Negligent Security Attorney in Miami
In 2019, Miami-Dade county saw over 98,000 criminal offenses, encompassing such crimes as larcency, aggravated assault, robbery, rape, and murder . Many of these crimes could have been prevented by instituting certain security features and precautions, designed to protect homeowners, property owners, and the general public. When a property owner creates a potentially dangerous environment and fails to protect visitors from harm by a third party, such as when a criminal assaults a patron in an unlit store parking lot, the property owner may be guilty of negligent security. A negligent security case may arise out of theft, robbery, asault and battery, sexual assault, and even wrongful death. If you were injured because a landowner or boat owner failed to protect you from a third party, a negligent security attorney in Miami can help.
The attorney at Schlacter Law understands that negligent security cases in Miami can be difficult. Attempting to hold a property owner responsible for the criminal actions of a third party can be complex, which is why we take the time to investigate each case and devise the most successful strategy possible. We will fight to hold the property or vessel owner responsible for their negligence and to get you the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Call us today for a FREE consultation.
Negligent Security Basics
Many homes and businesses have a certain measure of security features in place to protect property owners, employees, customers and visitors from third-party injury. Prevalent residential and commercial security features include: door locks, alarm systems, lighting, fencing, security guards and security dogs.
These features help protect against common security crimes such as home invasions, robbery, assault and battery, rape, and wrongful death. Any building or area open to the public can put a visitor at risk. Failure to take certain precautions can increase the likelihood that a crime can occur on a particular property. Common locations where negligent security often leads to crime includes:
- Malls and shopping centers
- Stadiums and arenas
- Parking lots
- Public transportation
- Apartment complexes
- Private homes
- Nursing homes
- Cruise ships
- Private yachts and boats
A property owner has a certain duty to ensure that visitors to their property are kept safe. Failing to ensure a safe environment is a primary factor involved in negligent security cases. The state of Florida has even taken legal precautions to enact clear security standards for higher-risk places of business, like convenience stores. According to the FBI, convenience store robberies increased by 6.7% from 2015 to 2016, making it a leading location for crime in the United States . To protect employees and patrons from theft, robbery, and related crimes, convenience stores must provide the following security features:
- A security camera system capable of recording images to assist in identification and apprehension of criminals
- A cash management device for restricted access to cash receipts
- Proper parking lot illumination intensity
- Maintenance of a clear and unobstructed view from outside the building and in a normal line of sight to the cash register and sales transaction area 
If a convenience store fails to implement proper security features, the business/property owner may be held liable for third party crimes and injuries. While Florida does not mandate security features for all types of homes and businesses, property owners are required to maintain a level of safety on the premises. A negligent security attorney can hold these property owners liable if you were injured by a third party on someone’s property.
Negligent Security Cases and Intentional Torts
Many clients do not even realize they have a large negligent security case. These cases are often disguised as intentional tort cases. An intentional tort case is any intentional conduct such as an assault, battery or false imprisonment. If a person is shot, stabbed, exually asaulted or a theft occurs most people think the assailant is the only responsible party. When this person goes to jail the victim often feels there is no legal redress as the person does not have funds to pay for the damage. This is not true. A third party can be responsible through a negligent security case. If you or your loved one was a victim of a shooting, sexual assault, stabbing or any significant innjury from an intentional tort call Schlacter Law.
Essential Elements in a Negligent Security Case
Negligent security cases in Miami can be quite complicated, often requiring the expertise of a negligent security lawyer. To bring a successful case against a property owner for third party injuries, a negligent security lawyer must address several key points.
Proving that an injury was caused by negligent security requires that all elements of negligence–the failure to exercise reasonable care–are present in a case. The four elements in a negligence case are:
- Duty–the legal obligation to act according to standards so as to avoid unreasonable risk
- Breach of Duty–the failure to maintain the expected standard of care
- Causation–there is a close or circumstantial link between the act and the harm
- Damages–there must be an injury and/or compensable loss involved
Negligent security cases often involve the element of proximate causation–whether and to what extent the victim’s injuries could have been anticipated based on the defendant’s actions (or lack thereof) . Proximate cause implies that the property-owning defendant did not act with reasonable care and, because of that, allowed an injury to occur.
The relationship between the parties involved is at the foundation of the legal concept of duty. Duty is defined as the legal obligation that people owe to each other in a certain situation. Florida courts have generally recognized that the duty of care is a formalized social contract–the implicit responsibilities held by individuals towards others within society. Examples of duty include the legal assumption to drive within the speed limit or the implied obligation of a store owner to keep a premises safe for customers. The social considerations in a particular situation are an important factor in determining whether a duty exists in a particular case.
