How to Prove Negligent Security Measures and Recover Damages from a Property Owner in Florida?
If you were injured due to someone else’s criminal act, suing the person who committed the crime for damages may not be the best option for most victims. This may be true regardless of whether the criminal who caused your injury was found and arrested or not.
Another problem that you may encounter when trying to recover damages from the criminal is that they may not have enough money – or even insurance coverage – to pay you for your economic losses.
For this reason, it might make sense to pursue a claim against the owner of the property where the crime occurred. However, this would require you to prove negligent security measures to argue that the property owner should have prevented the crime.
Proving Inadequate Security Measures in Florida
If you were a victim of a crime because of inadequate security measures on the premises, you need to establish the following four elements to recover damages from the property owner:
- You were lawfully on the property when the crime occurred.
- The property lacked adequate security measures to prevent the crime.
- The property owner should have foreseen the criminal act.
- You suffered damages as a result of the crime.
In order to prove inadequate security measures in your particular case, it is important to understand the type of premises where your injury occurred. Depending on the type of premises, inadequate security measures may include
- Lack of surveillance cameras (or their improper positioning)
- Inadequate lighting
- Lack of guards or security patrols
- Inadequate number of security personnel (or lack thereof)
- Unlocked doors
- Damaged or missing locks
- Broken windows
Even if you are able to prove inadequate security measures, keep in mind that you are still required to prove the foreseeability element in order to obtain compensation from the property owner.
What that means is that you have to demonstrate evidence that the property owner should have reasonably foreseen the crime and prevented it. As a general rule, property owners do not have a duty to prevent criminal acts committed by third parties unless those crimes are reasonably foreseeable.
Thus, if the property owner should have anticipated the criminal activity that led to your injury, you may be able to establish the foreseeability element and prove inadequate security measures.
How to Prove That Security Measures Were Inadequate?
A Miami negligent security attorney will help you collect photographs and videos at the scene of the crime to prove that the premises lacked adequate security measures. Also, if there were any surveillance cameras on the premises, your attorney will request access to footage showing how the crime occurred and whether the property owner could have reasonably foreseen the criminal act.
Your attorney will also collect information about prior crimes on the property or in the area and how frequently law enforcement was called to the property to establish the foreseeability element.
Consult with our Miami negligent security attorneys at Pita Weber Del Prado to help you recover damages from the owner or occupier of the property where the crime occurred. Call at 305-670-2889 for a case evaluation.