Property owners have the legal responsibility to look out for the safety of their visitors. This includes establishing a reasonable amount of security measures that protect people from crime. When property owners fail to fulfill this responsibility and an individual gets injured on their premises as a result, the injured person may be able to sue for negligent security.
What is Negligent Security?
Negligent security is a subset of premises liability that deals with criminal activities and violent acts committed against lawful patrons. Negligent security is the legal method by which a victim injured by a criminal act holds the tenant or owner of a property where the injury was inflicted civilly liable. The injury could be in the form of battery, assault, robbery, rape, murder, shooting, stabbing, etc.
A negligent injury suit can be imposed by a victim on a landowner where they failed to provide a reasonable amount of security measures that would protect visitors from any foreseeable crimes committed by third parties. Liability for negligent security places property owners on notice that they have a legal duty to provide the necessary security to protect lawful patrons against the foreseeable criminal and/or violent actions of third parties.
Who Can You Sue?
Both residential and commercial property possessors and owners have been sued in the past for negligent security. However, the duties of possessors may vary. For instance, a college student will not be able to provide adequate security in their dormitory, therefore, the college will be responsible for providing substantial security.
In contrast, commercial tenants like retail businesses or franchises at the mall will have the responsibility to protect their shoppers from foreseeable crimes. A tenant, on the other hand, may be responsible for their guests in their apartment, but they have no responsibility over the security measure inside the apartment’s parking lot.
Consult a premises liability lawyer in Fort Lauderdale to have a better understanding of who is responsible for your security.
What Would You Need to Prove?
To prove negligent security in Florida, you must show that:
- You were lawfully on the premises.
- The premises lacked adequate security measures.
- The property owner reasonably foresaw the criminal activity which you suffered.
- You suffered harm as a result.
The law states that those who are pursuing a case for negligent security should prove that the property owner or possessor failed to fulfill their responsibility of warding off criminal activities or to provide adequate warning to visitors of the danger. Victims will be required to prove that they were present on the property, and were hurt because of a crime that was reasonably foreseeable by the defendant.
Foreseeability happens to be a very critical issue when it comes to negligent security cases and in most cases, foreseeability is determined on whether similar crimes have historically occurred in the same location. For instance, if there have been 5 sexual assault cases in a mall’s parking lot, then the latest case would be considered quite foreseeable.
Generally, victims should consult an experienced attorney to evaluate the plausibility of the case, which is where our firm may assist.
Charles Legal PLLC
If you’re looking for a personal injury lawyer in Fort Lauderdale, you’re in luck. Our team of experts have years of experience and a proven track record of helping our clients recover without worrying about medical treatment, loss of earnings and personal finances following an unfortunate incident.