Miami Negligent Security Attorneys
If you have been injured by someone who committed a crime at a business you visited (or perhaps where you work), it is easy to believe that your predicament is just the result of bad fortune or bad luck: you were in the wrong place at the wrong time. You may believe that the only route to justice is to do your part to put the criminal perpetrator behind bars. But sometimes, part of the responsibility for your injury rests with the business owner, who had a duty to protect you from harm but failed to do so.
Under Florida law, property owners and business owners have a duty to maintain their premises in a reasonably safe condition. Injuries arising from the unsafe property are grounds for a premises liability claim. As a general rule, businesses are not liable to their business patrons who are victimized by criminals on the property. However, an exception applies if the property owner or operator of a business knew or should have known that criminal activity was highly likely to occur and failed to take reasonable steps to protect its customers from that foreseeable criminal conduct.
These cases can be complex, and they are best approached with the help of an experienced injury attorney. In Miami, the firm to call is Kaire & Heffernan, PLLC. Our Miami firm helped countless clients pursue a wide variety of claims since we opened our doors in 1997. We can help you, too.
On this page, you can learn:
- What damages you may be entitled to
- Whether or not the damage was foreseeable
- And other frequently asked questions.
Damages You May Be Entitled To For Negligent Security Injuries
Business and property owners’ lack of adequate security measures may put you in danger. You might sustain catastrophic injuries if you are a victim of a violent crime. These ailments might require a lot of medical attention and rehabilitation. Some injuries might result in a disability that keeps you from working for the rest of your life. You may also continue to be plagued by the memory of your accident for years.
Our negligent security attorneys will work tirelessly to secure both economic and noneconomic damages for you. This might include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Nursing care
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Emotional distress
- Lower earning potential
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Pain and suffering
You shouldn’t have to pay for a preventable injury caused by someone else’s negligence. The good news is that filing a personal injury claim may help you recover compensation for your losses.
Was Criminal Conduct Foreseeable?
The primary issue in finding liability in a Florida negligent security case is foreseeability. Did the business take adequate steps to guard its customers against any criminal conduct that could have been reasonably anticipated?
If a Miami business has never experienced any crimes on its premises and the surrounding area is relatively crime-free, and if the business utilizes stringent security measures, such as monitored cameras, security guards, adequate lighting, secure doors and gates, and an alarm system, chances are, it will not be liable for any criminal conduct on its premises. This is because the crime in question was not reasonably foreseeable in light of the history of the area and the measures that were taken by the business to prevent crimes from being carried out on its premises.
However, many Florida businesses are not so careful about protecting their customers from violent crime. This is especially true in challenging economic times. We have found that the first thing to get cut is the security budget. This includes not doing a security analysis prior to opening a location, not installing security cameras or security systems and firing security personnel. These cases make for compelling arguments when companies choose profits over safety.
Additionally, some businesses, even if they take some security measures, do not do enough or fail to maintain security on a consistent basis. Perhaps they frequently failed to replace light bulbs that had burned out in stairwells or other traffic areas, or did not replace or fix broken locks, gates or fences. Maybe they let the shrubbery become overgrown, providing convenient hiding places for criminals to lie in and wait for a victim. Or they did not adequately screen an employee who had a criminal history or did not train a new employee on what steps they must take in the event of a crime.
Even a business that implements and maintains security measures may be liable if they fail to take additional measures in the wake of an increase in crime in the area or become aware of certain types of crimes that are occurring, for which different security steps would be more appropriate.
Answers To Common Questions About Negligent Security In Miami
Below, we’ve answered some of the questions we are most frequently asked by clients.
Where do these incidents occur?
Negligent security cases are not uncommon in Florida. They can arise on any type of property, commercial or residential, whether publicly owned or privately maintained. An accident resulting from negligent security can even happen if you’re just passing through on your way to another destination! Some of the locations where security breaches can occur include restaurants, schools and universities, hospitals, nightclubs, parks and playgrounds, hotels, banks, shopping centers and so on.
Nearly every large business facility has a parking facility associated with it, and criminals often target these facilities – particularly hospitals, restaurants and large retail establishments – where it is not uncommon for employees and patrons to be coming and going when it is late and dark and few people are present.
Can any attorney represent me in a negligent security claim?
Legally, the answer is yes. However, your case may be stronger if you work with an attorney who has considerable knowledge and experience in this area. One of the biggest advantages is having an attorney who understands the relevant legislation needed to fight for you. They can also identify who was liable for your injuries and how they were negligent.
When it comes to the negotiation stage, having a negligent security lawyer on your side might make all the difference. Although most personal injury claims do not go to court, some of them do. Our lawyers have decades of experience in this area, and we can help you maximize the value of your claim.
Is the property owner always solely to blame for negligent security injuries?
A lot of people assume the property owner is responsible for their losses in an inadequate security case. While this may often be the case, keep in mind that there may be other liable parties in your negligent security lawsuit. It can be crucial to identify all liable parties in order to receive full compensation. Your lawyer will look into your case to determine who is responsible and collect enough money to compensate for your suffering and any monetary loss.
What do I need to prove in order to win my negligent security lawsuit?
In Florida, any negligence claim has the same four elements:
- There was a duty to the victim
- The duty was breached
- The breach caused the victim’s injuries
- The victim suffered damages as a result of their injuries
Every business has a duty to protect its customers and others from harm. Thus, the spilled bottle of olive oil in the grocery store must be cleaned up as soon as possible before someone slips on it and hurts himself. But when a third party – a criminal – is the direct cause of the injury, a business can still be held liable if the failure to provide proper security was a substantial contributing cause to the victim’s injury.
How long do I have to file a negligent security claim?
Potential plaintiffs in a negligent security case have four years from the date of the incident to file suit against the property owner or manager, as set out in Florida Revised Statutes §95.11. The statute of limitations is the same whether or not a victim seeks legal assistance from an attorney. However, the earlier you contact a good lawyer, the better your chances of having the claim filed on time. Taking action right away also ensures critical evidence can be preserved for when you need it later down the line!