When you are an invited guest on a commercial property, the owner or manager of the property owes you a significant duty of care that extends to keeping you reasonably safe from becoming the victim of a crime (perpetrated by someone else on the premises). Being harmed in a crime is not only dangerous but also terrifying, and the emotional aftermath can prove as devastating as the financial and physical damages you suffer. If a commercial property’s negligent security leaves you or someone you love harmed, it’s time to reach out to an experienced Florida negligent security lawyer.
As an Invited Guest
When you head out shopping, to grab a meal at a restaurant, to attend a meeting, or to do just about anything else that makes up your day, you are an invited guest in the establishments you enter, and this fact means you are owed a considerable duty of care. Part of this duty of care involves providing you with a reasonable level of security from being harmed in the commission of a crime (perpetrated by someone else). This may not be something you give much thought to, but these kinds of incidents do happen, and they are often very dangerous.
When Is Security Negligent?
The fact is that adequate security for one business could be woefully inadequate for another. The amount of security a business is required to provide has to do with the kind of business in question and the amount of risk involved. For instance, banks require high-tech security cameras throughout their premises, carefully calibrated alarm systems, and security guards. This same level of security is likely not necessary at the coffee shop on the corner. The general test for the amount of security required in any given situation is the level of security provided by other reasonable property owners (of the same type of business) in similar situations. Additional security measures that are commonly required include:
- Proper lighting
- Functioning locks
- Fully integrated alarm systems
If a commercial property’s lack of security causes you to be harmed, an experienced negligent security attorney can help.
Your Negligent Security Claim
Premises liability claims are based on negligence, and in the case of negligent security claims, this negligence is in the form of security that is lacking in some way. The basic parts that will make up your claim include:
- The at-fault party is either the legal owner, manager or caretaker of the commercial property in question.
- The at-fault party owed you a duty of care that includes keeping the property reasonably safe (including maintaining reasonable security measures) for invited guests like you.
- The at-fault party breached this duty of care owed to you in some way.
- You were harmed in some way as a result of this breached duty.
- This harm led to actual legal damages, which can include your medical expenses, your lost earnings on the job, and the physical and emotional pain and suffering you endured.
If the criminal involved is apprehended, there may also be criminal charges involved, but seeking just compensation for the damages you’ve suffered as a result of the commercial property’s negligent security efforts requires a civil premises liability claim that is based on negligent security.
A primary component of negligent security claims is foreseeability. If a crime of a similar nature has already occurred on the premises, for example, the property owner knew about – or reasonably should have known about – this background, which means that foreseeability is present in your case. The property owner or manager should have foreseen that there was considerable potential for the crime your claim is based upon happening. Other elements that can contribute to foreseeability include thwarted crimes on the premises and obvious security lapses that basically invite crime.
Statute of Limitations
In the State of Florida, the statute of limitations (or time limit) for filing a negligent security lawsuit is four years from the date of the incident. After this date, you will have no legal recourse for seeking compensation. The fact is, however, that the earlier you consult with an experienced negligent security attorney and file your claim, the better off you are for the following important reasons:
- The earlier you bring an attorney on board, the better chance you have of collecting all the relevant evidence involved and of compiling your strongest claim.
- Negotiating fair negligent security settlements can be a lengthy process, and if the insurance company ultimately refuses to negotiate fairly, you’ll need to move forward with a lawsuit, which is also a lengthy and complicated process.
- Allowing yourself the full allotment of time can help to ensure that your case accurately represents the full range of damages you’ve suffered, which – in turn – supports your fullest recovery.
Your Physical, Financial, and Emotional Damages
The damages you suffer as the result of a commercial property’s negligent security can be overwhelming.
Your Medical Expenses
If you suffer serious injuries, it can lead to extensive medical expenses that can be ongoing. Examples include:
- Physical and occupational therapy
- Home health care
While you put in the hard work required to recover from the injuries you’ve suffered, you’re likely to be off the job and experience decreased earnings. If your ability to continue advancing your career is affected, you will be facing even more considerable financial losses.
Pain and Suffering
The emotional upset associated with being harmed by a criminal act can be devastating, and the physical and emotional pain and suffering you endure can be difficult to overstate.
An Experienced Palm Beach Negligent Security Lawyer Is on Your Side
The dedicated negligent security attorneys at Iscoe Law Firm – proudly serving Miami, West Palm Beach, Palm Beach County, Fort Lauderdale, and Broward County – recognize the seriousness of your situation and are committed to employing their impressive experience, legal insight, and drive to help. For more information, please don’t hesitate to contact us online or call us at 800-800-6500 today (we’re here for you 24 hours a day and 365 days a year).