Can a Security Guard Be Sued for Negligence?
It is possible to sue for negligent security if you’ve been hurt in a situation where the property owner failed to provide reasonable security, leading to your injuries. This is a type of premises liability, and in most cases, you would seek compensation from the property owner or their insurer, not a negligent security guard. In many situations, the negligent guard may have only been part of a larger, more systemic failure to provide protection. In this article, we’ll talk about common circumstances of negligent security and how your attorney will work to prove your case.
If you’ve been injured due to a security guard’s negligence, you must speak with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. They can help determine the best way to secure coverage for your medical bills, property damage, and other expenses related to the incident. Darrigo & Diaz Attorneys at Law have been serving clients with personal injury cases since 1999, and we’re available for a free consultation whenever you need assistance. We work on a contingency basis, so you don’t need to pay anything until after we win your case. Please contact us for a free consultation of your personal injury concerns.
Security Guard Negligence Cases
There are many situations where a lack of appropriate security leads to a person getting hurt or even killed on commercial property. Often, the problem arises when poor security makes a business or other property a target for criminal activity. This may be due to a mistake on a security guard’s part, but it can also be due to poor decisions made by the property owner or manager. For example, a customer shopping at a store might be robbed or assaulted in a poorly lit parking lot with no security cameras. In other situations, management may not have hired sufficient security staff for an event.
Here are some other examples of negligent security:
- A customer is injured during a robbery at a gas station. Although the gas station has experienced previous robberies, the store owner did not invest in additional security measures, like cameras and an alarm system.
- Hotel staff is not properly trained to recognize and report signs of human trafficking, and many victims are trafficked through the same hotel before law enforcement catches up with them.
- The organizers of a large outdoor music festival hire only a handful of security guards despite expecting several thousand guests. Aside from the area close to the stage, lighting is poor in most areas and there is no video surveillance. Several people are robbed, and one is sexually assaulted.
- A customer in a big box store becomes irate and starts threatening workers after being refused a refund. Security is called, but the guard is new, has had limited training, and is unsure how to deescalate the situation. While the guard struggles to get the customer to leave, the customer pulls a gun, and another customer is shot.
- A large apartment complex has only one security guard on duty at night, and the owner only put cameras on the two main entrances, citing “budget limits.” If the guard goes on break or is distracted by a problem in one area, no one monitors the cameras. There is also no camera on the side entrance, and residents frequently leave it propped open when going in or out. A burglar easily slips inside and robs several apartments. In the last one, the burglar is surprised by a resident returning home. The burglar grabs a kitchen knife and stabs the resident.
These are only a few possible examples of security guard negligence. If you’ve been the victim of a crime on any commercial property, you may have a personal injury case.
Proving Damages Due To A Negligent Security Guard
Under Florida negligence law, you will need to demonstrate three things:
- The crime that occurred could have been reasonably expected to happen given the property’s security measures. For example, if a department store has had reports of muggings in their underground parking lot but has taken no steps to improve lighting or surveillance, it’s reasonable to assume more serious crimes could also occur.
- The owner failed to provide reasonable security that could have prevented this crime. If the department store manager is advised to put cameras and more lights in the parking garage or hire a security guard to patrol it, but does nothing, they may have failed to offer their customers reasonable security.
- You suffered damages as the result of this crime. For example, you were hit over the head in a robbery that happened in the parking garage and suffered a traumatic brain injury, or TBI.
More specifically, your attorney will work to show that the business owner failed to take reasonable steps to secure the property. They might use pictures or video showing broken security cameras or locks, unlocked or propped open doors, schedules showing who is working in security and when, statistics about how often these crimes happen to this type of business, or records of previous, similar crimes at the same location.
State law requires certain businesses to take specific steps to secure their property. For example, convenience store robberies are very common in Florida. As a result, state legislation requires convenience stores to install security cameras, restrict how much cash they keep on site, provide silent alarms for employees to use in a robbery, have well-lit parking lots, and put up notices saying that the cash register contains less than $50. If you were injured in a convenience store robbery that failed to institute some protective measures, you may have a strong case for negligent security. If you were hurt on another kind of property, your attorney will consider all applicable laws regarding security and whether these were followed.
Get Top Rated Representation from Darrigo & Diaz Attorneys at Law
If you or a loved one have been the victim of a crime on someone else’s property, you may be dealing with medical costs, lost income from the time you had to miss work, and physical or mental pain resulting from the attack.
You deserve compensation for your damages, and Darrigo & Diaz can help by explaining your options. There is no obligation or charge until we win, so please contact us for a free consultation today at 813-734-7397.