Serious accidents can happen on various kinds of premises, from retail stores and public parks to the homes of friends and family members. Yet injuries can also happen at a variety of locations due to intentional acts of violence, including assaults. In some of those cases, it may be possible for the injured person to file a premises liability claim against the owner of the property where the attack occurred, even if the owner of the property was not involved in the attack in any way. Why can the owner of the premises be legally responsible for an assault? In short, if the owner of the property failed to make the property reasonably safe, that property owner may be responsible for damages through a negligent security lawsuit. The following are five things to know about negligent security claims in Florida.
- Negligent Security Claims Are Types of Premises Liability Claims
Premises liability is a relatively broad area of personal injury law, and it includes negligent security claims. In a premises liability lawsuit, a negligent property owner can be responsible for harm that occurs on his or her premises due to the failure to maintain the premises in a reasonably safe manner. In a negligent security case, the property owner failed to ensure that there were adequate security measures on the property, thus failing to maintain the property in a reasonably safe manner.
- Criminal Act Must Have Been Foreseeable
With a negligent security lawsuit, the criminal act that occurred usually must have been foreseeable in order for the property owner to be liable. In other words, if an assault never occurred before on the property or anywhere near it, and there was no history of criminal violence on the premises, the assault likely was not foreseeable. However, if an assault occurred previously on the property, or if a series of assaults occurred at nearby properties, then it may have been foreseeable.
- Security Measures Must Have Been Inadequate
In order to hold a property owner accountable for a third-party criminal act, the security measures on the property must have been inadequate. If the property owner took steps to make the property reasonably safe with security guards or other measures, an injured person likely will not be able to win a negligent security lawsuit.
- Many Different Types of Actions (or Inactions) Can Result in Negligent Security Claims
Various types of actions, or inactions, may result in negligent security lawsuits, such as:
- Failure to repair broken window or door locks;
- Failure to hire a security guard; or
- Failure to install or replace damaged lighting.
- Plaintiffs Usually Have Four Years to File a Negligent Security Lawsuit
Florida law requires that most premises liability lawsuits, including negligent security claims, must be filed within four years from the date of the criminal act that caused the injury.
Contact a Premises Liability Attorney in Stuart
If you were injured on another party’s property, you could be eligible to file a premises liability lawsuit. One of our experienced Stuart premises liability attorneys can evaluate your case for you today and can determine your eligibility for filing a claim against the property owner. Contact Lesser Lesser Landy & Smith PLLC today for more information.