The owners of commercial property, businesses that lease premises, and apartment complexes must take reasonable steps to keep the property safe. Besides ensuring that floors are free of slipping hazards and elevators work properly, they also must do what they can to prevent crime.
If you suffered losses as the victim of a crime, the owner of the property where the crime occurred might owe you compensation. A seasoned premises liability attorney could explain whether the owner failed in its duty to provide safe premises.
If so, a Cocoa negligent security lawyer could help you pursue damages for your damaged property, medical expenses, lost income, psychological trauma, and other intangible impacts of being a crime victim.
Negligent security might be an issue in various contexts. Some events that could lead to a negligent security lawsuit include:
Whenever someone suffers an injury resulting from a crime on property they do not own, it is worthwhile consulting a Cocoa attorney to determine whether negligent security might have been a factor.
If the crime results in an arrest, the alleged perpetrator will face the consequences in criminal court. However, these consequences typically involve punishment for the perpetrator but no compensation to the victim. A negligent security lawsuit allows a crime victim to pursue financial compensation for their injuries from the property owner if they should have done more to prevent the crime. This is completely separate from a criminal lawsuit.
Property owners and managers must provide a safe environment for their guests, including implementing necessary crime-prevention measures. Although a property owner will not be responsible for every unfortunate event, they could be deemed liable if a reasonable security measure might have prevented the incident.
For example, perhaps a hotel manager knows that the key card room entry system often malfunctions, allowing unauthorized people to enter guest rooms. Failing to fix the problem or upgrade the system immediately could be an example of negligence, and the hotel owner and management would be liable if a stranger entered a room and assaulted a guest. In addition, if the outdoor lights were broken and were not replaced immediately, the lot owner could be liable if someone was mugged when returning to their car.
Whether the property owner took reasonable steps to prevent crime is the critical question in negligent security cases. Being “reasonable” depends on:
A Cocoa attorney could review the circumstances of the incident and assess whether property owner negligence had a role.
Florida law allows four years for a person who suffered injuries in a crime to bring a civil action against a property owner for negligent security. However, waiting that long is unwise for several reasons.
Claims for damages are stronger and often more effective when the claimant brings them soon after the incident. A Cocoa inadequate security attorney brought onboard soon after the crime could independently document the conditions on the property as they existed at the time. In addition, conditions in neighborhoods often change rapidly, so pressing a claim soon after the incident allows an easier assessment of whether crime prevention measures were reasonable.
Florida Statute § 768.28 requires anyone bringing a claim against a unit of government to provide written notice of the claim within three years of the injury. Local governments often have liability in negligent security claims if the incident happened at a municipal pool, government office building, school, city bus, or other property owned or controlled by a government agency. Filing a notice of the claim shortly after the incident preserves the crime victim’s right to sue the government.
If you suffered injuries in a crime, it is wise to evaluate whether the property owner took reasonable steps to prevent the crime from happening. If not, you could hold the owner responsible for your injuries.
A Cocoa negligent security lawyer could investigate the incident and pinpoint the property owner’s negligence. Reach out today to speak with a member of The Umansky Law Firm Criminal Defense & Injury Attorneys.
The Umansky Law Firm Criminal Defense & Injury Attorneys