Property owners and caretakers in Florida have a duty to keep their property safe for those who are legally allowed to be there. In certain contexts, this may mean providing adequate security to decrease the chances of anyone on the property becoming a victim of a crime such as an assault or robbery.
Landowners have a duty to take reasonable security measures to protect lawful visitors from potential crimes committed by other parties. If you became a victim of a crime while on someone else’s property, a skilled Florida negligent security lawyer can work to seek compensation on your behalf. Contact a dedicated premises liability attorney and schedule an appointment to begin assessing your legal options.
What is Negligent Security?
Negligent security lawsuits fall under Florida premises liability law, but what exactly constitutes negligent security will vary from one property to another. What may be adequate security for one property could be severely negligent for another.
Adequate security may include trained security officers on patrol, proper lighting, and functioning security systems, alarms, or locks. A Florida negligent security attorney can help a plaintiff seek damages from either residential or commercial property owners.
The Groundwork of a Negligent Security Case in Florida
Negligence is a common legal framework used to establish defendant liability in civil cases. Using this framework, a Florida negligent security lawyer can work on a plaintiff’s behalf to show that:
- The defendant was the legal owner or caretaker of the property in question
- The defendant had a duty to keep the property safe for those who entered it
- The defendant breached the duty
- The plaintiff suffered injuries as a direct result of that breach of duty
- The plaintiff’s injury caused physical, emotional, mental, financial or other damages
While a civil suit can be filed at the same time that criminal charges are pursued, it is often easier for the victim to locate the owner of the property than the alleged perpetrator of the crime. The breach of duty they may be held accountable for is usually a failure to exercise reasonable care and discover similar prior criminal activities or give adequate warnings to help those on the property to avoid injury.
One key element in these cases is foreseeability. If there were previous crimes of a similar nature committed on or around the property that the property owner knew or should have reasonably known about, the court could be more likely to determine that the crime was foreseeable. This conclusion could help a negligent security lawyer in Florida establish liability by a defendant.
How Long Does a Plaintiff Have to File a Negligent Security Lawsuit?
As detailed in Florida Revised Statutes §95.11, potential plaintiffs in a negligent security lawsuit have four years from the date of the occurrence to file a lawsuit. This time limit remains the same regardless of whether an injured person seeks legal counsel, but the sooner a victim contacts an attorney, the better their chances generally are that their case is filed on time. Filing a claim right away also ensures that critical evidence can be preserved.
Let a Florida Negligent Security Attorney Help
If you became the victim of a crime on the property of another person or entity, you may feel extremely frustrated, especially if that crime could have been avoided through proper care for the property. In many cases, a property owner may fail to take proper security measures and leave individuals who enter their property lawfully vulnerable to being victim of a crime. If you have suffered from such an experience, you should consult with a trustworthy Florida negligent security lawyer. Call today to start exploring your legal options.