What should a victim do if they find themselves facing a negligent security accident? The term “negligent security” may not be familiar, but the definition certainly will be. Justia defines “negligent security” as follows:
“[…]It is the basis by which an individual injured by a third party tries to hold liable the owner or tenant of the property where a criminal injury is inflicted.”
Victims of violent crime on someone else’s property must prove they took necessary steps to ensure adequate security of their person. Whether at their place of business or residence, personal safety is a large part of negligent security litigation. If there is proof the business or property owner is neglecting to inform employees or visitors of the property that the area has the potential for crime, they may be liable. This is because without adequate knowledge of the crime rate, employees and/or visitors cannot take adequate steps to protect themselves.
This law is also a type of “premises liability”. This means it’s the responsibility of the property owner to be held accountable for making a reasonable effort to secure the property. If they fail to do so, they are legally responsible for any negligent security accident or injuries victims sustain on their premises.
What safeguards should be in place to safeguard against negligent security accidents?
When we think about what we need to feel safe while away from home, what comes to mind Here, we’ll provide some examples of safety measures necessary to safeguard against negligent security accidents and liability:
- Security cameras in and around the property can deter would-be criminals.
- Adequate lighting around the property.
- Guard gates. Guardhouses with 24-hour personnel at community residences.
- PIN numbers to access the premises to keep out ne’er-do-wells and prevent trespassing.
- Armed security or law enforcement officers should be employed at places known for high crime rates and multiple incidents of violence.
These are just some of the basic ways a property owner can protect those frequenting his or her place of business. In the case of a landlord who is responsible for the safety of his or her tenants for an extended period, these measures should certainly be used, with extra consideration given to the fact that tenants come and go at all hours of the night for various reasons.
Florida state laws and negligent security accidents
According to Florida state law (§§ 812.173 and 812.174) there is protection from liability afforded to convenience store owners who take necessary measures to secure their business and regularly keep these measures up to code. These precautions would include instances of the above measures, as well as using a drop safe and prominently posting signage in clear view of customers that states there is “less than $50 in the cash register”. These measures are considered reasonable and serve to protect the business owner from a violent crime, such as a shooting or a stabbing resulting in fatalities, from a lawsuit that was not able to be prevented even with reasonable security safeguards in place.
When negligent security accidents do happen, what’s next?
No one is ever completely safe from being the potential victim of a crime. The society we live in today is more dangerous than ever. Gun violence in our South Florida communities is at an all-time high. The statistics climb to staggering new levels daily. The news is inundated with stories of innocent people in the wrong place at the wrong time by seemingly no fault of their own. The dangers are out there, and we must be cautious in where we go and when.
First and foremost, one should always be responsible for their own safety. We must be aware of our own surroundings, and thusly take the necessary steps to protect ourselves in any situation. Some jobs require individuals to visit locations that are not secure or are known for their high crime rate. In these instances, it is imperative that an employer take every necessary step to ensure the safety of those working for them.
Even when a person does everything in his or her power to protect themselves when visiting a location that’s considered unsafe, acts of violence such as shootings still occur far too often. That’s why there are safeguards put in place by landlords and business owners to protect the public at large from needlessly being in harm’s way.
What happens when a property owner fails to secure a premises?
Sometimes business owners fail in their duty to reasonably protect their property with any number of the necessary security measures mentioned above. When this happens they leave themselves, their property, and ultimately those who frequent their business or residence at risk of a lawsuit should a violent crime take place.
If a business owner or landlord is negligent in their responsibility and it results in sustaining injuries, it is the victim’s right to seek compensation. Sometimes, a victim works for an employer and arrives on the premises, only to end up in the hospital after a shooting. In these cases, one of the first things they or a family member must do is hire an attorney with negligent security accident experience. Preferably, a lawyer with Board Certification who has seen negligent security cases to trial.
Choose the right legal representation after a negligent security accident
The negligent security lawyers at Shaked Law Firm are highly skilled in these types of cases, and will work on behalf of every client to recover the maximum compensation allowed under the law.