Florida business owners have a responsibility to keep customers and visitors on their property safe. Providing basic security can help ensure that customers are not the victims of robberies, assaults, or other preventable injuries on their premises.
If a business owner does not provide adequate security based on their location and clientele, they could be found guilty of negligent security. Negligent security is a form of premises liability. If you’ve been hurt as a result of a business’s negligent security, you should contact a negligent security attorney who can file a personal injury claim on your behalf. In the meantime, here’s some important information on negligent security cases.
What Your Negligent Security Attorney Must Prove
To win your case, you and your negligent security attorney must prove three things:
- The property owner had a duty to provide basic security measures. Security measures can include something as simple as proper lighting to prevent injuries, robberies, or assaults.
- The lack of adequate security directly caused your injuries, or better security could have prevented your injuries.
- You, the plaintiff, suffered physical, monetary, property, or other forms of damages due to the property owner’s security negligence.
Typically, in order to be successful with your case the injuries you sustained must be foreseeable and avoidable had proper security been in place.
As part of your proof of negligent security, you also might need to explain why you were on the property. If it was after-hours, or the property was closed to guests, the business might not have the same duty of care to you as it would if you were a customer visiting during business hours.
Additionally, proving that the area has a history of similar crimes can help show that the situation was foreseeable and could have been prevented with proper measures. By showing previous criminal history, you can suggest that the business owner should have been aware of the risk and yet still chose not to take proper precautions to try and prevent such incidents.
The statute of limitations on personal injury cases in Florida is four years from the date of the incident. Keep that in mind as you evaluate whether to pursue a claim. Above all, don’t wait to consult a lawyer—it never hurts to explore your legal options!
Negligent Security Scenarios
Many scenarios could qualify as negligent security under Florida law. Some of these might include:
- Poorly-lit businesses that have late hours. Areas with poor lighting may invite robberies and assaults. Lighting can help deter such activity. These types of incidents are also foreseeable because it’s such common knowledge that dark areas are crime magnets.
- Security guards who fail to carry out their agreed-upon responsibilities. This might mean they don’t do rounds regularly, fail to watch security cameras closely, or don’t act when they see suspicious activity.
- Faulty security systems or locks. Business owners have a responsibility to keep their facility in good working order. This means updating locks on doors if they are broken or replacing non-functioning video cameras.
- A hotel concierge who mistakenly double books a room and allows another party access to your room—putting you at risk.
- Convenience stores that lack proper lighting, locks, and security cameras to protect their guests.
- Stairwells with poor lighting that invite crime.
- Large events with little to no screening protocols that allow weapons in the building or event space.
Third-Party Negligent Security Claims
In some cases, it is not the business’s fault that you were the victim of the crime. The business might have taken all necessary precautions to prevent such a crime from taking place, but the security company they pay for that service did not do its job.
For example, if the business paid for a security guard to do hourly rounds on a property, but the guard missed an hour and that’s when a robbery took place, the security company could be at fault.
The same might be true for faulty security system equipment. If an alarm system that is being used properly fails to go off and alert local law enforcement in case of a break-in, and you get hurt in the process, the security system company might be at fault.
The Difference Between Criminal and Civil Cases
If you’ve been mugged on someone else’s property, you might just assume that law enforcement will find the criminal and seek justice. And while that’s likely true, that’s a criminal case—whereas the case you would pursue is civil.
In a criminal case, you would receive no compensation for your physical and emotional harm due to the property owner’s security negligence. Instead, a criminal case only seeks to find justice for the criminal’s actions via fines and possible jail time. The fines fund the legal system and do not pay your medical bills.
Speak to a Negligent Security Attorney Today
It’s imperative that you contact a negligent security lawyer for a case evaluation as soon as possible after your accident. You won’t know for certain whether you have a possible case until a qualified lawyer is able to examine your specific circumstances.
The experienced negligent security attorneys of Goldman & Daszkal are ready and waiting to assist you in exploring your legal options and seeking justice. Contact us for a free consultation to learn if you have a negligent security case.