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What can security guards legally do - Understand your rights

4 minute read

Brain Injury

A security guard’s role is to protect people and property by deterring illegal, inappropriate or unsafe behaviour; preferably before it occurs. However, in some instances, security guards have resorted to using improper and/or excessive force — causing serious or deadly injuries to patrons.

Here, we unpack what can security guards legally do, if you are eligible for brain injury compensation and how our brain injury claim experts may be able to help.

What authority do security guards have?

While security guards (or “bouncers” / “crowd controllers”) may look similar to police officers due to their distinctive uniform and equipment, they do not have the same powers or authority as the Police.

In general, security guards have the authority to:

  • Prevent you from entering certain places; for example, if you are intoxicated, disorderly or carrying a weapon.

  • Remove you from the premises. If a security guard asks you to leave, you must leave. If you refuse, you can be charged with trespassing.

  • Make a citizen’s arrest; for example, if you have been violent or they reasonably suspect you have committed an offence.

Require you to provide your identification in licensed venues.

Can a security guard touch you?

In certain circumstances, yes. A security guard can use physical force to uphold the venue’s rules, remove you from the premises and to comply with legislative requirements, like the Liquor Act 1992.

However, the use of force must be reasonable and necessary.

What is reasonable force?

Whether the force used is reasonable will depend on the particular circumstances. Generally speaking though, the force used by a security guard should:

  • be based on the severity of the issue at hand;

  • take into account the risk facing the guard and other individuals in the vicinity;

  • mean that the guard exhausted all other alternate, non-physical measures; and

  • not leave you with a lasting medical injury.

Can security guards search you?

A security guard needs your permission to search you or your belongings.

However, many venues have rules that require you to consent to searches if you want to enter. In this case, if you do not consent then you may be refused entry or asked to leave.

The other side of the coin: A security guard’s obligations to you

Under the Liquor Act 1992, a security guard has an obligation to you as a patron to keep you safe from other patrons/entrants.

If you have paid to be on the premises (for example by paying an entry fee or membership) there may also be obligations owed to you under Australian Consumer Law.

If a security guard fails to properly ensure your safety from other patrons/entrants, you may also have an entitlement to pursue compensation against their employer/contractor.

Am I eligible for brain injury compensation?

If you have been injured as a result of unreasonable force by a security guard or bouncer, you may be eligible for compensation.

If your injuries included serious damage to your head or neck, you may be eligible to claim brain injury compensation. This will depend on your individual circumstances.

To successfully claim brain injury compensation for a traumatic brain injury your lawyer will need to prove that:

  • a person, business or facility was negligent; and

  • you have suffered loss because of this negligence.

The types of things you may be able to claim for depend on your specific needs and the recommendations made by medical professionals.

Our expert team of brain injury compensation claim lawyers understand that as a result of your injury, you may need a high level of support, care and rehabilitation. We will be with you through each step of the legal process and help you to access your full compensation entitlements.

How our expert brain injury lawyers can help

If you or a loved one has experienced a brain injury because of someone else's actions, you may be able to make a brain injury compensation claim. A successful claim can help you to access the financial, care and support services that you and your family need to heal and move forward with your life.

Our team of brain injury claim lawyers are experts in this highly specialised area of law and have a unique understanding of both the legal and medical intricacies of a brain injury claim. Your brain injury expert team will also determine if you are entitled to additional benefits through your superannuation or other insurance policies.

We will help you to understand your rights and access your full entitlements, ensuring you receive the very best outcome for your situation.

To get started, click on the enquire now button below or speak to our friendly client care team over the phone for a no-obligation chat.

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