What is a Negligent Security Accident?
A negligent security accident. these accidents may not be familiar. However, the definition could be. Justia defines an act of “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.”
First, this means victims of violent crime on someone else’s property must prove security measures on the property were ineffective in protecting them from harm. Second, if the burden of proof shows neglect on the part of the property owner to inform visitors of the crime rate, they may be liable for injuries. And furthermore, if the property owner knows the crime rate is high but fails to secure the property, they may also be liable.
This law is “premises liability”.
It’s the responsibility of the property owner to be accountable for making a reasonable effort to secure their property. Failing to do so makes them legally responsible for visitors sustaining injuries on the property.
How do area crime rates affect Florida negligent security accidents?
No one is ever completely safe from becoming a victim of crime. In Florida, a negligent security accident can occur just about anywhere. In a big city such as Miami, the crime rate will naturally be higher than that of a small town. The large population directly effects the amount of crime. Simply put, danger is out there, and it’s important to be cautious.
First and foremost, one should always be responsible for their own safety, aware of their own surroundings. Thus, people must take necessary steps to protect themselves when visiting areas with a high crime rate. A negligent security accident occurs two-fold. 1) A property owner must install and maintain all safety measures on the premises. 2) Those visiting areas of high crime must be aware of their surroundings and ask questions prior to visiting.
Staying out of harm’s way
Unfortunately, even when a person does everything in their power to protect themselves, acts of violence still occur. Shootings, assaults, and stabbings are prevalent acts of crime in South Florida. As a result, property owners and landlords must do everything in their power to uphold their duty of responsible to those frequenting their premises.
It’s a property owner’s responsibility to protect visitors from needlessly being in harm’s way whenever possible.
What are safeguards against a negligent security accident?
When thinking about what’s necessary to feel safe away from home, what comes to mind?
Below are some examples of safety measures necessary for securing a property:
- Security cameras
- Adequate lighting around the property
- Guard gates. Guardhouses with 24-hour personnel.
- PIN numbers to access the premises help prevent trespassing
- Armed security or law enforcement in areas where crime rates are above average
These are just some of the basic ways a property owner can protect those frequenting the property.
Florida law after a negligent security accident
Next, we’ll explain Florida law in relation to negligent security.
According to Florida state law (§§ 812.173 and 812.174) there is protection from liability for convenience store owners. These laws are in place for convenience store owners who regularly keep store security up to code. These precautions include instances of the above safety measures. Moreover, these measures must include using a drop safe and prominent signage stating there is “less than $50 in the cash register”.
These safety measures are reasonable and serve to protect both the public and owner from violent crime. Thus, if a negligent security accident occurs anyway, despite all reasonable measures, the convenience store owner may receive protection from a resulting lawsuit.
What makes a property owner liable for a negligent security accident?
It’s reasonable duty to protect visitors to a property from coming to harm. Above, we provided a list of security measures. Next, we’ll look at what can occur if a property owner fails to uphold those measures.
Occasionally, lazy property owners fail in their duty to properly protect their property. When this happens they leave themselves, their property, and ultimately those who frequent the property at risk of a lawsuit. Thus, should a violent crime take place, they will become liable for any damages a judge awards to victims with injuries.
Some jobs require employees to visit locations that are insecure or the high crime rate is common knowledge. In these instances, it’s non-negotiable that the employee’s place of work takes necessary steps to ensure their safety while on the job.
What should victims do after a negligent security accident?
If a property owner fails to uphold responsibility and as a result, a negligent security accident with injuries occurs, it’s a victim’s right to seek compensation. Sometimes, an employee arrives on the premises to do a job, only to end up in the hospital after becoming the victim of violent crime. Shootings, stabbings, assaults, and muggings are common forms of negligent security as a result of businesses that fail to secure their premises.
In conclusion, any case of potential negligent security requires consultation with a Personal Injury lawyer. Preferably, a lawyer with Board Certification. These are the lawyers who can provide accurate legal advice pertaining to the specifics of an individual case.