiff was permitted to be on the property (not a trespasser)
  • The property had a dangerous condition
  • The defendant either caused, was aware of, or should have been aware of the dangerous condition
  • This dangerous condition directly led to the plaintiff’s injuries


A concept called foreseeability often comes into play in premises liability cases for negligent security. If you hire a Las Vegas security abuse lawyer to help with your case, they will investigate to find any previous incidents of violent crime at the location.

If the property has a history of other guests being victimized by violent crime, ownership has a legal duty to put security measures in place to reduce the risk of further violent crimes. If the court determines that ownership did not take adequate measures to prevent foreseeable crimes, the business could potentially be held liable for damages.

Conversely, if the violent crime in question was the first of its kind at the property, it might not be considered foreseeable. In such cases, the property owner would likely not be regarded as negligent.

What Happens When Security Personnel Injures Someone?

Negligent security occurs when the owner of a property fails to prevent a foreseeable crime due to inadequate security measures. But in some cases, security personnel may be directly responsible for injuries suffered by property visitors or tenants. 

Security guards are hired to protect property visitors, prevent violent crimes, and remove property visitors who could be a danger to others. Sometimes, a security guard may need to physically remove a guest to protect other property guests. However, they are legally obligated to take care not to cause preventable harm when doing so.

While their responsibilities may require the use of physical force, such force must be applied judiciously and responsibly. The line between reasonable and excessive force is often thin and fraught with legal implications. The standard operating procedure for handling unruly guests generally begins with a verbal request to leave the premises. Physical force is only justifiable in specific scenarios, such as when a crime is being committed or there is an imminent threat to the safety of the guard or others.

Unlike law enforcement officers, security personnel do not possess broad immunities against assault claims. Their actions are subject to legal scrutiny and they can be held liable for the consequences of excessive force. If they act negligently and injure property guests, those guests could have grounds for a personal injury claim.

What Damages Are Available in a Negligent Security Claim?

People injured due to negligent security in Las Vegas can potentially claim two types of financial compensation: economic and noneconomic damages. In rare cases, punitive damages may also be available. 

It is important to note that Nevada follows a comparative negligence rule. This means that a plaintiff can still secure damages even if they were partially at fault for their injuries, as long as they were less than 50 percent at fault.

Economic Damages

Economic damages are intended to compensate for the tangible financial burdens incurred due to the injuries. These may include:

  • Immediate and future medical bills, including hospital stays and medical transportation
  • Subsequent medical care and treatments projected for the future
  • Medical devices needed for rehabilitation or treatment
  • Necessary alterations to one’s residence or vehicle to accommodate any resulting disabilities
  • Compensation for lost earnings and future income
  • Loss of future benefits
  • Costs associated with disability management.
  • End-of-life expenses in cases where negligence results in a wrongful death

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are granted to compensate for the intangible aspects of an injury that do not have an exact financial value. Such damages can encompass:

  • Emotional and physical pain and distress
  • Bodily disfigurement or mutilation
  • Permanent or temporary scarring
  • Deterioration in the quality of life
  • Psychological conditions like Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression, and anxiety
  • Loss of spousal companionship for the spouses of wrongful death victims

Punitive Damages

According to section 42.005 of the Nevada Revised Statutes, punitive damages are available in cases that involve malice, fraud, or intentional harm. In a negligent security case, punitive damages could potentially be available if a security guard intentionally injured a patron, rather than doing so through negligence. 

These damages are available in addition to economic and non-economic damages. They are designed to punish a defendant for injuries caused by egregiously reckless conduct. Punitive damages also serve as a deterrent to others.

How Can a Las Vegas Security Abuse Lawyer Help?

If you have been injured by a security guard or due to negligent or inadequate security, you should consider discussing your case with an experienced Las Vegas security abuse lawyer. Some of the ways a lawyer can help with your case include:

  • Evaluating the case and finding all liable parties
  • Calculating financial compensation based on damages suffered
  • Gathering evidence to support the claim
  • Negotiating with the business and its insurance company
  • Settling or taking the lawsuit to court, if necessary

If you believe you have a case, it is best to speak with a lawyer as soon as possible. Nevada has a two-year statute of limitations for premises liability cases, so if you wait too long, you may lose your right to file a personal injury claim.

Speak With a Las Vegas Negligent Security Lawyer Today

When we visit a Las Vegas business, there is an expectation that the property owner has made sure the premises are safe. If a property visitor becomes a victim of a violent crime due to inadequate or negligent security, the property owner could be held liable for damages related to the victim’s injuries. If you have questions about filing a personal injury claim for negligent security in Las Vegas, you can learn more by contacting the Cottle Firm at 702-722-6111.