What is Negligent Security in Florida?
The owner of a property has a duty to protect visitors and tenants of the property from foreseeable injuries. Owners should work to fulfill this duty in a number of ways, including ensuring that adequate lighting is available, monitoring the premises for safety breaches and, in some cases, utilizing security guards. When owners fall short on these responsibilities and injuries occur, they can be found liable for the harm based on the theory of security negligence.
An article in Pursuit Magazine discussed the theory and how it is handled among property owners and security companies. The article points out that foreseeability is an element in security negligence cases. Foreseeability is the act of reasonably anticipating the likelihood of an event. The foreseeability of security issues is reportedly gathered from crime statistics and police reports. Property owners must research these issues and make arrangements to keep their premises secure from foreseeable criminal activities. When crimes do occur on the premises and visitors are injured, courts will reportedly examine several elements to determine the possible liability of an owner:
- Did the property owner have a duty to provide a safe environment to visitors and/ or tenants?
- If a duty did exist, did the property owner breach the duty?
- Did the owner’s breach proximately cause the harm that occurred?
- Did the plaintiff suffer any actual damages due to the injury?
Security Company Liability
In establishments where security guards are utilized, an injury can also open the security guard company up to civil liability. According to the article, when security companies are brought into court for negligence, their defense turns on the following elements:
- Foreseeability – Security company owners also have a responsibility to research crime rates within the areas where their officers work. They need to have an understanding of the highest crime days and hours, staffing their guards accordingly.
- Proper licensing – Company owners must ensure that the company, as well as each individual guard, has obtained adequate licensing and insurance, as directed by the state in which business is done.
- Proper training- A security company owner may have to provide information about training practices to demonstrate that the guards were trained properly to do their jobs and to carry any weapons that may have been involved.
- The written contract – The court will likely want to review the contract between the security company and the property owner to identify any limitations on the security company and whether those limitations kept them from performing their jobs correctly. The court will also determine whether the security company acted within the boundaries of the contract, providing the services that they agreed to provide.
- Reasonableness of Actions – The court will look at the actions of the guards at the time of injury to determine whether they proceeded in a reasonable manner, using industry standards of operation. This would include any limitations that were placed on the security guards, due to the property owner’s lack of adequate equipment or weapons.
If you have suffered an injury due to an owner’s failure to provide a safe environment, secure the services of a Miami negligent security lawyer with the skills to get the compensation you deserve. Call the experienced lawyers of Pita and Del Prado at (888) 670-8060 for a free consultation.