When visitors of an establishment are injured as a result of an attack that occurs on premises, the establishment may be liable for failing to provide adequate security to protect visitors. The process of filing a claim against the business may become complicated. Businesses will ordinarily blame the individual responsible for causing harm and claim no responsibility for the incident. However, if a business had a previous history of similar criminal activities occurring on the premises, victims may be able to recover compensation for injuries.
Negligent Security Claims
Negligent security claims fall under premises liability. Owners or managers of properties and businesses are responsible for ensuring that grounds are safe for visitors or customers. In order to file a claim for negligent security, victims must show that the business had knowledge of the potential for criminal activities to occur on property.
Foreseeable Criminal Activities
If an attack occurs that business owners could not have foreseen, it is not considered negligent security. However, if an area is prone to criminal activities such as robberies, businesses in the area have a duty to provide safety measures to protect employees and customers. Proving that criminal activities were foreseeable may be difficult. Attorneys can help victims to obtain evidence such as records of past police phone calls to show that the criminal activity was foreseeable.
Negligent Security Incidents
Incidents which may be prevented by taking proper measures to ensure security include rapes, robberies, assaults, and murder. While these incidents which cause physical harm are the most common types of negligence security claims, courts are beginning to consider cyber attacks an example of negligent security for which businesses may be liable. Identity theft which could have been prevented with proper safeguards may cause a business to be held responsible for negligent security.
Negligent Security Locations
Negligent security incidents may occur at many different types of establishments and businesses including:
- Apartment buildings and grounds
- College dormitories
- Hotels, motels, and inns
- Bars and clubs
- Amusement parks
- Restaurants and stores
Preventing Security Negligence
Putting proper security measures in place will help establishments to avoid negligent security incidents and claims. Adequate lighting in parking lots, parking garages, and other open areas may help to discourage attacks. Putting fences in place may help to keep intruders at bay. If an establishment is prone to fights between patrons, as with some bars and clubs, businesses may wish to employ security personnel. Businesses may also hire security companies to provide employees and customers protection, particularly at night.
Performing criminal background checks on employees may help establishments to avoid certain kinds of negligent security issues. This is even more important in establishments such as nursing homes and hospitals, where customers may be vulnerable to abusive employees. Performing background checks on employees that handle money may help establishments to avoid internal information theft incidents.
With the growing number of security breaches that have affected major companies in the nation, it is important for businesses to take proper measures to safeguard customer information. Hiring companies that are able to put state-of-the-art systems in place to protect information may help to protect information from hackers. If customer information is stolen from a business, the business may be liable for any damage caused by the theft.
Negligent Security Attorneys
Negligent security cases can become complicated, so victims should contact an attorney that is experienced with this type of premises liability case as soon as possible. Companies will typically attempt to evade responsibility for incidents that occurred on property by claiming that the incidents were not foreseeable. It may take a good deal of investigation to compile the evidence to prove that an establishment could have prevented injuries or harm with the proper security measures. Experienced attorneys will understand the best types of documentation and testimony to support negligent security claims based on the details of the incident.
“2012 Florida Statutes.” The Florida Senate. State of Florida Senate, 1 Jan. 2012. Web. 14 Oct. 2014. <http://www.flsenate.gov/Laws/Statutes/2012/Chapter768/All>
“Is Your Business PCI Compliant?” Security Standards Council. Security Standards Council, 1 Jan. 2014. Web. 14 Oct. 2014. <https://www.pcisecuritystandards.org/merchants/>
“Negligent Security: When Is Crime Your Problem?” Federation of Defense and Corporate Council. Federation of Defense and Corporate Council, 5 Mar. 2011. Web. 14 Oct. 2014. <http://www.thefederation.org/documents/7. Negligent Security.pdf>