Understanding Negligent Security

A claim for negligent security arises when someone is harmed on another person’s property because of a lack of appropriate safeguards against harm. These claims usually occur when a third-party harms someone on someone else’s property or at their establishment.

The most common examples are situations where someone is injured in a parking lot or other open area due to insufficient security or lack of protective measures, such as lighting, proper signage, fencing or security personnel. Anyone that is entrusted with providing security can be subjected to this type of legal claim.

Elements of a Negligent Security Claim

Negligent security claims have many similar requirements to other types of negligence claims. The elements of a negligent security claim include the following:

  1. The property owner or company (defendant) had a duty to implement safety measures to people at their business or establishment;
  2. The defendant failed to provide sufficient protection;
  3. That breach of duty was a proximate cause of the injuries or damage suffered; and
  4. Said injuries or damages can be shown or are quantifiable.

What the law considers “sufficient” or “reasonable” security will vary depending on the situation. Foreseeability of danger plays a role in determining what is reasonable. For example, if you are assaulted in an area where two other attacks have occurred, it would be reasonable for an establishment to increase the amount of security because of prior crimes. Businesses in high crime areas are expected to have more security than those in other districts.

Examples of security measures may include:

  • Adequate Lighting
  • Security guards or bouncers
  • Magnetometers to detect weapons
  • Locks
  • Cameras
  • Fences

Which types of security are appropriate will vary a great deal depending on the location, type of business or property, and the history of crime or harm that has occurred in the area in the past.

Who Has the Duty of Security?

Generally speaking, no one has a legal obligation to protect you from third parties. However, this general rule changes when the individual or entity has control of the premises on which a tort or crime is committed. That means that the following persons or entities are more likely to be subjected to a negligent security claim.

  • Landlords
  • Security Companies
  • Hotels
  • Nightclub Establishments
  • Property managers
  • Other business owners

While open areas are more common locations for negligent security claims, nightclubs can also give rise to this type of case. For example, if someone is injured with a weapon in an establishment because there was no way of screening for weapons, you may have a case for negligent security against the club.

Getting Help with Your Negligent Security Claim

Negligent security claims can be complicated, so it is a good idea to pair up with an experienced Florida personal injury attorney to present your case. McKINNON LEGAL can help with this process. Contact us today for more information.