What If Security Doesn’t Do Their Job?

It may be perhaps one of the more nightmarish scenarios that a resident can experience, but unfortunately it does happen. Some people live in either neighborhoods or buildings which tout extra peace of mind because there are security guards on hand to add extra, full-time, human protection to the residents. In theory, with someone trained in conflict resolution, wearing a uniform, with a legal prerogative to protect all residents within an area, you should have nothing to worry about. If you’re safer with a burglar alarm installed in your home or car, you should be safer still with actual guards present.

And yet, sometimes, even with all that added protection, crime such as assault, theft and even rape can still happen.

This brings up a very delicate question. If you, as a resident of a neighborhood, estate, compound or other building are actually paying some kind of fee to a Home Owner’s Association or board for your building for security, and you are still victimized anyway, what was the point? The very thing you were paying money for to prevent has occurred. Do you have any legal options?

Circumstances First

As with any case where there is a possibility of negligence, one of the first things you should do is seek the advice of a legal professional, like a St. Pete lawyer. Personal injury cases are very complex and involve a lot of steps, especially with something as potentially messy as someone with a responsibility to ensure safety failing to do so.

The exact causes and circumstances are the first thing that need to be established. While a security guard is obviously a professional hired specifically to protect people, this is still a person with limitations. The nature of a security guard’s failure applies to something known as premises liability, which is the obligation of a property owner to maintain a certain minimum standard of safety to residents.

So if, for example, you lived in a neighborhood in which security guards patrolled down the roads, but you were robbed and assaulted within your own home, this changes things. If the security guards were, for example, all the way over on the other side of neighborhood and the assailant broke in through your backyard, where a security normally wouldn’t investigate, things might not rule in your favor.

On the other hand, if a security guard was walking past your apartment, but was wearing ear buds and listening to music, thus unable to hear your screams of help and your banging against your own door, that’s a very different situation with greater liability.

Negligence & Responsibility

If you have a strong case that shows someone with a professional responsibility for your safety was actually negligent at their job, then you may want to move to the next phase, which is going to court. Evidence is especially important if you make this decision, as your personal injury lawyer will need to use every bit of information available to convince a jury that what happened was unacceptable, unprofessional and could have been easily avoided.

In most cases, security for a neighborhood or building, while paid for by residents, is not actually provided by the HOA or building management itself. Security guards are usually with a specific security services company, and are engaged by the HOA or building management. So the party most likely to be held responsible, aside for the individual security guard, would be the company that trained and provided that guard.

Damages & Consequences

In most cases, simple negligence is going to be bad enough to go to court. As with the above example, a security guard that passes right by a victim being assaulted, or, worse yet, can be proven to be sleeping on the job, thus ignoring security cameras clearly showing someone being robbed may go to court.

In other cases, the outcome may be much more severe and tragic, as we saw earlier in the year in Virginia when a Chinese grandfather was shot several times by a security guard at his own estate. Tragedies such as that where security guards are not just negligent, but directly involved in an injury or death are liable for more severe civil lawsuits like wrongful death.

No matter what the final results are, one thing is clear, a failure of professional responsibility has occurred. When someone has been trained in the protection of others, and an act of theft or assault occurs while that person is on active duty, this needs to be addressed and investigated. Get an experienced personal injury lawyer in St. Petersburg to hear you out. Something as tragic as not being protected by someone paid to do just that should not go unanswered. You can get the justice and compensation you deserve with an experienced legal professional at your side..