Five Factors of Negligent Security in Florida
There are five factors for consideration with regard to claims for Negligent Security in Florida:
1. Type of Lawsuit
2. Preventable or Not Preventable?
3. The Question of Reasonable Care
4. Florida-Specific Negligence Law
5. Statute of Limitations
Type of Lawsuit
Negligent security is one of many types of negligence. It is closely tied to premises liability. Cases involving negligent security often result in civil lawsuits. Legally speaking, such cases are based on incidences of assault, battery, and/or aggravated assault that result in the injury or death of an individual due to provably improper, insufficient, or non-existent security on either a commercial or residential property. The security faults involved may include material surveillance units, trained security personnel, or both. Harm to an individual due to negligent security can range from robbery to murder, with many other potential scenarios in between. Harm may also manifest in situations in which individuals are injured on a property and no assistance is provided due to a lack of security surveillance. Drownings, slip-and-fall accidents, and machinery accidents are examples.
Preventable or Not Preventable?
Negligence cases as a whole are based on whether or not an individual’s or entity’s actions have resulted in a provably preventable accident or action that caused harm or death to another. In negligent security claim cases, proof must be provided showing that a lack of duty of care existed. It must be established that the crime or incident could have been prevented and/or that it would have been less likely or unlikely to have occurred if adequate surveillance were in place. In addition, in cases in which previous crimes or incidents of the same nature provably occurred on the same property in the past, it must be established whether or not the property owner(s) posted appropriate, visible warning to all visitors and/or residents. Establishing foreseeability on the part of the owner or entity in negligent security cases is essential to the legal claim.
The Question of Reasonable Care
Florida’s overall negligence laws—which include those involving negligent security—place emphasis on whether or not a plaintiff (the individual filing the lawsuit) exercised reasonable care with regard to prevention of harm to himself or herself. Florida is a “comparative negligence” state, meaning that if the plaintiff (or the deceased, in wrongful death cases), is (or was) even partially responsible for his or her injury or death, the amount of compensatory damages awarded will be reduced accordingly based on the plaintiff’s proven percentage of negligence. Expert negligence lawyers can effectively determine the amount of negligence-related liability, if any, on behalf of a plaintiff or deceased loved one.
Florida-Specific Negligence Law
The 2020 Florida statutes chapter 768 (visit www.leg.state.fl.us) details much of the law regarding negligence, legal exceptions, and allowable damages.1
Statute of Limitations
Claims must be filed in the legally allowed time frames. In Florida, chapter 95 of the state statutes provides detailed information regarding the timeframe (referred to as the “statute of limitations”) within which individuals may legally file a negligent security lawsuit. 2 In general, Florida negligent security claims must be filed within a four-year time period from the date of occurrence. In the case of the death of a loved one due to provable negligent or inadequate security, a wrongful death lawsuit may be an option, and must be filed within a two-year time period from the date of occurrence. There are exceptions, and meeting with an experienced attorney promptly after an incident is helpful. Developing and proving a case requires time and effort. Filing too late can cause a loss of the right to file a negligent security legal claim or wrongful death lawsuit.
Meeting with an experienced Florida Negligent Security lawyer for an initial consultation is an important step. Doing so will help clarify if a potential case can and should be filed as a Florida Negligence Claim lawsuit. Research information about lawyers who specialize in Miami & South Florida Negligent Security cases, or if possible, who specialize in the particular type of Negligence case you are dealing with.
Many lawyers and legal teams offer free initial consultations. At Mallard & Sharp, P.A., we specialize in a wide variety of Florida Negligent Security cases in addition to Wrongful Death cases. To schedule a free initial consultation with our expert legal team call 877.662.5527 or 305.461.4800.