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What Do You Have to Prove in a Negligent Security Case?


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    In a negligent security case, you have to prove that the establishment or institution failed to provide adequate security to protect you from an attack by a third party.

    The facility owner or administrator did not provide enough security to keep you safe when you needed protection the most. Therefore, you have the right to file a lawsuit against the entity and recover your economic or non-economic damages for your negligent security injuries. A negligent security lawyer can help you establish these elements to ensure you receive fair compensation from the insurance company.

    Element 1: Duty of Care

    Businesses and other institutions such as bars, government agencies, or educational facilities have a duty to keep their customers, visitors, or other occupants safe. They must provide security that is adequate enough to prevent foreseeable dangers.

    The entity had a fundamental duty to keep you safe while you were on the premises. The duty can be either implied or express. For instance, an establishment has a duty to keep all approaches and the surrounding area safe for patrons. Reasonable measures might include ensuring the parking lot or area between buildings is well-lit at night.

    Element 2: Breach of Duty

    The company must have failed to keep its property safe. For example, the company failed to replace burnt out lights between buildings on its property.

    Element 3: The Breach of Duty Led to Your Injury

    You were assaulted walking from one building to another because of a poorly lit area between the buildings. The company failed to uphold its duty to you and as a result, you suffered injury.

    Element 4: You Suffered Damages as a Result

    As a result of the attack, you suffered physical, economic, non-economic, or other damages. You must have evidence that can substantiate your damages.

    Examples of Negligent Security Claims

    In a negligent security case, a property owner or organization failed to provide a safe environment. As a result, you were the victim of an attack. Examples of negligent security claims include:

    • ATM robbery
    • Store parking lot mugging
    • Hotel room assault
    • Apartment or condominium assault
    • Gas station robbery or mugging
    • College campus sexual assault

    If you experienced these or similar types of attacks, then you may be entitled to submit a lawsuit against the company or organization and recover damages. Your negligent security lawyer can provide evidence that the attack against you could have been prevented if it was not for the company’s negligence.

    Proving a Foreseeable Injury

    The company or other entity may state that there was no way that anyone could have foreseen an attack or an injury. The defendant may use this position as a way of relieving the company from any liability for your attack and subsequent injuries.

    For example, if the establishment was in a safe area and there was no history of crimes occurring on the property, the property owner may claim that they had no duty to provide extra security.

    Your negligent security lawyer can gather evidence, such as prior incident reports to prove that the attack was foreseeable and that the company should have taken measures to prevent it. Your attorney may further demonstrate that the attack would never have happened if it was not for the company’s negligence.

    Furthermore, your lawyer may use a combination of factors to determine fore see ability, including:

    Impending harm 

    The property owner knew or should have known that the attack on you or someone else was imminent based on previous occurrences of the crime in the area.

    Prior Cases of Attack

    The owner experienced similar cases of attacks on their property but did not improve security after the instance.

    Taking All Circumstances into Consideration

    The owner should have looked at all the circumstances surrounding the property to determine if they needed to add more security to prevent criminal activity. For example, a bar where heavy drinking can occur may need security even if the area is not unsafe.

    Obtaining Evidence of Your Damages

    Your lawyer may obtain evidence to validate your claim further, such as:

    • An accident reconstruction expert
    • Revisiting the scene of the attack
    • Medical reports that confirm the negligent security injuries
    • Eyewitnesses who saw the attack

    Your lawyer can investigate the scene to determine how the company could have provided adequate security measures to prevent your attack. Furthermore, your lawyer can investigate the case to see if the company was aware of the possibility of an attack and did nothing to prevent it.

    Defining Adequate Security

    While security is a clearly defined compliance issue for some companies in specific industries, there may be no guidelines or regulations that dictate what measures a company should take to secure their premises in other industries.

    For instance, Florida Statutes §§ 812.173 and 812.174 outline precautions that convenience store owners must take to secure their properties such as:

    • Installing a security camera
    • Posting a notice that says the cash register contains less than $50
    • Using a drop safe to eliminate quick access to cash
    • Providing training to employees to deter robberies

    Not all companies must abide by these types of statutes. Therefore, it can become more challenging to establish a duty of care or prove a foreseeable injury. However, all business owners and organization administrators must provide some level of security regardless of what type of facility they own or manage.

    Your Fort Lauderdale negligent security lawyer must establish that there was a reasonable and definable level of adequate security that a company should have provided to prevent your injuries. They must also show that the company failed to provide adequate security according to the reasonable and definable standard.

    Contact Our Law Firm About Your Negligent Security Case

    If you have questions about your negligent security case, then contact the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato. A negligent security lawyer in South Florida can review your case. We can advise you as to your best course of action to receive compensation for your damages. Call us today at 954-633-8270 for a free case evaluation.

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