Were you assaulted in your apartment or place of business? A negligent security lawyer may be able to help you receive the compensation you deserve. Here is everything you need to know about negligent security lawsuits in Florida.
According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, over 81,000 violent crimes took place in the state in 2019. These crimes range from simple assaults and robberies to more extreme cases involving sexual assault and homicide.
If you are the victim of a violent crime while on someone else’s property, you may be able to file a negligent security lawsuit against the property owner to recover damages. Here’s what you should know.
What Does Negligent Security Mean?
Property owners have a duty to ensure the safety of others who set foot on their property. When they fail to provide adequate protection and that failure results in a violent crime, the property owner can be held liable in civil court. A negligent security lawsuit is a premises liability claim that allows victims to receive compensation for any physical and emotional injuries they sustain.
Who Can I Hold Liable Under Florida Law?
Under Florida law, plaintiffs can seek damages from many groups. Landlords, property managers, and business owners, to name a few examples, are all required to ensure the safety of their tenants and customers—failure to provide reasonable protection from a crime can leave them open to lawsuits.
Victims may also pursue damages from the perpetrator of the crime, as well, though because the perpetrator would have to pay the damages out of pocket—no insurance covers criminal acts—the likelihood of getting the compensation the victim deserves is low.
How to Prove Landlord Negligence
Documenting your injuries after an assault on rental or commercial property is the first step to proving landlord negligence. You can document any feeling of discomfort or injury by writing down what you felt, where you felt it, and explaining the circumstances of these feelings with third-party information if available. You will need to prove that your injuries were sustained because the landlord either acted in a way that directly caused them or failed to act to prevent them.
Here’s how you can prove landlord negligence:
- Show that the landlord broke the law or failed to meet regulatory standards.
- Demonstrate that the above law’s purpose is to protect your safety.
- Prove that your injuries are similar to those that the law is meant to keep from happening.
- Show that your injuries are a direct result of the landlord’s actions or inaction.
How to Proceed with a Case Against Your Landlord
Document as Much Evidence as Possible
Get photographic evidence the first time you notice any faults or dangers that could have allowed someone access to your building or apartment, such as broken or missing locks. You want these photos timed-stamped and digitally backed up so that you have proof for later.
Let All Involved Parties Know about the Unsafe Conditions
The best option when communicating with your landlord is to text or email this information in a prompt manner. A phone call can be effective too, but without a detailed account of the call, it’s may not be clear that you made the effort to notify them. If you have been injured, be sure to include all relevant details about your injuries.
Get Guidance from an Experienced Negligent Security Lawyer
Seeing as most people don’t work in the legal field, they need to get expert guidance on their rental situation. Talk to a lawyer before you make any decisions about your landlord’s negligence. This will give you a better understanding of your options when discussing the situation with your landlord.
Take Prompt Legal Action If Necessary
To prove your landlord’s liability in a court of law proceeding, you must provide evidence of negligence. If your landlord refuses to work with you to come to a resolution, contact an attorney today to start the litigation process. If they are negligent, then you can sue them and receive compensation in a court of law by presenting the evidence you have collected.
Do I Need a Negligent Security Lawyer to Prove My Case?
In negligent security cases, you have to prove three things to the court: 1) that the property owner owed you protection from violent crime, 2) that they failed to provide that protection, and 3) that failure led to your injuries.
These requirements might seem straightforward. However, a lot hinges on proving what reasonable security protections are in your case, and a negligent security lawyer can make the process go more smoothly and lead to a higher settlement. In some cases, reasonable protection could mean having a security guard on duty. In others, it could require security cameras to be installed and functional. It all depends on the circumstances of the case in question.
Another factor to consider is whether the property where the crime occurred is located in an area with a high crime rate, which would suggest that more security is necessary to protect tenants and customers.
Are you the victim of a violent crime? If think you have a case and need to talk to an experienced negligent security lawyer, do not hesitate to contact the RRBH Law team. We will answer any questions you have and help you understand how the process works. Schedule a consultation with us today.