Negligent Security in Miami, FL

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Negligent Security

We have the right to be reasonably secure when we visit the property of another. It is, in fact, the duty of a property owner, business owner, or lessee to guarantee that their premises are safe. This is all the more the case when crimes have already occurred on the premises or nearby. Property owners, however, often simply neglect to install sufficient security measures that can help keep visitors secure.

Enter ‘Negligent Security;’ the general term for an area of the law wherein pne has become the target of a criminal attack while on someone else's property, such as assault, rape, or theft.

What is considered negligent security?

Succinctly put, negligent security is a cause of action that may be brought as a consequence of a criminal act that takes place on a commercial property. Negligent or inadequate security claims include circumstances where the inability of a property owner to provide sufficient security results in a predictable criminal act, which could lead to compensation to the crime victim.

What constitutes foreseeable criminal activity?

For negligent protection controls, there are 3 key tests to assess predictability:

A test for imminent injury. Business owners who learn that a customer is in danger must alert the customer or call the police in states that apply the imminent harm test. This means that there is no responsibility for the business owner to predict any future damage, but only to respond to immediate harm.

Check for previous criminal cases. Crimes against consumers are foreseeable in states that implement the previous criminal incident test only if the plaintiff may prove that the owner knew or should have learned about previous similar crimes on the premises.

The totality of the testing of conditions. The plaintiff may offer any proof of predictability, such as prior security procedures, the character of the neighborhood, and any prior crimes in the vicinity of the premises, in states that apply the entirety of the circumstances test. All these considerations are weighed by the court to decide if the crime could have been foreseeable.

How do you prove a negligent security case?

In Florida, the law on premises liability puts a responsibility on the people or the companies that own or manage land or buildings to keep their property in a safe condition and to alert individuals of any known or reasonably discovered hazards. The injured party must show that an unsafe condition occurred on the property in order to seek damages in a premises liability case the owner or possessor knew or should have known of the condition; the owner or possessor refused to take appropriate action to mitigate or minimize the danger; and this negligence was the next cause of the injury. There is a dangerous scenario where anything on the property poses an unnecessary risk to individuals on the property that might not be clear to them.

Because of the complex nature of negligent security cases, they can be singularly challenging. Be confident that your attorneys have experience managing and winning these cases and that they are prepared to carry the case to trial. There are several elements that will have to be proved by the legal team, including:

  • The owner or manager of the property had a duty of care
  • The plaintiff was lawfully on the premises
  • Criminal activity on the premises or in the region was predictable.
  • The owner of the property did not have adequate protection on the premises
  • The plaintiff was injured or killed because of the lack of adequate safety measures
  • As a consequence of the criminal act on the premises, the complainant sustained damages

What are examples of negligent security?

Negligent security cases have been successfully prosecuted by attorneys against owners and operators of businesses including:

  • Gas stations
  • Shopping centers
  • Banks
  • Bars/Restaurants
  • Hotels
  • ATM owners
  • Schools and universities
  • Airlines
  • Condominium and apartment buildings
  • Homeowners' associations
  • Event promoters
  • Night clubs
  • Strip clubs
  • Private security companies
  • Daycare facilities
  • Nursing homes
  • Hospitals
  • Office buildings
  • Cyber premises such as internet chat rooms, websites and search engines.

What are examples of negligence?

An owner should take a variety of actions, such as violent crimes, to minimize the likelihood of any negligent security accidents. For instance, they may install surveillance cameras on their premises or ensure that gates and doors are properly locked if necessary.

Nevertheless, if a property owner does not take appropriate precautions to keep their premises secure, illegal activity may become a real and dangerous threat to any clients or visitors to the premises. Negligent protection examples can include:

Lack of Security Personnel

For locations such as pubs, nightclubs, and concert venues, security guards are often required. It could be negligent protection to not have any security guards. It may also constitute negligent protection to employ untrained security guards who fail to take sufficient action in an emergency situation.

Security System Issues

Owners should make prudent efforts to install effective security devices, such as security cameras, alarms and door locking mechanisms. It could be irresponsible defense not to do so. For instance, if a property owner does not repair broken surveillance cameras or malfunctioning alarms, they may also be responsible.

Negligent ATM Security

Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) and gas stations are "crime magnets." Criminals look to victimize innocent people withdrawing cash from ATMs, especially if those cash machines are located in dark parking lots or in areas where they are not easily seen by passing cars or pedestrians. Gas stations provide criminals with easy access to victims who are usually standing outside their unlocked cars with their wallet or purse out as they pay for fuel. These environments require more security measures than others in order to be safe.

There are industry standards for ATM security and gas station security, just as there are for other commercial establishments. In Florida, for example, the statutes clearly state that proper lighting must be installed and operable during nighttime hours for the ATM and “any defined parking area, access area, and the exterior of an enclosed automated teller machine installation.”

Lighting Problems

Lighting issues can embolden criminals or criminal activity. For example, if a property owner fails to replace broken light bulbs promptly, bad maintenance may be negligence in certain cases. This is especially true in stairways or where money transactions occur.

Other Examples of Negligent Security

Negligent security cases have been successfully prosecuted by attorneys against owners and operators of businesses including:

  • Unusable exits
  • Malfunctioning security cameras
  • Unlocked doors or gates
  • Open or broken fences

Should I hire a negligent security attorney?

To find out if you are eligible for damages due to security negligence, talk to us about your case. As experienced attorneys at law in South Florida, we specialize in premises liability cases such as these, and after hearing the details we can confidently tell you what you can expect moving forward.

Contact Hannon Legal Group today for more information.