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How to Prove Negligent Security

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Posted By Legal Team | February 14 2024 | Personal Injury

Property owners, operators, and managers all owe a duty of care to those who have a right to be at a specific location. Their duty of care applies not only to ensuring the premises are properly maintained and free from known hazards but also to ensuring adequate security is present. Individuals who sustain injuries due to inadequate or nonexistent security measures on another person’s property may be able to recover compensation, but proving these claims can be challenging.

What Evidence Can Prove Negligent Security

Negligent security arises due to a variety of reasons. Some of the most common examples of negligent security in Florida include:

  • Inadequate lighting. Poorly lit parking lots, walkways, and building exteriors can create opportunities for criminal activities, making properties unsafe for visitors or tenants.
  • Lack of or faulty security cameras. Security cameras serve as both a deterrent to criminal activity and a means to identify perpetrators. The absence or malfunction of these cameras compromises safety.
  • Insufficient security personnel. Properties, especially those known to be in high-risk areas, require a proper number of trained security personnel. Failure to employ adequate security staff can lead to incidents that could have been prevented.
  • Failure to respond to known hazards. Property owners or managers who do not take action upon receiving reports of dangerous situations or previous incidents of crime demonstrate negligence in maintaining a secure environment.
  • Defective locks or access controls. Broken or malfunctioning locks on doors and windows or faulty access control systems in buildings can easily allow unauthorized entry, increasing the risk of assault or theft.
  • Lack of emergency response plans. The absence of a clear, communicated plan for emergencies such as fires, assaults, or natural disasters can lead to chaos and harm during such events.
  • Ignoring tenant or visitor complaints about security. Property owners or managers who do not address and act upon complaints regarding security breaches or concerns show negligence in ensuring the safety of their premises.

There may be evidence that can help determine whether or not negligent security played a role in causing an injury. Some of this evidence can include:

  • Photographs from the scene of the incident
  • Any surveillance footage of the area
  • Statements from eyewitnesses
  • Property owner or manager employee training records
  • Inspection and maintenance records for the premises
  • Accident or police reports related to the current incident or previous incidents

What Does This Evidence Help Prove?

When a lawyer with experience handling negligence security claims gets involved, they will understand how the evidence weaves together to prove liability. Ultimately, this evidence is designed to help establish the four elements of negligence:

  1. Duty of Care. Establishing a duty of care for a negligent security claim means showing that the victim was lawfully on the premises at the time the incident occurred. Property owners and those in charge of an establishment owe a duty of care to those who have a right to be there.
  2. Breach of Duty. After establishing that a duty of care was present, it must be shown that the alleged negligent party somehow breached their duty of care. Above, we discussed some of the ways that this duty of care gets breached.
  3. Causation. After showing that the defendant (the person alleged to have caused the injury) indeed breached their duty of care, it must be demonstrated that this breach caused the injuries in question.
  4. Damages. Finally, a St. Petersburg personal injury attorney will work to show that the plaintiff (the injury victim) sustained monetary losses as a result of the negligent security.

Negligent security compensation may include coverage of their medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering damages arising due to any injuries they sustain.

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