Cases of negligent security occur when Florida business owners do not take reasonable precautions to ensure the safety of their guests, customers, and clients. Basic security measures must be implemented to prevent potential theft, property damage, robberies, and assaults.
Premises liability law applies to several locations serving the public. Examples include retail stores, rental apartment complexes or homes, motels, hotels, and schools. The property owner or occupier may be liable if you are involved in an incident while on public property.
If you are injured while on someone else’s property, it is wise to consult with our premises liability attorneys at Zimmet & Zimmet. We can review the facts of your case to determine liability and help you recover compensation.
Common Examples of Negligent Security
Cases of negligent security are more common than many people realize. Some of the most common examples are described here.
One of the most straightforward signs of negligent security is poor lighting. Insufficient lighting in parking lots, walkways, or stairwells can make it easier for accidents or crimes to occur. If you trip and fall because you can’t see where you’re going, or if an assailant takes advantage of the darkness, the property owner may be held liable for your injuries.
Lack of Surveillance Cameras
In today’s age, surveillance cameras are crucial for monitoring and deterring criminal activities. A property lacking these can be a haven for crimes like theft or assault. When a property owner fails to install or maintain surveillance cameras adequately, they are not taking reasonable steps to ensure visitor safety.
Broken Locks and Gates
Properties should have functional locks, gates, and other barriers to prevent unauthorized access. Broken or faulty locks can easily allow burglars or intruders to enter, putting everyone inside at risk. If you’re a victim due to a breach facilitated by such defects, it could be a clear case of negligent security.
Insufficient or Untrained Security Personnel
Sometimes, more than the presence of security personnel is needed; they also need to be trained and capable of handling various situations. Untrained or insufficient security staff can be just as bad as having no security. If an incident occurs and the security staff fails to manage it effectively, this could be a basis for an accident claim.
Proving Your Negligent Security Claim in Florida
Florida law outlines what must be shown to hold a property owner or manager responsible for your accident. The steps of this process include:
Establishing Duty of Care
The first step in proving negligent security is establishing that the property owner had a “duty of care” toward you. This term means that the owner is legally obligated to take reasonable steps to ensure a safe environment. In Florida, premises liability laws dictate that property owners must exercise reasonable care to keep their premises safe for visitors.
Identifying the Breach
Once you’ve established the duty of care, the next step is identifying how the property owner breached this duty. A negligent security lawyer can help you gather evidence to demonstrate this. Photographs, surveillance footage, and witness testimonies can serve as strong evidence to indicate the breach of duty.
After identifying the breach, you must prove that the negligent security caused your injury. This can be the most challenging part of your accident claim. Medical records, expert testimonies, and incident reports can help establish causation.
Determining the Types and Amount of Damages in a Negligent Security Case
In negligent security cases, damages can vary widely depending on the situation’s specifics. Some of the types of damages you may receive include:
Economic damages are the most straightforward to calculate as they have a clear monetary value. These damages can include medical expenses, lost wages, and any other out-of-pocket costs that result from the incident. Collecting invoices, bills, and pay stubs can serve as evidence to quantify these damages.
Unlike economic damages, non-economic damages don’t have a direct financial value. They cover emotional pain, suffering, and loss of enjoyment in life that result from the incident. While these are more challenging to quantify, they are no less critical. Courts often use the severity and long-term effects of your injuries to estimate a fair amount for these damages.
In some cases, the negligent actions of the property owner are so egregious that the court awards punitive damages to the victim. These are not meant to compensate for your losses but to punish the offender and deter similar conduct in the future. However, punitive damages are relatively rare and usually come into play in cases of extreme negligence.
How to Estimate the Total Amount
The total damages will be a combination of economic and non-economic damages. While there’s no simple formula to calculate the total, a skilled negligent security lawyer can help estimate a reasonable sum based on case precedents and the specific circumstances of your situation.
Statute of Limitations in Florida
It’s important to note that Florida only allows victims of negligence a specific amount of time to file a claim. Before March 2023, this statute of limitations was four years. However, The Florida Tort Reform Act 2023, or HB-837, lowered this to two years.
Consult a Negligent Security Lawyer in Florida from Zimmet & Zimmet
Navigating the complexities of a negligent security claim can be daunting. That’s why it’s crucial to consult a negligent security lawyer who can guide you through the legal maze. At Zimmet & Zimmet, we specialize in handling such cases and are committed to helping you get the justice you deserve.
Proving negligent security can be a complex process that involves establishing a duty of care, identifying a breach, proving causation, and calculating damages. With the legal expertise of a negligent security lawyer who understands Florida’s laws, you’ll be well-equipped to file a successful accident claim.
Don’t let negligent security disrupt your life. Take the steps necessary to hold property owners accountable for their negligence and secure the compensation you deserve.