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What is Negligent Security?

Security concerns are increasing in both commercial properties and residential neighborhoods. Instances of violence or theft are common. Often, security measures or personnel are inadequate.

If you have been a victim of preventable crime on someone else’s property, the negligent security attorneys at Osborne & Francis, PLLC, help you obtain compensation for your injuries or losses. Our firm takes an aggressive approach to personal injury claims, and a lawsuit may be your only avenue to recovering compensation for your losses. Contact us at (561) 293-2600 to schedule a free consultation.

We provide the professional attention you deserve and never accept minimal settlement offers. With more than 50 years of combined experience, our negligent security lawyers have a long history of success.

A middle-aged security guard man wearing black clothes and yellow vest makes a call

What Constitutes Negligent Security?

Property owners and managers have a basic duty to maintain reasonably safe premises. This duty includes preventing any foreseeable criminal acts by using contemporary security measures such as adequate lighting, fencing, security cameras and hiring trained security personnel. These criminal acts may result in:

  • Assault
  • Robbery
  • Shooting
  • Sexual assault
  • Rape
  • Kidnapping
  • Death to tenants and business customers.

What Remedies Are Available for Negligent Security?

Filing a negligent security claim can provide more remedies than solely pursuing criminal charges. The criminal justice system cannot recover damages for intangible losses, like pain and suffering. A third-party claim against the property owner for failing to provide adequate security can secure your full compensation.

Remedies for negligent security cases may include:

  • Medical costs and rehabilitation for injuries
  • Loss of income due to inability to work
  • Loss of valuables, personal effects
  • Damages for mental or emotional distress if a crime is violent or otherwise threatening

Many incidents arising from inadequate security result in the death of a loved one. In Florida, survivors eligible to recover compensation after a loved one’s death include the decedent’s:

  • Spouse
  • Children
  • Parents
  • Blood relatives and adoptive siblings wholly or partly dependent on the decedent for support

Survivors may file a wrongful death claim and recover the following damages:

  • Compensation for present and future lost support
  • Services
  • Lost earnings
  • Medical care
  • Funeral expenses

Spouses may also recover from the loss of companionship and emotional distress. Children under the age of 25 may receive compensation for pain and suffering and lost parental companionship, guidance, and instruction.

If you have questions about your wrongful death case, our supportive and compassionate attorneys are here to help you understand your options and make the best decisions for your family.

With more than 50 years of combined experience, our negligent security lawyers have a long history of success.

Why Do Negligent Security Cases Matter?

The criminal justice system can hold the perpetrators who caused you harm accountable in a court of law. However, the criminal justice system is mainly designed to punish offenders, not recover damages for pain and suffering. If the Court orders restitution for medical bills or property damage, it can be challenging to obtain. The criminal justice system is not set up to go after unpaid compensation.

If you have been seriously injured due to negligent security, it is in your best interests to file a civil lawsuit against the property owner. Generally, property owners have insurance for certain liabilities. You may be entitled to recover your total damages by filing a negligent security claim.

What Are the Laws Governing Negligent Security Claims?

Negligent security claims involve many state and common laws. The following are some of the laws a negligent security attorney will use to establish your case:

  • Foreseeability: Foreseeability occurs when the conduct of a property owner or business “creates a foreseeable zone of risk, the law generally will recognize a duty placed upon the defendant either to lessen the risk or see that sufficient precautions are taken to protect others from the harm that the risk poses.”
  • Liability of Third-Party Persons for Crimes Committed on Premises: A property owner or company does not have a duty to control a third person’s actions. However, the following are exceptions if the property owner is in control of:
    • The premises
    • The person who committed the crime
    • The instrumentality of the harm
  • Temporal Proximity: Temporal proximity involves looking at events that have occurred relatively close to each other. In negligent security, the law examines similar crimes near the property over the previous two years.

Negligent security is a very complex area of law. At Osborne & Francis Law Firm, PLLC, we have extensive experience handling a wide range of negligent security cases.

