08 Sep When Might a Property Owner Be Liable for Negligent Security?
When a crime occurs on someone else’s property and you are injured as a result, the obvious response is to hold the person who committed the crime responsible. Hopefully the criminal will be caught and will face penalties for what they have done, but there’s no guarantee that they will be caught—or that they’ll have to pay reparations to you even if they are.
In this type of situation, you may need to look at whether or not the crime occurred on a property that was not reasonably secure. If the property owner failed to maintain a safe environment and you were attacked or injured on their premises, they may be liable, and you can work with a personal injury lawyer to ensure that you are compensated for any medical bills, loss of income, and other associated costs.
How do you know if you should call a personal injury lawyer? If you’re ever unsure about whether you have a case, you should ask an attorney, but you can start by reading through the common types of negligent security cases below.
4 Common Examples of Negligent Security
A worker commits a crime after a business fails to do a background check. In some cases, you might actually be attacked by someone who has easy access to the property because they work for the property owner. If this happens and you are able to determine that the property owner or hiring company did not do a background check—or did not take note of previously problematic behavior—then the property owner may be at least partially responsible for your injury.
The property has inadequate lighting. If you have good reason to be on a property at night (for example, you are staying late to finish work at your office in a business park), then the property owner needs to provide lighting in areas like stairwells, walkways, parking lots, and parking garages. When someone takes advantage of a darkened space to attack you, you will most likely have a negligent security case—especially if crimes have occurred in the poorly lit area before.
The property owner failed to employ security guards or cameras where appropriate. Not every property is going to need security cameras or security guards, but there are some places where they are reasonable measures. For example, a convenience store that has experienced robberies in the past could reasonably be expected to have security cameras, and a bar where there have been fights in the past could reasonably be expected to employ security guards. When property owners fail to employ the security measures that are necessary to keep their property safe, they could be held liable.
The rental property owner fails to repair broken locks or windows. It’s not just commercial building owners who may be liable in a negligent security case; a rental property owner could be held responsible for injuries to their tenants if someone is able to break into the property due to broken or insufficient locks or windows—especially if the tenants previously alerted the landlord about the problem and it still wasn’t repaired.
If you or a loved one was injured under any of the above circumstances—or in any other situation where a property owner failed to maintain a reasonably safe environment—fight for compensation with a skilled personal injury attorney.
About the Author:
Jeffrey Braxton is a trial lawyer in Fort Lauderdale who has devoted his 22-year career to the practice of personal injury law. As lead trial attorney for The Injury Law Firm of South Florida, Jeff has litigated thousands of cases and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, an exclusive group of attorneys who have resolved cases in excess of one million dollars.