People understand that property owners who invite the public to do business with them must keep their premises safe. But you may not realize that a property owner has a legal obligation must take reasonable steps to deter crime on or near their premises.
Contact a trusted premises liability attorney if you were the victim of a crime that happened at a business, public facility, or apartment complex. The property owner might owe you compensation for the losses you experienced in the crime. A Sanford negligent security lawyer could investigate the situation and determine whether the property owner failed to implement reasonable measures to protect their visitors.
Anyone entering a property at the invitation of an owner or manager or with permission is entitled to reasonably safe premises. Safety includes an assurance of crime prevention measures that are appropriate to the type of property and the identity of the people who frequent it.
For example, it would be reasonable for a bar and grill in a college town to have bouncers to deter rowdiness and fights. Someone who suffered injuries when a fight broke out might have a claim for negligent security against the bar’s owner and manager if no employees tried to control the aggressor. An upscale restaurant in the same town might not need bouncers. However, well-heeled patrons might attract car thieves, so the restaurant should have a well-lit parking lot, valet parking, and/or a parking attendant.
When a Sanford attorney represents a negligent security victim, they could review the crime statistics in the neighborhood and check with police about other crimes in or near the establishment. They could assess the clientele the establishment draws and the type of crime it might attract. That information helps determine the kind of security measures necessary and whether the owner or manager was negligent.
An owner does not have to implement every available measure against possible crime but must provide reasonable security given the threat level. The security measures must be geared toward the kind of crime the business attracts. A Sanford inadequate security attorney might pursue an owner, operator, or manager if they failed to provide:
When an owner provides security measures, they must maintain them. Floodlighting in a parking lot is only effective if the owner replaces lights when they burn out or get broken. If the property should have had better or different security measures, the owner or manager was negligent. They could be liable for the damages of anyone who suffered a loss in a crime that better security could have prevented.
If the police arrest the person who committed the crime, they could face consequences in criminal court. However, there is no provision for compensating the crime victim. A negligent security lawsuit against the property owner or manager provides the victim with financial redress and encourages owners to take the necessary steps to protect guests on their property.
Damages in a negligent security case include the documentable losses the victim suffered, such as stolen or damaged property, medical expenses, and diminished income if they missed time at work. They could also seek damages for their non-economic losses, including inconvenience, humiliation, and physical pain. The victim could seek damages for their emotional anguish, which is often one of the most difficult aspects of the experience.
Sometimes a property owner’s efforts to deter crime are outrageously inadequate. In such cases, Florida Statute § 768.72 allows plaintiffs to recover punitive damages if they can prove that the owner or manager was grossly negligent or intentionally exposed the victim to harm. This only occurs in rare situations.
Property owners must do their part to deter crime. If you suffered losses because you were the victim of a crime that occurred on someone else’s property, you could sue the property owner for compensation.
The Umansky Law Firm Criminal Defense & Injury Attorneys