When thinking about premises liability claims, most people imagine a slip and fall or some other hazard that has not been fixed. While it is true that these injuries are the most common sources of harm in this area of the law, landowners even have to protect guests against the predations of others. A property owner that allows a violent crime to affect a guest or tenant may be jointly liable with the attacker for all resulting harm. This is because of the overarching responsibility of landowners to keep invited guests safe, and a major part of this responsibility is providing proper security. A Port St. John negligent security lawyer may be able to help you hold property owners responsible after you suffer harm due to a criminal act.
The extent to which landowners are obligated to protect their guests depends on two factors. The first is whether the guest had permission to be on the land. Universally, to obtain compensation from a landowner after a criminal act of violence, the victim needed to have permission to be on the property.
Second, the law evaluates the victim’s reason for being on the land. Florida only requires commercial property owners to protect guests from accidental harm. This is because guests on commercial property are called invitees under the law. Property owners who allow invitees onto land must take reasonable measures to protect those guests from harm.
This includes protecting guests from potential attacks. For instance, a bar or restaurant owner should provide security guards to limit crowd sizes or expel unruly patrons. Similarly, gas stations and parking garages must provide proper lighting to dissuade attackers. Finally, apartment buildings must limit access to common areas to tenants and their immediate guests. A Port St. John inadequate security attorney could help parties to better understand why a landowner may be liable for an attack that results from improper security measures.
Negligent security cases are unique in that the party that causes an injury is not necessarily wholly liable for the event. By connecting the failure to keep guests safe from harm to the attack itself, a landowner may be liable by virtue of failing to fix a broken lock, provide proper lighting, or hire trained staff.
Even with these concepts in mind, it is still necessary to prove that a property owner’s failure to provide protection was the primary cause of the incident. State law requires courts to evaluate the actions of all parties involved in an injury, even the victim. This means that a property owner may allege that a victim did not do enough to protect themselves from an attack and, therefore, shares some of the blame for the incident. If a court apportions more than 50 percent of the fault for the incident to a victim, that person cannot collect any compensation. A negligent security lawyer in Port St. John must demonstrate that a landowner’s failure to provide protection was the sole reason for an attacker’s bold actions.
In some situations, multiple parties share liability when a person suffers an injury. Incidents involving intentional acts of violence are an example of this dynamic. Not only may the attacker be liable to provide compensation for a victim’s losses, but so too may the owner of the property where the incident occurred.
A Port St. John negligent security lawyer could help pursue cases that allege this very concept. If a landowner invites a guest onto their property for a commercial purpose, that landowner must provide proper security to dissuade an attacker. Failures to do so leave the property owner liable. Contact The Umansky Law Firm today to learn more.
The Umansky Law Firm Criminal Defense & Injury Attorneys