What Legal Issues Can a Negligent Security Lawyer Handle?

Unfortunately, violence can occur in public at any time and under any circumstance. As a result, there are a variety of situations in which property owners can likely be held liable for not providing adequate security on their property.

Some examples of negligent security include:

  • Shootings inside nightclubs and their parking lots
  • Violent crime including shootings and assaults at apartment complexes
  • Sexual assaults at apartment complexes, common areas, and business parking garages
  • Shootings and attacks at convenience stores and gas stations
  • Robberies and attacks at ATMs and parking lots

Negligent security cases commonly occur at:

  • ATMs and their parking lots
  • Convenience stores, pharmacies and gas stations
  • Shopping centers, malls and movie theaters
  • Apartment complexes and condominiums
  • Nightclubs and bars
  • College campuses
  • Hotels, Resorts, motels
  • Sporting events and concerts

The key element in these examples is that the violation was foreseeable under the circumstances and could have been prevented through reasonable security measures.

A bouncer monitoring a crowd at a concert in a night club

What Can Be Considered Negligent Security?

Businesses and property owners can take steps to provide a reasonably safe environment for visitors. When there is a lack of adequate security measures taken on the premises, criminal activity can thrive and lead to frequent violence.

Some examples of negligent security can include:

  • Shortage of security guards or no security guards
  • Outdated or out-of-service security system
  • Broken lights or a lack of lighting
  • Gates and doors left unlocked
  • Blocked emergency exits
  • Broken fences

Many violent crimes are an act of opportunity. When property owners fail to address the potential dangers or take measures to mitigate the risk of violence, they can be held liable for your injuries.

How Can a Negligent Security Attorney Prove Liability?

When you are victimized in a violent crime on someone else’s property, liability raises many complications. While the offender is responsible for your attack, criminal liability can leave a victim without restitution for emotional distress, pain and suffering, and other damages.

Third-party claims against the property owner can serve to make the victim “whole” in the eyes of the court by providing full compensation. However, proving a property owner bears responsibility for your attack can be complex. Your negligent security attorney will need the knowledge and experience to overcome many potential hurdles.

Liability in a negligent security claim involves four elements:

  1. Duty of Care: The concept of duty of care involves establishing that the business or property owner has a responsibility to protect the safety and wellbeing of those on the premises. Complications can arise when assessing the status of the victim. The status of a victim can be an invitee, licensee, or trespasser. Negligent security is contingent on the permission the victim had to be on the premises at the time of the incident.
  2. Breach of Duty: The second element an attorney must establish is breach of duty. In this, the property owner or company must have failed in their duty to keep visitors safe from reasonable harm. What constitutes “reasonable harm” can vary. Proving breach of duty depends heavily on the skill of your negligent security lawyer.
  3. The Danger Was Foreseeable: The business or property owner must have reasonably foreseen the potential for a violent act to occur. Foreseeability is one of the most complex elements to prove. Typically, a property owner does not have a duty to stop a criminal act of a third person. However, if the violent act should have been anticipated, you may have a claim for negligent security.
    Foreseeability may ask:

    • How many times has this particular kind of criminal activity occurred?
    • When have the crimes happened?
    • Did the crimes all happen on the property or near it?
  4. You Suffered Injuries or Losses: The last element of liability establishes whether the victim was harmed due to the crime. If a criminal robbed a store you were in attendance in, but you did not suffer any emotional or physical injuries as a result, then there is no reason to hold a business or property owner accountable.

Establishing damages is crucial to proving liability in a negligent security case. Discuss the details of your case with a knowledgeable attorney to determine your recoverable damages.

Are Violent Crimes on the Rise?

Over the years, violence in America has been under the spotlight. Media outlets seem to play an endless cycle of shootings and other violent crimes.

