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Negligent Security Seminar | March 2015

Florida personal injury lawyers

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What Types of Security Measures are Businesses/Commercial Properties Expected to Have in Place?

From restaurants to shopping centers to hotels and beyond, most businesses strive to create a safe and comfortable environment for their patrons. Unfortunately, however, commercial properties can be magnets for criminal activity, sometimes placing customers and other innocent visitors to the property at risk of robberies, sexual assaults, and other violent attacks.

While not every crime can be prevented, Florida law imposes a duty on business owners and managers to maintain their properties in a reasonably safe condition for those who are invited onto the premises. For many businesses, this duty includes implementing reasonable security measures designed to deter foreseeable criminal activity. Businesses that fail to install such measures—despite being able to foresee the possibility that crimes could occur on the property—may be liable for negligent security. These types of cases arise when the victim of a third party’s criminal act brings a lawsuit against the owner of the commercial property where the crime occurred, claiming that the property owner breached their duty to provide adequate security measures and that this breach enabled the crime to take place.

Businesses and commercial property owners can protect themselves against negligent security claims by ensuring that reasonable security measures are installed on the premises—but what exactly does that involve? First, they need to know what kinds of crime is taking place on and around their businesses.  That means they need to keep records of incidents reported to them as well as contact local law enforcement to see what other crime has occurred in and around their property. While the answer to what security they need to have may vary based on the type of business and other variables, such as whether it is located in a high-crime area, here are a few types of security measures that businesses may be expected to have in place:

  • Adequate lighting in dark spots, such as parking lots, staircases, and walkways. Businesses should regularly inspect the lighting to ensure that burnt out bulbs are promptly replaced, and may consider using light cages to prevent bulb breakage.
  • Security cameras in key areas, such as entry and exit points, cash registers, ATM machines, and elevators.
  • Alarm systems to alert of possible break-ins.
  • Security personnel, including guards and bouncers at bars and clubs.
  • Access control systems, which may range from locks on the doors and windows of apartments and hotel rooms to gates that require a passcode or key fob. Businesses should check these regularly to ensure that they are functioning properly.

These are just a few examples of common security measures that businesses and commercial properties should have in place. If you have questions about the types of security measures that may be expected, or if you have been the victim of a crime that occurred on a commercial property, Leighton Law is here to help. With over 35 years of experience in negligent security litigation, we offer in-depth knowledge of the many variables that impact these cases, and we’re experts at advocating for victims who have been harmed due to a lack of adequate security at commercial properties.

Not only do we help people who have been hurt by violent crime and sexual assault, we wrote the book.  Mr. Leighton’s two-volume book, Litigating Premises Security Cases, is the leading text in the field and is used by attorneys across the country.  Besides being an author and national lecturer in the field, Mr. Leighton is also the President of the National Crime Victim Bar Association,  It is the only bar association of trial lawyers dedicated to representing victims of crime.

Call us today at 888.988.1774 to schedule a consultation!

Article by:

John Leighton

A nationally-recognized trial lawyer who handles catastrophic injury and death cases. He manages Leighton Law, P.A. trial lawyers, with offices in Miami and Orlando, Florida. He is President of The National Crime Victim Bar Association, author of the 2-volume textbook,Litigating Premises Security Cases, and past Chairman of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America’s Motor Vehicle, Highway & Premises Liability Section. Having won some of the largest verdicts in Florida history, Mr. Leighton is listed inThe Best Lawyers in America (14 years), “Top Lawyers” in the South Florida Legal Guide (15 years), Top 100 Florida SuperLawyer™ and Florida SuperLawyers (14 years), “Orlando Legal Elite” by Orlando Style magazine, and FloridaTrend magazine “Florida Legal Elite

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