Once duty is established in a negligent security case, evidence must demonstrate that the crime was also foreseeable. The duty element of negligence focuses on whether the defendant’s conduct created a predictable broader zone of risk, posing a general threat of harm to others. Proving foreseeability in a case generally requires considerable research and extensive knowledge of a particular area. Hiring a Miami negligent security attorney could make the difference in proving that an injury may have occurred at a higher crime risk area, making the incident foreseeable if proper precautions were not taken by property owners.
Premises liability is an important and complicated matter in a negligent security case because victims are often injured by an unrelated third party on the defendant’s property. While the property owner was not directly responsible for the injury, their negligence in property maintenance or failure to address potentially unsafe conditions lead to foreseeable injuries.
Premise liability law holds property owners responsible for any injuries that visitors suffer while on their property. However, Florida premise law notes specific definitions of who is considered a “visitor” to a property, and thus protected under premise liability law. Visitors are generally divided into three categories which help the court decide the degree to which a premise owner is responsible for that individual’s safety.
- Invitees–an invitee is a person who enters a property owner’s land to transact business or by express invitation in which the parties are mutually interested. In such a situation, the landowner’s invitation can be either expressed or implied. Examples include a person who enters a grocery store to buy food or a plumber invited into a home to fix a leak. Property owners owe the highest level of care to invitees and must keep their property in a safe condition. The property owner has a duty to regularly inspect the property for conditions that could potentially harm invitees, and must either repair or provide notice for any known hazards on the premises
- Licensees–a licensee enters and stays on a property owner’s land for the owner’s convenience or to advance their interests. Licensees are subdivided into invited and uninvited visitors, where invited licensees are usually welcomed social guests like friends or family members, and uninvited licensees are merely tolerated visitors, such as a door-to-door salesperson. Property owners have an obligation to provide a safe environment for invited licensees but a minimal duty to uninvited licensees
- Trespassers–a trespasser is someone who enters onto another person’s property without the landowner’s knowledge or consent. While a property owner generally has little or no obligation to ensure the safety of a trespasser, there are a few exceptions. Under Florida’s discovered trespasser’s rule, if a landowner knows that a trespasser is on their property, they must exercise reasonable care to prevent reckless or intentional injury . If a trespasser is a child, the landowner may still be liable as children are presumed to be ignorant of the dangers of certain situations
Premises liability law provides the framework for determining the degree of duty of care owed to an individual on someone else’s land. If you have been injured by a third party due to negligent security, it is important to contact a negligent security attorney to discuss your case.
- https://www.fdle.state.fl.us/FSAC/UCR/2019/Counties/Miami-Dade19.aspx ↩
- https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2016/crime-in-the-u.s.-2016/topic-pages/tables/table-15 ↩
- http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0800-0899/0812/Sections/0812.173.html ↩
- https://www.floridabar.org/the-florida-bar-journal/foreseeable-zone-of-risk-confusing-foreseeability-with-duty-in-florida-negligence-law/ ↩
- https://www.enjuris.com/florida/premises-liability/ ↩
How We Handle Cases
- Your attorney will aggressively investigate your case. Schlacter Law will compile all necessary evidence needed to maximize the value of your case. Which includes but is not limited to photographs, police reports, security camera footage, witness statements, medical bills and medical records.
- You will remain in constant contact with Schlacter Law about the progression of your case.
- Your attorney will present your case to the insurance company and will attempt to resolve your case before the case goes to court for maximum compensation.
- Your attorney will make every effort possible to resolve the case as quickly as possible for the most amount of money you may be entitled to. You will be actively involved in the negotiation process with your attorney. Schlacter Law understands that this is your one opportunity to get justice for your loss.
- If settlement negotiations are unsuccessful, Schlacter Law will be fully prepared to bring your case to court to fight for the justice you deserve.
- At no cost to you, Schlacter Law will hire any experts and professionals needed to maximize your recovery and present your case in the strongest form possible.
Frequently Asked Questions
Negligent security injuries can arise if you were shot, assaulted, raped, or robber on someone else’s property. Some examples include:
- Being robbed at an ATM
- Being mugged in the parking lot of a shopping center
- Being assaulted in the lobby of an apartment complex
- Being robbed while pumping gas at a station
If you were the victim of a crime at a commercial establishment (store, restaurant, parking lot, apartment complex, etc.), you may need to hire a negligent security attorney. Some questions you might ask yourself include:
- What is the crime rate at the location you were injured?
- Has this type of incident happened on the property before?
- Was the lighting adequate where the crime occurred?
- What other factors contributed to the incident? Could they have been prevented?
Negligent security crimes often cause victims physical injury and emotional suffering. Negligent security assumes that a crime could have been prevented or mitigated by using appropriate security measures. A Miami negligent security attorney may be able to bring a personal injury case or wrongful death lawsuit if you or a loved one were injured in a case involving a property owner’s security negligence. The negligent security firm at Schlacter Law can evaluate the elements of your case to see if negligent security was the cause of your injuries and will fight for the compensation you deserve.