ATM Injuries and Security Liability
It is becoming increasingly risky to utilize bank ATM machines. Whether your bank account is compromised from a skimming scam or you are held up at gunpoint, banks are failing to protect their customers during routine visits to the teller machine. Some legal experts are asking whether these financial institutions are breaching a duty of safety to their customers by not providing adequate security at ATM locations. The news is constantly filled with stories about crimes occurring at ATMs. Earlier this summer, a man was arrested for an armed burglary at a drive-up teller machine in Pinellas Park, according to a report by WTSP News. Last year, a Florida teenager identified her ATM attacker as the mother of her classmate, as reported by WINK News.
Efforts to Protect Customers
While the stories and statistics continue to mount, banks are reportedly doing very little to adequately protect their customers. While hidden cameras are usually installed at ATMs, they reportedly do little to deter criminals who want to attack or steal from their users. Additionally, they are most useful to identify an accused assailant after the crime occurred.
Enclosures are another security measure utilized by banking institutions. Typically, a customer must swipe their bank card before entering the facility to conduct business. The rationale is that non-customers, without a bank card, cannot gain access to the ATM location. The following include problems with this rationale.
- Customers can also be assailants. Even if in possession of a debit card, an individual can still enter the ATM enclosure with the intention of doing harm.
- The access keys lack substantial security. A report by the California news network, KTVU, found that numerous types of cards were successfully used to access the vestibule, including an expired department store gift card.
- The enclosure may create an even more dangerous situation by closing off the customer from the public or possible witnesses in the event that a crime does occur.
What is Miami Security Liability?
Security liability is the legal theory that business entities owe their customers a duty of reasonable safety while they are on or within their premises. When incidents occur within a place of business and injuries result, the business entity may be held liable for compensation. Within the court of law, the plaintiff must prove the following elements:
- The business entity owed a duty to provide a safe environment to visitors and/or customers;
- The entity breached that duty through a recklessness or negligence;
- The breach proximately caused an injury or harm; and
- The plaintiff suffered actual damages because of the injury.
Under the theory of security liability, banks are responsible for the safety of their patrons when they are using any ATM machine located on the bank’s property.
If you have suffered an injury due to a business entity’s failure to provide a safe environment, secure the services of an lawyer with the skills to get the compensation you deserve. Call the experienced lawyers of Pita Weber & Del Prado in Miami at 305-670-2889 for a free consultation.