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How To Win A Negligent Security Case In Florida

How To Win A Negligent Security Case In Florida

How To Win A Negligent Security Case In Florida 1080 1080 Panter, Panter & Sampedro

Some of the most serious premises liability cases are due to inadequate security, insufficient lighting, broken locks, and similar forms of property owner negligence. A negligent security claim arises when a property owner fails in their duty to maintain safe conditions on their property and an individual is hurt as a result of the criminal actions of a third party. 

Examples include an individual being robbed in a poorly lit parking lot or being double-booked in a hotel room where another guest has access to property that does not belong to them. In both cases, a property owner may be held responsible for the pain and suffering, medical expenses, and other damages sustained by a visitor that result from a lack of adequate security. Under Florida law, a property owner does not have the right to shift liability to the individual who performed the criminal act. The property owner is liable for the harms caused by a criminal actor where the injuries are a result of negligent security.

Proving A Negligent Security Claim

To have a successful negligent security claim, an injured person must show that the owner failed to maintain the premises in a reasonably safe condition given the circumstances about which the owner knew or should have known. For example, the owner of an apartment complex in a high-crime area, or where violent crimes have been known to occur in the past, has a responsibility to provide security measures appropriate for those circumstances. The failure to provide adequate security when an owner has chargeable knowledge of a heightened risk of criminal activity may give rise to liability for injuries caused by criminal actors.

In some instances, an owner’s or the owner’s employees’ reaction to a perceived threat or incident may itself be negligent. For example, an employee of a bar that uses physical force to remove a patron from the premises may be liable for failing to use reasonable care and thus would be responsible for the injuries caused by that physical force. 

Absence of Training In Negligent Security Claims

Employees of a property should be adequately trained to prevent an incident. A property owner may be found liable if there is evidence of a lack of proper training. Plaintiffs may request a company’s policies and procedures to investigate whether employees received adequate training. Employees may also be questioned to understand why they did not or were unable to respond accurately to the situation. 

Foreseeability In Negligent Security Claims

The central issue in proving a negligent security claim is foreseeability. Generally, the plaintiff must establish that the owner should have been able to foresee a security threat based on the existence of prior similar crimes or heightened criminal activity in the vicinity of the incident. The foreseeable threat gives rise to a duty on behalf of the property owner to provide adequate security measures. 

What is the time limit for filing a negligent security claim? 

Under Florida law, the time limit (or statute of limitations) for filing a negligent security lawsuit is *two years from the date of the incident. If an individual is pursuing a negligent security case on behalf of a deceased family member, they have two years from the date of the death to bring a wrongful death claim.   

Call A Negligent Security Attorney

The experienced negligent security attorneys of Panter, Panter, and Sampedro have worked on various types of negligent security cases and have won damages for victims from those who maintain unsafe properties across South Florida. For a full list of verdicts and settlements, visit panterlaw.com/results.

If you have been injured on another individual’s property or business as a result of a violent crime that was foreseeable or could have been avoided with adequate security, talk with our experienced team of attorneys. Call us today for a free consultation about your case at (305) 662-6178 or visit Panterlaw.com.

*On March 24, 2023, Governor Ron DeSantis signed House Bill (HB) 837 reducing Florida’s statute of limitations for general negligence cases from four years to two years. In other words, a lawsuit alleging negligence must now be filed within two years of the date of the alleged negligence or the claim will be forever barred.

Sources: 

https://panterlaw.com/2021/01/13/what-is-negligent-security/

https://definitions.uslegal.com/a/active-negligence/

https://panterlaw.com/2021/10/08/negligent-security-claims/

https://panterlaw.com/personal-injury/wrongful-death/

https://panterlaw.com/results/

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