Negligent security is the term used to describe what occurs if you are on another person’s property and become a victim of a violent act because there was no security to prevent the crime from occurring.
To hold a property owner responsible for your injuries, your Fort Lauderdale negligent security lawyer would need to prove that a third party was able to injure you on another person’s property because the owner did not act with reasonable care to prevent the crime from occurring.
Negligent Security in Florida
The presence of security resources makes an environment safer. It is not uncommon for people in Florida to invest in security staff or security devices at their residential or workplaces. Be it a complex, shopping mall, or gated apartments, every place is armed with necessary security tools.
However, what if the security fails and a passer-by becomes a victim of a crime or gets injured because of negligence?
This is where negligence security comes into the picture. Let us know more about it in detail.
Understanding Negligent Security Claim
Negligent security is a kind of premises liability. A person walks into your property, and another person harms them while on your premises. It is the attacker who committed the crime. However, since they were on your premises and you did not have enough security measures, you will be held liable. A negligent security claim is what supports the victim to have a case against you.
A negligent security claim is a civil redress for harm suffered due to violent acts and other crimes. A property owner must maintain a safe property for themselves and others. It is their liability to take reasonable security measures to keep their visitor safe and protected from foreseeable crimes. If they fail to do so and the victim party falls prey to a crime that may have been prevented had there been proper security measures, the premises liability claim prevails. The injured party can ask for compensation from the property owners for their injuries.
The negligent security claim is successful only when the plaintiff proves that the incident happened because the property owners did not provide adequate safety measures. If there were sufficient security measures, the incident would not have happened. They also need to prove that they were lawfully present on the premises of the property owner.
Kinds of Negligent Security
If the employed security staff on your premises is negligent towards their duties, it can result in an unfortunate event with a visitor. Human error or the negligence of the staff can put the safety of the residents or the visitors at risk.
Letting a visitor come in without signing into the register, avoiding patrolling the premises, or not monitoring the surveillance footage are acts of negligence. The security staff is accountable for this.
Negligent Security Mechanisms
To maintain safety, property owners use security devices. It could be a motion detector, a security camera, an automatic lock, or an unauthorized entry alarm. However, if these devices are found to be not working, property managers are liable for this.
Examples of Negligent Security Cases
The cases of negligent security vary in every situation. Let us see some of the examples of such cases –
- A college dorm requires an identity card to enter for students. However, the guard is negligent about checking the entry badges. A non-student, who is an ex-boyfriend of one of the students, enters and assaults the student.
- A bar that gets heavily crowded on weekends has a history of visitors getting into fights with each other. Despite knowing this, the bar owner takes no measures to employ security staff. During one such event, a visitor gets heavily injured.
- In an apartment complex, locks do not function properly. Tenants drop complaints, but the owner pays no heed. Armed intruders get into the building and attack the residents.
What to Do If You are a Victim of Negligent Security?
If you happen to become a victim of negligent security, terrifying is an understatement. You are in a state of despair, and it is hard to wrap your mind around what happened.
After prioritizing your further safety and getting medical treatment, there are a few things you should keep in mind –
- Negligent security is a crime. Do not hesitate to call the police or 911.
- Get a copy of the incident report from the police.
- The owner or the manager of the premise where the incident took place may also file an incident report. Get a copy of their incident reports as well.
- Speak to your representing lawyer. Do not sign on anything, be it the incident report or the insurance papers of the property, until your lawyers say to do so.
- Do not make any statement until your lawyer recommends doing so. Apologizing or admitting your fault is read as a sign of your culpability.
- Take photos and videos of the premises where the incident happened. They are useful in legal proceedings.
- Contact the witnesses of the incident.
When a negligent security case happens, do not expose yourself to unnecessary legal risk. Reach out to your injury lawyer as soon as possible and take their advice.
Examples of Negligent Security
Examples of negligent security can include:
- Inadequate lighting
- A lack of security personnel
- Untrained security personnel
- A lack of surveillance cameras
- Doors that do not lock
Negligent security can lead to any of the following:
- Sexual assault and rape
- Assault and battery
The Elements of a Negligent Security Case
The basic elements of a negligent security case are:
- The defendant has a duty to provide basic security measures for their property (the measures depend on what kind of property it is);
- The defendant failed to provide adequate negligent security for their property; and,
- The plaintiff suffered an injury due to the defendant’s failure to adequately provide basic security measures.
The defendant in a negligent security case may be the owner or manager of a commercial property such as a store, parking lot, hotel, or any place the public visits.
Example of a Negligent Security Case
A negligent security case might include the owner of a parking lot that is open 24 hours where the lighting is insufficient to properly illuminate the grounds at night. One evening you could be walking to your car and assaulted and robbed.
You Must Prove the Injury Was Foreseeable
An important element of a Florida negligent security case is that the owner or manager should have known that a crime could occur. In other words, the criminal act should have been foreseeable by the property owner. If it was not foreseeable, you cannot hold the owner liable for your injuries.
For example, if the parking lot mentioned above had been the site of several violent crimes in the past. The owner of the parking lot would have known about these assaults and should have done something to protect future customers. The injury was foreseeable and, therefore, the owner may be liable.
Call Our Security Negligence Lawyer Today to Help Filing a Negligent Security Claim
If you have been a victim of a crime while on someone else’s commercial property, call a Florida personal injury lawyer from the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato at (954) 633-8270 for a free case consultation. Act quickly to ensure you do not overstep the state’s lawsuit deadline.