From Dark Alleys to Broken Cameras: Identifying Signs of Negligent Security

By Osborne & Francis
October 25, 2023

Negligent security can lead to serious or even fatal injuries. Property owners can be held liable if they allow unsafe conditions to persist and an accident or intentional tort occurs. Understanding examples of negligent security can give you a better idea of what to expect if you intend on filing a personal injury lawsuit to recover damages.

As personal injury lawyers, we want to emphasize that the impact of being harmed due to negligent security practices often goes beyond the straightforward costs, like the price of replacing a shattered window. At Osborne & Francis, we are prepared to fight for you in a negligent security lawsuit to secure a settlement that meets your needs. You can reach us at (561) 293-2600 or contact our Orlando or Boca Raton offices online to schedule a free consultation. We look forward to examining your case in detail and discussing your options for legal action. 

Lack of Functioning Security Cameras Are a Safety Risk

The issue with damaged or non-existent security cameras is two-fold. First, if a perpetrator knows that a particular property, such as a gas station, does not have functioning security cameras, they may intentionally target that property for theft, assault, or vandalism. Second, once the harm has been committed, it is more difficult to obtain evidence to support the plaintiffs’ claim for damages without a video or other documentation. Even in cases where a plaintiff has accidentally slipped and fallen, like in a poorly lit parking lot, security camera footage can be critical. It can confirm their version of events and even help establish a pattern if other patrons or employees have been similarly harmed.

Inexperienced Security Guards Are a Liability 

When security guards lack the training or were not properly vetted before being hired, the property owner may be liable for accidents that were a result of their inept intervention attempts. Unfortunately, we have handled claims where an untrained or inept security guard has exacerbated a dangerous situation instead of de-escalating or resolving it. An experienced security guard may make mistakes like forgetting to check IDs, leaving gates open, or failing to accurately assess an evolving situation. Mistakes like these leave customers and employees vulnerable to harm.

Lack of Security Guards Leave Properties Vulnerable

The presence of security guards is intended to deter crime. Additionally, they are supposed to provide patrons with peace of mind that their property and their person will be protected. For certain types of businesses, especially those that sell valuable goods, involve frequent cash exchanges, or are located in high-crime areas, security guards are critical. In cases where danger, like the risk of accident or injury, is foreseeable, property owners can be held liable for the damages of an injured party. Imagine a bank without a security guard who could immediately respond to an attempted robbery. The risk of someone attempting to steal from an unarmed back is so high that it would be wildly irresponsible for them to forgo a security guard.

Doors that Don’t Lock Offer Opportunities for Injury and Property Destruction

Locks protect both valuable property and people. Property owners have a duty to secure sensitive locations and valuables. For example, a gas station bathroom with a busted lock could allow someone to break in and sexually assault another party. Or, a storage facility with a malfunctioning lockbox could allow a thief to steal someone’s sentimental and irreplaceable items. In any case, when there is an expectation of security and the property owner fails to meet it, they may find themselves at fault in a personal injury lawsuit. 

Inadequate Lighting Increases the Risk of Accidents

Inadequate lighting may seem like a less pressing issue in comparison to the other safety measure named here. However, as personal injury lawyers, we have found that many accidents and injuries occur as a result of poor lighting. Darkness can conceal a spill that wasn’t cleaned up, a hidden stair, or a person waiting to commit an assault. Property owners are responsible for mitigating this risk by installing and maintaining lighting. Additionally, a lack of lighting can make it difficult for security cameras to pick up the details of an assault or attack. This is often critical evidence that helps us demonstrate that the plaintiff was injured as a result of the property owner's negligence.

No Alarm System or a Broken Alarm System

An absent or broken alarm system can delay critical emergency services, like law enforcement and medical services. If these essential services have to wait until they receive a phone call from a witness or employee to respond, the perpetrators have additional time to cause property damage. Also, injured parties are left untreated in the meantime, which can be critical if they are having trouble breathing or are bleeding significantly. Alarm systems are essential in protecting both people and property. Failing to install or maintain a functioning security system can leave property owners open to negligence accusations.

Who’s Liable in a Negligent Security Case?

Property owners are typically the defendants in negligent security claims. Under Florida law, they owe invitees and employees a duty of care. This involves reducing the risk of accident or injury by conducting maintenance and implementing security practices. 

If there is a risk that cannot be avoided, they are responsible for warning those who enter the property. Think about major retailers who post signs in their parking lots warning customers that they should not leave valuables in their cars. They may not be able to always prevent break-ins from happening, but if you park your car on their property, they have the responsibility to warn you that it could happen. 

If your personal injury lawyer can prove that the property owner’s negligence led to your injuries and resulting damages, they are considered liable. Then, your accident injury lawyer will attempt to negotiate a settlement with representatives from their side. In most cases, representatives from the owner’s insurance carrier are the ones who will be on the other side of the negotiating table.

Why Should I Choose Osborne & Francis to Represent Me?

Not all personal injury law firms are built the same. At Osborne & Francis, we have specific experience managing negligent security claims and the resources to bring in experts to bolster your claim for damages. Additionally, our team has been successful in court, which can be an important asset when a stubborn insurance company won’t make a reasonable offer.

As personal injury attorneys, it is our goal to secure a settlement that reflects the true magnitude of the damage that was inflicted as a result of the defendant’s negligence. This includes provisions for medical bills, lost wages, and other costs, like pain and suffering.

Our team has spent the better part of a decade expertly managing complex cases for severely injured clients. If you are looking for a team of specialists who will not yield to powerful insurance companies, you can rely on Osborne & Francis to negotiate a fair settlement for your damages.

Contact Osborne & Francis if You’ve Been Injured Because of Negligent Security

As your negligent security lawyers, we will aggressively negotiate on your behalf until we are satisfied that you are receiving a solid settlement offer. We know just how important it is to recover compensation for your financial and non-economic losses, and we will relentlessly pursue this goal.

Our team has an unusual advantage in our trial experience, which we have used to secure outstanding settlements from insurance companies. The negligent security lawyers of Osborne & Francis are prepared to hold the negligent party accountable for your injuries and damages.

If you have been injured or harmed as a result of a property owner’s negligent security practices, we encourage you to consider your legal options. Our team can help you move forward with a claim for damages so you can recover losses like medical bills and lost wages. To schedule a free consultation, you can reach us at (561) 293-2600 or contact our Orlando or Boca Raton offices online.

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