You are walking to your car from the shopping mall in your neighborhood. You are attacked by an individual, despite the presence of security cameras surrounding the mall and the presence of a security officer supposedly patrolling the mall’s exterior. Is the mall or security company liable for your injuries? Answer: possibly yes. If you or a loved one was injured in an area that claims to be monitored by security cameras and security guards, you should speak to an experienced personal injury lawyer in Miami to discuss your legal options.
Negligent security can occur in various places and in various forms. Some of the settings where negligent security occurs include shopping malls, night clubs, apartment complexes, hospitals, gyms, stadiums, amusement parks, swimming pools, airports, and even schools. The incidents resulting in injuries may include robbery, assault and battery, firearm injuries, or even rape.
A negligent security claim can be predicated on the following:
- Inadequate surveillance
- Absence of a dedicated security workforce
- Ill-prepared or poorly screened guards
- Worn out lights in foyers, passageways, and parking garages
- Broken fencing
- Broken entryway or door locks
- Non-functional recording devices
What Must Be Proven to Prevail in a Negligent Security Claim
To succeed in recovering damages for a negligent security injury claim, the following elements must be established:
- You were lawfully present on the property
- The property owner breached its obligation to offer reasonable security
- You were harmed due to an outsider’s activities that were reasonably foreseeable to the property owner
- You would not have been harmed but for the property owner’s negligence and breach of duty of care
- You suffered actual damages
The issue of reasonable foresight is an extremely crucial one in negligent security cases. In many states, including Florida, courts analyze the factor of foreseeableness based on whether there were previous comparable unlawful acts in the same area that the property owner knew about or ought to have known about. For example, if there have been previous instances of sexual assault in a particular parking lot or shopping center, it is likely that the last assault would be viewed as foreseeable. Nevertheless, if the earlier case at hand was simply that of a pickpocket, a case of sexual assault may not be considered foreseeable. The court might likewise consider how frequently law enforcement officers have been called to a particular property, whether the earlier criminal acts were violent revengeful crimes against specific persons or petty cases of theft and mugging, and the gap of time between the previous occurrence(s) with the current one at hand.
For a personal injury case to stand on negligent security, it is important that your Miami trial lawyer checks the following:
- Security arrangements and measures, if any, that were set up
- Capability and experience of the security firm and/or staff present
- The proprietor’s level of contribution in investing in an exhaustive security program
- Nature of the equipments used therein
- Whether security contracts were in place and properly outlined
- Whether the arrangement was overseen ably and adequately
Speak to a Lawyer Today
The Miami Inadequate Security lawyers of Gerson & Schwartz, PA have been representing clients in all areas of negligent security claims for over 40 years. If you or a loved one was the victim of a crime or if you have been seriously injured, contact one of our attorneys to talk confidentially about your case.