Property Owners Must Prevent Criminal Conduct

On Behalf of | Jul 14, 2014 | Negligent Security

Premises liability refers to situations when an owner or occupier of a space may be required to compensate someone harmed on their property. This usually refers to “slip and fall” cases where an accident occurs because the location is not kept reasonably safe.

One unique aspect to premises liability involves cases where a crime occurs on someone else’s property. These are often referred to as “inadequate security” cases. There are times when the owner can be held responsible and help provide redress for the victim when harmed by the criminal actions of another person on the owner’s property. If you or a loved one is harmed in this way, it is important to contact a premises liability attorney to learn more about your legal rights.

Failing to Prevent Criminal Activity

In many cases the owner of the property can be held liable for failing to provide adequate security. Owners of property, including owners of shopping centers, parking garages, grocery stores, and other establishments that are open to the public, have a duty to maintain safe conditions for visitors. If these owners breach this duty and someone is injured as a result, that person may be able to bring a negligence claim against the property owner.

Florida premises liability law is complex with regards to third-party crimes. Generally, a property owner may be held liable for a crime committed on the property by another person. However, the crime in question must be foreseeable and the victim must have been legally present on the owner’s property, and the owner must have been able to likely prevent the crime by taking certain actions.

Foreseeability and Prevention

Florida courts look at several factors to determine whether the crime of the third-party was foreseeable. One factor the courts look at is whether there has been a history of crimes in the surrounding area. If there has been a pattern of criminal activity on the property, the property owner should take reasonable precautions to ensure that those persons who are legally present on the property are safe. The court also looks at the geographical proximity of other prior crimes when determining if the crime in question was foreseeable.

In addition to foreseeability, in order to hold a property owner liable for a third-party crime, the plaintiff must also show that the crime was preventable if the property owner had exercised reasonably precautions. This may include the installation of more lighting, use of fences or cameras, hiring of security personnel, or similar steps.

Contact an Injury Attorney

If you were harmed by a criminal attack while on someone else’s property, you may be entitled to compensation. An experienced premises liability lawyer can help you determine your rights and get the compensation you deserve for your injuries. For guidance in Miami and throughout Florida, please contact the attorneys at Kaire & Heffernan, LLC today. You can send us a message online or give us a call at 305-376-7860.

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Mark Kaire has been practicing law in Miami for nearly 15 years. He is dedicated to helping the injured people of Miami receive compensation. Mr. Kaire has been blogging on Miami’s legal issues for 4 years.