As shoppers get ready to hit the malls, this is a good time to remember that malls are a target for criminal behavior and thus resulting negligent security claims. After a challenging 2020 holiday shopping season, retailers in Miami are expecting normalcy to return in shopping behavior and consumer spending.
Over one million retail establishments across the country are gearing up for a bumper holiday shopping season. One thing is certain, stores certainly aren’t being replaced by ecommerce shopping portals yet. Miami stores, malls, hotels, businesses, retail establishments, property owners and managers have an obligation to protect patrons and visitors from reasonable and foreseeable crimes and injuries. Unfortunately, some of these entities put profits ahead of the safety and security of people and fail to take proper security measures. That failure results in assaults, robberies, injuries, and even deaths. Eventually, Juries and Courts will punish such establishments financially.
WHAT IS NEGLIGENT SECURITY?
Negligent security laws are a sub-set of premises liability laws. Negligent security arises from situations in which an innocent person is injured by a third-party and seeks to hold the owner of the property on which his or her injuries occurred liable.
Negligent security occurs when a property owner fails to take reasonable steps to deter foreseeable criminal behavior and fails warn patrons and visitors of foreseeable dangers. Property owners should implement well thought out safety policies and procedures.
FOUR ELEMENTS OF NEGLIGENT SECURITY.
Being injured on a shopping trip doesn’t always warrant a claim for negligent security. A person can get into a fight while shopping and get injured. A plaintiff has to prove the following elements to succeed in a negligent security lawsuit:
- The defendant had a legal duty of care towards the injured person.
- The defendant failed in his or her duty to provide adequate security.
- The defendant’s negligent security caused injury.
- Adequate security would have prevented the harm.
To prove liability in negligent security cases, it must be determined if the criminal act was foreseeable and whether reasonable care was taken to prevent it. The plaintiff (crime victim) has to prove that he was legally on the property, that the owner had a duty of care, and that the criminal act was foreseeable. It must be further proven that monetary and physical damages resulted from the criminal activity on the property.
The plaintiff must establish that the owner of the property had a duty to provide adequate security measures to protect the victim from criminal acts of other persons.
Property owners do not have to guarantee that everyone who enters their property will be safe. What is required is responding appropriately to foreseeable risks.
If you or a loved one has been a victim of a crime as a result of negligent security, consult a knowledgeable and experienced Miami negligent security attorney to learn about your legal rights and whether you are entitled to hold the owner of the property where the attack or assault occurred responsible.
COMMON CAUSES OF NEGLIGENT SECURITY IN MIAMI.
Ways in which a property owner can be held liable for negligent security include:-
- Lack of or broken locks, doors, fences, gates, and windows.
- Not checking identity cards.
- Lack of controlled access checkpoints.
- Inadequate safety measures despite a prior history of crimes.
- Lack of surveillance cameras and alarms.
- Improperly maintained landscape or bushes.
- Poor lighting.
- Insufficient emergency exits.
- Incompetent or untrained or poorly supervised or understaffed security personnel.
- Employment of individuals with criminal backgrounds.
PLACES WHERE INCIDENTS OF NEGLIGENT SECURITY OFTEN OCCUR.
Common sites named in negligent security claims in Miami include:-
- Apartment complexes.
- College campuses, hospitals, and schools.
- Shopping malls and shopping centers.
- Gas stations and convenience stores.
- Restaurants, hotels, motels, nightclubs and bars.
- Parking lots and parking garages.
- Amusement and theme parks.
- Community swimming pools and public parks.
- Music concerts and sporting events.
- Nursing homes and daycare centers
- Movie theaters and museums.
- Banks and ATMs.
CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES REPORTED IN NEGLIGENT SECURITY CLAIMS.
Criminal activity that is commonly seen in negligent security claims include:-
- Armed robbery.
The crimes committed in negligent security claims are of a serious nature and often violent. If a property owners failed to maintain adequate security measures on their properties, then they may be held liable for injuries sustained and economic damages incurred.
SAFETY MEASURES TO BE UNDERTAKEN BY MIAMI SHOPPERS DURING THE SHOPPING SEASON.
Standard precautions recommended by Miami police that can be taken to ensure a pleasant and safe shopping experience include:
- Be aware of your environment and what is happening around you. Avoid distractions.
- Avoid carrying large amounts of cash.
- Keep valuables and purchases out of sight or in the trunk of your car.
- Men and women should carry their wallets in the front pocket of their trousers. Purses should be held close to the body.
- At night, park your car only in lighted areas and keep car doors locked.
- When at the bank or ATMs, pay attention to who is around you. Check ATM for tampering or evidence of a skimming device.
- Do not leave bags, briefcases, purses, and other luggage unattended.
- Never accept or consume food offered by strangers.
- While visiting any establishment, know the location of fire escapes, elevators, and emergency exits.
- If you are being followed, keep moving towards the nearest police station.
- If possible, do not go shopping alone.
COMPENSATION FOR VICTIM OF NEGLIGENT SECURITY IN MIAMI.
Amount of compensation in negligent security cases varies based on the nature of the crime, the degree of liability, and the extent and nature of injuries and damages suffered. Our Miami negligent security lawyers help victims recover:-
- Past and current medical costs.
- Future medical costs.
- Lost wages and business income.
- Loss of future earning capacity.
- Pain and suffering.
- Emotional distress.
- Loss of consortium.
- Loss of enjoyment of life.
WHY CHOOSE KAIRE & HEFFERNAN?
Miami negligent security lawyers at Kaire and Heffernan have made numerous property owners and businesses pay dearly for their callous and lax attitude towards the safety and security of their customers and visitors.
Negligent security cases are complex and challenging as there are no minimum security requirements prescribed by law for businesses. Proper security measures are not one size fits all solutions in case of negligent security cases. Every business has its own unique and personal security requirements.
Our team of negligent security lawyers in Miami are experienced at :-
- Studying and analyzing the crime rate at the location of your injury.
- Collecting and protecting evidence. They know how to obtain and review medical records.
- Studying footage from security cameras and closed circuit video.
- Proving that the business owner should have been able to anticipate the criminal activity that caused the victim’s injury.
- Identifying the inadequate security measures which the property owner had in place at the time of the attack.
- Determining the minimum level of security that would have been necessary to keep the injured victim safe.
- Searching past criminal reports or incident reports.
- Consulting with experts to assess the security measures and preventability of the attack.
- Getting through the maze of paperwork required in filing a negligent security claim. There are specific time limits, restrictions and rules for filing such a claim. A experienced personal injury attorney at our firm ensures that your claim is filed at the earliest in accordance with the Florida Statute of Limitations which is four years from the date of your injury.
- Helping determine fault and liable parties.
- Ensuring a fair settlement is reached on your behalf with attorneys and insurers of the property owners who try to deny the plaintiff’s claim or reduce the claim value significantly.
- Taking your case to trial if required.
I WOULD LIKE TO SPEAK TO A MIAMI NEGLIGENT SECURITY LAWYER.
If you or your loved has been attacked, sexually assaulted or robbed at weapon-point while shopping during the holiday season at a retail store, or a mall, you deserve to be duly compensated for the injuries suffered and other damages. Call an experienced negligent security lawyer at our firm for a free case evaluation right away.
Mark Kaire has been practicing law in Miami for nearly 30 years. He is dedicated to helping the injured people of Miami receive compensation. Mr. Kaire has been blogging on Miami’s legal issues for many years.