An Overview of Florida’s Negligent Security Law
If you or a family member have been victims of a crime at a Florida business you may be able to recover monetary compensation from that business for the injuries or other damages you have sustained.
A legal concept called “negligent security” says that a business can be held liable for violent acts that occur on their property if it is foreseeable that these acts will occur on their property. This concept stems from the idea that if these acts are foreseeable then the business has a legal duty to protect people and provide security on the premises. Many negligent security cases may occur when a person is injured at a bar or nightclub but liability can also occur at places like shopping malls or office buildings. In many cases, people have been injured from criminal acts such as a battery, aggravated battery, or sexual battery.
If you have experienced any of the following instances while being on the property of a business, you are liable to receive compensation from that business:
- Being a victim of a crime as a result of the basic security equipment not being installed in the building. Lack of security technology in buildings like insufficient amount or quality of CCTV cameras, no security alarms/any other setup to discreetly inform the police, or lack of lighting which may result in failure to recognize the criminals are a few examples of such lapses. Such places are vulnerable to criminal activity because they aren’t equipped with the technology to keep the criminals off, which is why their owners are liable to compensate victims of such crimes.
- Being a victim of criminal activity in a business-owned building that didn’t employ a sufficient amount of security personnel to ward off criminals, or when the security personnel are careless in doing their job. Like the previous case, this security lapse also might encourage criminals to target a particular place.
- You have received physical injuries or psychological damage as a result of criminal activity In the business owned building, or have suffered any monetary/property damage or loss as a result of the crime being committed due to lack of security measures. The business is liable to compensate for your medical expenses in case of injuries, and you are also entitled to receive compensation for monetary loss suffered during the crime, and the monetary loss you suffer as a result of an injury like wage loss, etc.
It is important to understand that this law applies not just to businesses but to every facility and establishment where there is a possibility of someone being attacked. It could be an apartment complex that lacks the proper security measures to ensure the safety of its residents and visitors. Even schools and educational institutes are liable for damages if there is an attack due to a lack of security measures to protect the students and teachers. The injuries suffered as a result of the aforementioned cases are called foreseeable injuries, and with solid legal representation, you can receive full compensation for all the damages and losses you suffer as a result of criminal activity in a building that is owned by an individual or a business.
Generally, under Florida law, an individual or a corporation cannot be held liable for the acts of another person or third party. However, many businesses fail to take basic measures to protect their customers from violent criminal acts. They fail to hire adequate security and take basic security measures to ensure the safety of their customers. The chances of criminal activity in places without any security increase and the customers face a greater threat of being injured.
Businesses are required to have sufficient security measures in their premises by Florida Law. If they fail to do so, they can be held responsible for crimes that occur on their property and injure their customers. Places like convenience stores are constantly targeted by robbers due to their vulnerability, as criminals expect to quickly raid the place and leave with a significant amount of money. It is necessary for such businesses to have security measures in place which eliminate the threat of crime. Based on factors like the size and type of facility, its location, and the crime rates in that location, businesses should take measures accordingly. Any negligence by the business which results in its security being compromised can encourage criminal activity, which can result in legal action being taken against it by those affected by the crime.
Such security measures should not be confined to the interior of the building either. Exterior spots like parking lots of restaurants, stores, and malls are also commonly targeted by criminals. If the parking lot is poorly lit or lacks any surveillance cameras, customers could be robbed while entering or leaving their cars. For example, if there is a dark spot in the parking lot, anyone present there can be easily targeted at night, so the business owner should install proper lighting in that dark spot to discourage criminal activity there.
Other measures that public establishment owners can take to ward off criminals are:
- Installing proper surveillance in elevators and stairways of the building
- Hire workers and all other employees after running background checks to ensure that none of them have a criminal past.
- Establishments that host social events like concerts should have security equipment like metal detectors to ensure that no individual carrying weapons is allowed in. Security personnel should also be on the lookout for suspicious-looking individuals and should stay alert to stop any potential criminal activity.
- A communication setup to alert all costumers and authorities in case any suspicious is noticed by the employees.
If you or a loved one have been a victim of a violent crime at any business-owned building, residential area, or any public place owned and operated by a business, and feel that the injuries and/or financial damages you suffered could be avoided if that place had proper security arrangements, you can get in touch with us right now. We will look into your case and work out the appropriate compensation amount that you can recover from the relevant business based on the negligent security law of Florida. If you have any queries regarding your case or want to know more about the negligent security law to figure out whether you are eligible to be compensated for any damages that you’ve suffered at a business-owned property, please feel free to call The Law Office of Jeremiah D. Allen at (407)-415-9626.