A claim for negligent security arises when a business owner did not have reasonable security on their premises, and that lack of security allowed a crime to take place that injured a victim.
Business owners have a duty to make sure their guests are reasonably protected from crime. When they fail to do this, they may be liable for damages. This blog will generally go over the claim of negligent security.
What is Negligent Security?
The law of negligence generally arises when a person breaches a duty they have to another person. Premise owners have a duty to their guests to make sure the premises are safe and secure. This means most premise owners have a duty to have some sort of security force and equipment on site.
When a crime, such as assault or robbery, occurs because of the lack of reasonable security, the victim may be able to sue the property owner for any damages or injuries the crime caused.
Negligent security issues can arise at most businesses including:
- Shopping malls
- Grocery stores
- Parking garages or parking lots
- Apartment buildings
- Office buildings
- Government facilities
- Amusement parks
- Schools and universities
- Hospitals and nursing homes
- Sporting events
- Concert venues and theaters
What Are Examples of Negligent Security?
Broken Security Cameras
A lack of any functioning security cameras can generally be an example of negligent security, even in small public businesses, especially if the lack of security cameras is obvious to criminal wrongdoers.
Blocked Emergency Exits
There is a reason businesses try not to block emergency exits. If an emergency exit must be utilized but cannot be because it is blocked, then the victim can sue the business for injuries sustained.
Untrained Security Guards
Hiring inexperienced guards without providing any training does not make a business reasonably safer. Businesses must train their security guards and have procedures in place to make their security forces substantially effective.
Broken Fences and Unlocked Gates
In gated premises, such as apartments, having ineffective locks or fences can make the owner liable for injuries if a criminal is able to get inside and do damage to residents’ property or bodies.
Poor lighting, especially in parking garages can create dangerous areas for patrons. Businesses must make sure to have proper lighting in all areas.
Does Negligent Security Apply to Private Property?
Negligent security issues most commonly rise in private property situations. If you suffered injuries because of assault, battery, or another crime on private property, you may be able to sue the property owner.
Does Negligent Security Apply to Public Property?
Negligent security rules apply to private as well as public, government owned property. In certain situations, if you are injured by a crime on public property, you can sue the government for negligent security as well. Government property can include public parking garages, transit stations, government buildings, airports, and other locations.
Certain additional rules may apply when suing the government. You may be required to inform the government within 90 days of the injury, for example. This is why it is extremely important to contact a reputable personal injury attorney as soon as possible after an injury.
How Do You Prove Negligent Security?
There are three main elements to prove negligent security.
1. The property owner failed to install adequate security.
As mentioned above this could include issues such as poor lighting or untrained security.
2. You suffered injuries or financial damages.
You must have some form of damage due to the crime committed to be able to sue in a civil case.
3. The damages are directly related to the lack of security.
Generally, you will have to prove that the lack of security caused the damages in question. In most cases you will want to prove that the crime would not have occurred if the security was not lacking.
Is Negligent Security Applicable to Florida?
Negligent security law is applicable in Florida. Victims in Florida can rest easy knowing they are protected under the law of negligent security.
How Can Negligent Security Affect Me?
The negligent effects of violent crime can be many, including:
- Financial losses due to theft or time off work
- Medical bills for any injuries suffered
- Permanent and disabling injuries
- Emotional distress and post-traumatic stress disorder
- Social isolation and withdrawal
What Are The Injuries Associated with Negligent Security?
Some of the injuries that victims of violent crimes may incur can include:
- Head trauma and brain damage
- Gunshot wounds
- Stab wounds
- Punctures and lacerations
- Internal injuries
- Sexually transmitted diseases
- Scarring and disfigurement
In some cases, the victims will suffer the lifelong psychological effects from being the victim of a serious crime such as.
- Depression and anxiety
- Panic attacks
- Fear of leaving the house
- Withdrawal from friends and family
- Negligent security can also lead to wrongful death
What Should Property Owners do to Prevent Negligent Security?
Property owners should take caution to make sure that they create a safe environment for their guests, tenants, patrons, and customers. They can do this by:
- Making sure the property is well-lit at all times
- Installing security cameras
- Installing appropriate alarms
- Making sure all fencing and gates are in good repair
- Ensuring all locks are operational
- Hiring qualified and trained security guards
- Liaising with law enforcement regarding crimes in the area
- Warning visitors if there is high crime activity in the vicinity
What Are The Statute of Limitations to File a Negligent Security Case?
Plaintiffs have no more than four years to sue a premise owner for negligent security. If the victim fails to file a claim within this time period, they cannot gain the money they need for their injuries. It is important to contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible for your injuries for this reason.
Why Should I Contact a Lawyer if I Have a Negligent Security Issue?
Contacting a reputable personal injury lawyer is extremely important. A good lawyer will be able to determine all the parties liable in your claim, be able to calculate your likely compensation, and will have vast experience in negotiation with the insurance companies and defendants in your case.
Doing this on your own is an extremely difficult task, especially when you don’t know the complicated law and procedure in the area. Working with an experienced attorney is necessary to get you the justice you deserve.
Who Should I Contact a Lawyer if I am Injured Due to Negligent Security?
Bulluck law Group has the experienced team necessary to get you the justice you deserve and need in negligent security cases. If you find yourself injured due to negligent security issues, contact us for a free consultation today.