Elements of Negligent Security
Florida property owners have a duty to keep visitors safe. This duty includes providing sufficient basic security. If you have been injured on someone else’s property because of inadequate or negligent security, you may be able to recover for your injuries.
Elements of negligent security
A negligent security claim is a form of basic negligence case. To prove negligence, the injured party (the plaintiff) must prove that the responsible party (the defendant) failed to act with reasonable care and thereby caused harm. A negligent security claim arises when a third party commits a crime against the plaintiff on the defendant’s property, if the potential for criminal activity was foreseeable.
The elements of a negligent security case are as follows:
- The defendant property owner had a legal duty to provide adequate security;
- The defendant failed to take reasonable care to provide adequate security; and
- The plaintiff suffered injury or damage as a result of the defendant’s failure.
The legal obligation to provide security can extend to:
- Commercial business owners;
- Property managers;
- Security personnel; and
Whether adequate security existed is a question of fact to be decided in each case. Appropriate security might include security guards, lighting, and security hardware such as locks, alarms, cameras and fences.
Negligent security examples
In many Florida cases, plaintiffs injured by the criminal acts of third parties have been able to recover against property owners and those responsible for providing security. Plaintiffs won multi-million dollar jury verdicts and settlements in the following instances:
- A plaintiff who was shot at a children’s entertainment and fun park in Dania Beach won a jury verdict against the property owner. The plaintiff argued that defendant should have had better security because the property was in a high-crime area where many attacks had taken place.
- An apartment resident who was injured jumping from a window to escape a fleeing felon won a jury award against the property owner.
- A bar patron was shot outside the establishment by an individual who had been ejected. He sued the nightclub owner and the owner of the shopping mall where the bar was located. Both businesses settled, even though the attack took place outside and off-duty sheriff’s officers provided security.
Consult a Miami civil litigation attorney