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Aggressive robber and helpless victim in parking lot

What to Know About
Negligent Security & Personal Attacks

Law Office Of Mark A. Cornelius P.A. July 28, 2022

If you go shopping at a local store, slip and fall on their wet floor, and end up with injuries, the store owner may be subject to a premises liability lawsuit. Premises liability means that, in this case, the store owner must exert reasonable efforts to prevent, cordon off, or warn of potential hazards, such as a wet floor.

Now, in another scenario, you go shopping at the local store, and when you exit to the parking lot, someone mugs you and takes your money. Is the store owner liable for this as well? It’s possible if the storeowner also owned or controlled the parking lot, but your lawsuit, in this case, would have to be based on what is called negligent security, which is related to premises liability.

If you or a loved one has been injured – or worse, lost a life – due to negligent security in or around Altamonte Springs, Florida, contact me at the Law Office Of Mark A. Cornelius P.A. I am a personal injury attorney with more than 25 years of experience who will meet with you, discuss the circumstances of your case, and then advise you of your legal options to obtain the compensation you deserve.

I proudly serve clients throughout Central Florida, including Seminole, Orange, Osceola, Volusia, Polk County, and Lake County.

What Is Negligent Security?

Negligent security refers to the measures and protections that building and business owners owe toward third parties who enter their property. This category includes apartment building owners as well as shop owners and mall operators who cater to the public. In other words, both residential and commercial building owners are liable.

Just as property and business owners must exercise care to prevent accidents, they must also exercise caution to prevent violent acts by third parties. For instance, in the parking lot example above, the shop owner should have installed adequate lighting as well as security cameras, and depending on how large or frequented the lot, even security personnel.

Claims in a negligent security case may arise out of robbery, rape, assault, battery, or other acts.

Examples of negligent security include, among many others:

  • A dark stairwell in which you’re robbed

  • A maintenance person who has a key to your apartment and uses it to rob or assault you

  • A crowded concert where you are robbed at knife or gunpoint

  • A hotel room that is double booked and another person with a key invades the room and steals your belongings

Proving Negligent Security in Court

Much like a personal injury lawsuit, a plaintiff – the one who has been injured or assaulted – must establish before a court of law that:

  • The defendant had a legal duty to provide adequate security at their property.

  • The defendant failed to provide such adequate security.

  • This failure led to your injuries.

  • Your injuries resulted in economic and non-economic losses.

Adequate Security Under Florida Law

Florida law imposes upon what it calls a “convenience business” several security measures. The first measure imposed is for a security camera “capable of recording and retrieving an image to assist in offender identification and apprehension.”

Expanding on that, the statutes also require that the business have a drop safe and conspicuous notice at the entrance that the cash register contains no more than $50. A silent alarm to notify police or a private security firm is also required unless an exemption is applied for and allowed.

For parking lots, the law mandates that they be illuminated “at an intensity of at least 2 foot-candles per square foot at 18 inches above the surface.”

If the store is open after 11 p.m., the statutes require that at least two persons be present until 5 a.m. and that they be protected by “a secured safety enclosure of transparent polycarbonate or other material.”

How an Attorney Can Help

Prevailing in a negligent security lawsuit can be challenging. Laws mandate that the commercial and residential property owners and operators maintain adequate security measures against “foreseeable criminal activity,” so the question of whether the crime or violent act was foreseeable can be a contentious topic in court.

If you or a loved one has been the victim of criminal activity on another’s property, contact me immediately at The Law Office Of Mark A. Cornelius P.A. Let me evaluate everything and come up with a strategy to obtain the just compensation you deserve. The first consultation is free.