Property owners in Florida have a legal obligation to keep people on their land safe. This includes commercial business owners, property managers, and landlords as well as all other types of property owners. When property owners are negligent in providing basic security for the premises, they can be held liable if someone is injured or personal property has been stolen or damaged. The rationale is to prevent foreseeable harm to patrons, customers, or residents on the property.
Negligent security torts typically assign fault to a security provider. Examples of security providers are security guards on a particular site, apartment or condominium doormen, bouncers at a nightclub, and actual property owners. The lawsuit alleges that the security provider failed to do its job by failing to properly secure the premises.
Negligent security cases often arise when someone is mugged, assaulted, sexually assaulted, or otherwise harmed on a property because of insufficient security. In these instances, the victim can sustain serious physical and emotional injuries. Even if the perpetrator of the crime escapes and cannot be held liable, the victim can bring a lawsuit against the property owner if the property owner did not provide basic safety measures that could have prevented the harm. For example, the owner of a nightclub has an obligation to hire sufficient security staff in case a fight breaks out. If the owner fails to do so and someone is injured on the premises, the victim can bring a claim if he or she can show that additional security would have been able to stop the fight and prevent or mitigate the harm.
Negligent security cases operate under the doctrine of negligence. A negligence claim alleges that the at-fault party failed to use reasonable care which resulted in the plaintiff’s damage or injuries. In order to win on a negligent security case in Florida, the plaintiff would have to prove the following elements:
- The property owner had a legal duty to provide basic security measures for the premises. This includes sufficient lighting, working locks, and adequate security staff for the premises. What constitutes “basic security measures” will vary depending on the type of premises it is. For example, a commercial business requires different security measures to an apartment building.
- The property owner’s breach in providing basic security caused the plaintiff’s harm. For example, if the property owner failed to install proper locks on your apartment unit and someone breaks in and robs you, you may have a case because the robbery would have presumably not been possible with functioning locks.
- The plaintiff suffered harm or damage as a result of the incident. Any injuries to your body or your property would qualify as harm that you may be able to recover for. For example, if you suffered from a broken bone and your personal belongings were stolen, you may have a valid negligent security claim.
Negligent security cases can be quite complex. If you think you may have a valid inadequate security claim, it is best to consult an experienced South Florida negligent security lawyer who can help assess the facts of your case. We proudly serve clients in Miami and across South Florida. If you have a strong case, you may be entitled to recover damages depending on the nature and extent of your injuries. Contact us online or call us today at 1-877-499-HURT (4878) for a free, confidential consultation.