Duty Of Care In Florida - Security Measures Can Be Negligent Too
If there's one thing that everyone in Southwest Florida wants to be, it's safe. Whether it's an apartment complex in Sarasota or a dance club in Bradenton, people want to go about their lives with the peace of mind that comes from knowing they won't be the victim of a crime or an attack.
Of course, that's not always the case, and sometimes people are victimized by criminal activity. Still, security measures are there to reduce the chances of that occurring. However, it's one thing when a criminal act is so broad it overwhelms security, and it's another thing when the security measures are sufficient to the task but simply fail to perform as expected. When that happens, that's known as negligence.
Property Owners & Premises Liability
Both home and business property owners have a legal responsibility known as the duty of care. This means ensuring that reasonable precautions are taken to ensure a safe environment. For example, suppose a property owner sees a risk to safety but chooses to deliberately ignore that risk due to an unwillingness to invest time/effort/money to correct it. In that case, that is negligence because it is a conscious choice to ignore a risk they are fully aware of.
Should that negligence lead to someone becoming injured, then the negligence is upgraded to premises liability. If it can be proven in court, Premises liability means that the parties who neglected their responsibility are now financially responsible for any injury that occurred due to premises liability.
With security, negligence can manifest in a few different ways.
Improper Camera Maintenance
Security cameras are designed to deter crime by alerting criminals that their activity is being watched and recorded and subsequently handed over to police to aid investigation and evidence for the prosecution in court. However, that's only if a camera is working. If a camera is not working, and a crime occurs, that is the same as a criminal act occurring with no witnesses and no evidence.
If a property's security cameras require maintenance or repair but don't get it, resulting in a crime, that is negligence.
The security guard's job is to patrol an area or monitor security camera feed for potential crime and, if spotted, intervene to stop the crime or protect people who are victims of crime. Of course, security guards are human and make mistakes, but if the errors are avoidable and severe, such as paying more attention to a smartphone when security cameras show a crime in progress, allowing someone to get robbed or assaulted, that's a serious breach of premises liability.
Security guards are found in office buildings, residential collectives like condo complexes and business establishments like shopping malls, bars, or nightclubs. If they fail to do their duty here due to carelessness, that's not just not doing a job; that's allowing someone else to fall victim to what should have been avoidable harm.
If you've been the victim of negligent security, get help. Talk to a negligent security attorney about what happened to you and how you can get justice.