Negligent security is a complex legal concept involving property owners’ responsibility to ensure the safety of individuals who enter their premises. In Florida, property owners must exercise reasonable care to protect tenants, guests, and visitors from foreseeable criminal acts. When they fail to do this, and a crime occurs on the property, the owner may be liable for the resulting harm through a negligent security claim.
But what are the most common types of negligent security cases, and where do they occur?
Most Common Types of Negligent Security Cases
Negligent security refers to a failure by a property owner or manager to provide reasonable security measures to protect visitors, tenants, or guests from foreseeable harm. In terms of premises liability, the owner or manager of a property has a legal duty to take steps to prevent reasonably foreseeable criminal acts that could cause harm to those on the property. If the owner or manager fails to meet this standard of care and someone is injured, the victim may be able to recover compensation through a negligent security claim.
The most common types of negligent security cases include the following:
- Assault on hotel property
- Robbery in a parking lot or garage
- Inadequate lighting leading to criminal activity
- Negligent hiring of security personnel
- Failure to install proper security systems, such as cameras or alarms
- Lack of proper maintenance and repair of security equipment
- Failure to properly train security personnel
- Lack of security personnel on-site during high-risk hours
- Failure to properly monitor or patrol the property
- Neglecting to conduct background checks on employees
- Failure to properly secure access points, such as windows and doors
- Neglecting to respond to previous security incidents or threats
- Failing to evacuate or secure the property in emergencies
Where Do Negligent Security Cases Occur?
Negligent security incidents can occur in various premises around Miami-Dade County and the rest of Florida Florida, including both residential and commercial properties, both publicly and privately owned. The Bureau of Justice Statistics lists some of the most common places where negligent security incidents often occur:
- Parking garages and lots
- Nightclubs and bars
- Gas stations
- Parks and playgrounds
- Hotels and motels
- Factories and companies
- Schools and college campuses
- Apartment buildings
- Shopping centers and outdoor malls
An Example of Negligent Security in Miami
In one recent case, a couple alleged that they were victims of a brutal attack while staying as guests at the Rodeway Inn Hotel in Coral Gables. The hotel guest was in his room when he heard a knock at the door. The man opened the door because he thought his wife was returning from getting towels. Instead, a homeless assailant punched him, forced his way into the room, and began strangling him. The man’s wife returned to the room to find her husband under attack. The homeless assailant then chased the wife and brutally beat and strangled her.
The couple then sued the hotel’s owner and security company for negligence and inadequate security. For the couple to achieve a successful outcome, their attorneys must prove that the hotel owner should have known the dangers and failed to act.
Their complaint relies on the location of the hotel. According to their allegations, violent crime has dramatically increased in recent years Foresseablillity will rest on whether they can show several criminal attacks at the hotel in recent years or that there was known criminal activity in the surrounding area.
How Can a Property Owner Be Responsible for Criminal Activity?
An assault, rape, or theft on a property can lead to a negligent security claim in many ways. Your legal team must show that the owner or manager failed to provide reasonable security measures to protect guests from harm. This means that the property owner did not take the necessary steps to reduce the risk of criminal activity on the property. Such efforts include adequately lighting the area, installing security cameras, having adequate staffing, or providing security personnel.
To successfully make a negligent security claim, your attorney must prove that the property owner knew or should have known about the risk of criminal activity and failed to take reasonable steps to address this risk. If the owner can demonstrate that they took reasonable steps to provide security or that the illegal activity was unforeseeable, a negligent security claim may not succeed.
What to Do After Suffering Harm Due to a Negligent Security?
Being the victim of a criminal attack is a traumatic experience that can leave you feeling overwhelmed and unsure of how to proceed. Here are some steps you can take to protect yourself and prepare for any legal action that may follow:
- Prioritize Safety: Your first and only priority immediately after an attack is to seek safety and medical attention for injuries. Even if you don’t believe you have been seriously hurt, you must seek medical care promptly, as adrenaline can mask pain. Keeping medical documentation can also be helpful in legal proceedings.
- Contact Law Enforcement: Report the crime to the police or 911. They will create an incident report that documents their findings. This is likely a criminal matter as well as a civil one. Depending on where the incident occurred, a security officer, store manager, or another official may file a report.
- Refrain from Signing or Apologizing: Wait to sign anything, including incident reports or statements from the property owner’s insurance company, until you have spoken to a personal injury lawyer. Avoid apologizing or admitting fault to anyone, including the property owner, witnesses, law enforcement officers, or insurance companies, as this can be an admission of guilt.
- Call a Premises Liability Lawyer: Contact a Miami personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to ensure that you are protected from unnecessary legal risk and to get advice on your legal options.
- Document the Incident: Take photos or videos of the site of the incident, including any injuries or surroundings. This documentation can be helpful in legal proceedings, and it’s important to capture the conditions as they were at the time of the incident. If there are any witnesses, be sure to get their names and contact information.
If you cannot do much after suffering harm due to negligent security, don’t worry. Contact a lawyer immediately, and they can take care of the legal aspects of your case. While you tend to your injuries and get treatment for emotional distress, your attorney can get copies of police reports, take pictures of the scene, and investigate the incident closely to prove liability and protect your rights.
Contact Our Miami Negligent Security Lawyers Today
Miami Attorney Prosper Shaked works quickly to help injured Florida victims and their families obtain compensation for their injuries after suffering harm due to negligent security on any commercial property in South Florida. Our expertise in premises liability law enables us to hold property owners accountable for their failure to ensure the safety of their guests. To get a comprehensive understanding of your legal options, call our law firm. We provide free consultations and reviews, so we can answer your questions and help you make a more informed legal decision.
Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA today at (305) 694-2676 or fill out our confidential contact form.