Do I Have Grounds for a Negligent Security Claim?
Property owners must maintain their premises to a reasonable standard. As part of this obligation, they must implement adequate safety measures to ensure everyone’s security. Failing to do so constitutes negligent security, which almost always warrants legal action.
If you were attacked on someone else’s property, you’re probably wondering whether you can sue for damages. While the validity of your claim will depend on a variety of factors, there are a few key elements you’re going to have to prove regardless of the circumstances. Read on to learn what they are, so you can determine if you might have grounds for a negligent security claim:
1. A Duty of Care
Property owners are legally obligated to keep their premises relatively safe; however, this duty only extends to invitees and licensees. In other words, you’re going to have to prove you were not trespassing at the time of the attack. Evidence that may help you establish the property owner owed you a duty of care includes surveillance footage and eyewitness testimony.
2. A Breach of Duty
Every negligent security claim is founded on a breach of duty, which essentially means the property owner knew—or should have known—there was an unsafe condition on the premises but failed to address it. Examples of unsafe conditions that pose security threats include inadequate lighting, broken locks, defective surveillance systems, and poorly trained guards.
Evidence that may help you prove negligence includes:
- Photographs of the scene,
- The official police report,
- The property’s maintenance logs,
- The establishment’s standard operating procedures, and
- Eyewitness testimony.
After demonstrating there was a breach of duty, you’re going to have to prove that it was directly responsible for the injuries you sustained. In other words, you’ll have to show that you wouldn’t have been attacked—or at least wouldn’t have been as seriously hurt—had the property owner maintained their premises.
This is where testimony from your medical team will come in handy. They can speak on your injuries and how they’re consistent with the attack in question.
The final element of every winning negligent security claim is damages. You must have suffered actual losses because of the incident that occurred.
Florida recognizes both economic and non-economic damages. That means in addition to medical bills, lost wages, and the cost of reasonably necessary replacement services, you can seek compensation for pain and suffering, mental anguish, and emotional distress. Your spouse may also be entitled to funds for loss of consortium.
Evidence that can help you prove damages might include:
- Hospital bills,
- Health insurance statements,
- Old paystubs,
- Prior tax returns,
- Journal entries,
- Psychological evaluations, and
- Statements from loved ones.
Discuss Your Claim with a Negligent Security Attorney in Tampa
At Capaz Law Firm, P.A., we have what it takes to hold property owners liable for their oversights. If you were seriously hurt in an attack that could have been prevented had there been adequate security, we’ll help you pursue compensation for the associated damages. Call 813-551-3907 or fill out our Contact Form to set up a free initial consultation with a negligent security lawyer in Tampa.