Violent crime statistics state:

  • 1.3 million violent crimes were reported
  • There were more than 126,000 reported rapes
  • Approximately 243,600 robberies
  • Aggravated assault accounts for nearly 1,000,000 violent crimes
  • Murder and nonnegligent manslaughter significantly increased from 16,000 to over 21,500 cases

Mass shootings have also been widely covered in the media recently. According to the Gun Violence Archive, 693 mass shootings occurred in the last reporting year. To compare years:

  • 2018 reported 336 mass shootings
  • 2019 had 417 mass shootings
  • 2020 reported 611 mass shootings
  • 2021 saw 693 mass shootings

As violent acts continue to rise, it is important to know your rights if the worse should ever affect your family.

Why Obtain a Negligent Security Lawyer?

Obtaining an experienced negligent security lawyer is crucial to the success of your claim. At Osborne & Francis Law Firm, PLLC, we are proud to offer our clients the boutique-style experience of individual attention and aggressive representation.

Our nationally acclaimed legal team has decades of combined experience. We have recovered over $1 billion in settlements and verdicts for our clients. If you or a loved one have been injured by a violent act due to negligent security, contact our esteemed attorneys today.
To schedule a free consultation, please click here or call (561) 293-2600.

Negligent Security FAQs

Property owners can be held accountable in a negligent security case. Negligent security falls under premises liability. When a violent act occurs on a person or company’s property, the owner or tenant may be held responsible.

Depending on the circumstances, you can sue a security company under a negligent security claim or breach of contract. If you own the property and the security company did not fulfill their contract obligations, you may have a claim for breach of contract or negligent security. If you sustain injuries in a violent act on the property owned by someone else, you may have a negligent security claim. A negligent security attorney can help you determine the liable party and recover fair compensation for your injuries.

The statute of limitations (filing window) for negligent security cases is three to four years, depending on the state. In Florida, individuals have four years from the date of their injury to file a claim for negligent security. However, if you are a family member filing on behalf of a deceased loved one, the wrongful death statute applies. Family members have two years from the death of their loved ones to file a wrongful death lawsuit for negligent security.

A negligent security lawyer can evaluate your case and recover damages for your injuries. A successful negligent security claim is dependent on your attorney’s ability to:

  • Determine all liable parties
  • Accurately estimate the value of your damages, including pain and suffering
  • Investigate the details of your case
  • Gather critical evidence
  • Negotiate a fair settlement

If a fair settlement is not offered, a negligent security lawyer can pursue a fair verdict for your claim in court.

If you or a loved one have suffered harm due to negligent security, schedule a free evaluation of your case by clicking here or calling Osborne & Francis at (561) 293-2600.

Notable Settlements

Our case record and results speak for themselves. They are the fruit of our many years of experience and dedication to our clients. Notable settlements include:

$1,000,000 Settlement in a Wrongful Death Negligent Security Case Against Trailer Park
Our client was tragically shot and killed while living in her rented trailer park home. Our team’s thorough investigation revealed that the owner failed to properly address a significant violent crime problem on the premises.

Joseph Osborne Secures Multi-Million Dollar Settlement Trasylol Settlement With Bayer Pharmaceuticals for $9.475 Million
Attorney Joseph A. Osborne was appointed to the Plaintiffs Steering Committee for the Trasylol Multidistrict Litigation. Trasylol is a drug used to limit bleeding during heart surgery and marketed by Bayer Pharmaceuticals.

Through aggressive advocacy and unparalleled dedication to his clients, Joseph was pleased to announce a settlement of $9.475 million with Bayer to resolve its Trasylol claim.

Client Testimonials

Ryan Fletcher’s guidance and professional knowledge helped me navigate handling a scary car wreck. I am so glad I sought his advice and perspective. Thank you Ryan!
-E. Moore

‘Real Tough Lawyer’ — that is exactly what my Attorney Ben Garcia is! Ben fought for me. Very professional and very humble. Ben and Jessica made sure they stayed in close communication with me about my case…I highly recommend Ben Garcia the ‘REAL TOUGH LAWYER .’
-C. James

Great law firm. Very professional and responsive and they work hard to get you the best possible result. My attorney is very thorough and keeps me updated on a regular basis. First class.

-J. Friedman

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