Inadequate Security Causing Injuries

Inadequate Security

Recently, I received a call from a potential client letting me know she had been injured in the parking lot of an apartment complex and wanted to recover damages for her injuries from an apartment complex for lack of security. In order to recover for negligence in Florida, a Claimant or Plaintiff must prove four elements:

  1. A Duty was owed.
  2. There was a Breach of that Duty.
  3. There was a Causation connection to an injury from the Breach of Duty.
  4. And there were Damages resulting.

If the property owner or manager fails to provide reasonable security, and you are injured, you likely have a viable claim for Negligent and/or Adequate Security. At a minimum, Property owners and managers are required by law to take reasonable steps to protect those on the property from known dangers and reasonably foreseeable harm. When a property owner fails to provide reasonable security measures leading to harm, they are liable for damages due to Negligent Security. This is also called a breach of duty of care.

Proper or adequate security can be just about anything from signage notifying of a dangerous incline, hiring security guards to prevent criminal activity, to proper lighting in a parking lot. Examples of inadequate security include poor lighting, lack of emergency exits, not enough security guards, or lack of supervision at a pool. The analysis of whether the security provided was negligent or inadequate is a question of foreseeability. Was the harm that was caused foreseeable if the property owner did not properly address the known and reasonably foreseeable perils of the property?

Injuries from negligent security are not just physical. The psychological, emotional, and financial harm that may result from physical injury is often the worst aspect of loss. Often, the physical injury sustained prevents our clients from being able to go to work and earn the wages they need to provide for their family.

If you are injured due to negligent security:

  1. Immediately seek medical attention to treat your injuries. Be sure to follow up with the medical professionals that provide you with medical care and keep them educated on what you are dealing with on a day-to-day basis.
  2. Do your best to document the incident and include any witnesses, photographs, and video. If required, contact law enforcement, and report the incident if criminal activity is involved. Request that the property manager or property owner provide you with a company of any incident report.
  3. Consult with a negligent security lawyer. It is vitally important to preserve all evidence available in negligent security cases. A negligent security attorney will prepare and serve preservation letters to the responsible managers and owners to ensure that the proof you require is not unnecessarily destroyed.

On March 24, 2023, Governor Ron DeSantis signed House Bill 837 into new law that changing how cases like negligent security are handled as follows:

  • The Statute of Limitations was modified wherein you now must file a claim within two years of the date of injury.
  • Fault is amended from Pure Negligence to Modified Comparative Negligence, i.e., if you are more than 50% at fault in the incident, then you receiveno recovery.

The negligent security attorneys at Mowrey Law Firm are here to help you hold the at fault property owners or managers responsible. Our experienced team is prepared to investigate and pursue recovery for your loss.

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