Negligent Security Lawyer in Jacksonville
Negligent Security Lawyer in Jacksonville
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Jacksonville, FL 32202
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Negligent Security Lawyer in Jacksonville
When a crime takes place, it’s possible that the owner of the property could be held liable for the crime, even if they didn’t directly commit the crime.
Certain property owners are required to implement reasonable security measures as a way to protect individuals from being the victim of a crime. This can include appropriate lighting, working locks, or adequate security teams. This is known as a negligent security claim, which falls under the category of premises liability law.
If you or a loved one were the victim of a crime and you think that the conditions of the property were at least partially to blame, it’s important to contact a negligent security lawyer to determine if you have a claim against the property owner.
The attorneys at Morgan & Morgan can go through your case with you and determine what your options are. Our lawyers will handle your case every step of the way so you can focus on healing physically and emotionally. Contact Morgan & Morgan today for a free consultation.
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What Is a Negligent Security Claim?
Under Florida law, property owners are required to keep their premises reasonably free of hazards that could cause injury to the public. If they aren’t able to do this, there must be a warning to the public about the danger. Additionally, property owners must keep their premises safe and secure to reduce the possibility of crime, such as robberies, sexual assaults, property damage, and more. They have a duty to use reasonable care to maintain a safe environment for visitors and patrons, warning invitees of dangers that they otherwise wouldn’t be aware of, taking steps to correct any dangerous conditions, and attempting to discover any dangerous conditions on the property.
For example, in Florida, convenience stores are hotspots for crime and are required to have a security camera capable of recording and retrieving images, a drop safe or other cash management system for restricted access, a lighted parking lot, and an obvious sign-on the door that states there is less than $50 cash in the register, among other safety measures.
How Do I Prove a Negligent Security Claim?
In order to win a negligent security claim in civil court, you must prove certain elements.
- You were lawfully on the premises. If you were a trespasser, you will rarely be able to succeed on a negligent premises claim. However, if you can prove that the owner intentionally placed something on the property to injure you, knew that people trespassed on their property but failed to implement appropriate safety measures or warn trespassers of potential dangers, or you had a reason to believe you were invited onto the property, you may have a chance.
- The premises lacked adequate safety measures. Inadequate safety and security measures often include a lack of lighting, security guards, working locks, and working security cameras. To prove this in court, you and your negligent security lawyer can present photographs, video evidence, witness testimony, maintenance records, and anything else that would help show that the appropriate measures were not implemented.
- The property owner reasonably foresaw the criminal activity you experienced. This element is really the heart of a negligent security claim. A land or property owner isn’t required to prevent all crime that occurs on their property. However, they are required to prevent foreseeable crime to an individual. In determining this, the Florida courts usually look at the type of crime, how often it has occurred on the property, and how often it occurs in the surrounding areas. For example, your attorney can collect prior insurance claims, reports of thefts or break-ins, and reports of crimes near the property. If crime is rampant in a particular area and a business or property owner still fails to implement appropriate safety measures, this makes your claim stronger. If crimes have occurred often on the particular property where you were victimized, this also significantly strengthens a negligent security case.
- You suffered harm as a result of the criminal activity. To show that you suffered harm as a result of the criminal activity, you will want to obtain any medical records showing what injuries you sustained and what treatment you have received. You can also provide photographs of injuries or video evidence of the crime occurring to help corroborate your injuries. Also, keep a record of all medical expenses and lost wages.
If you’re successful in your negligent security claim, you will be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, lost future wages, property damage, and in many cases, emotional and physical pain and suffering. While we understand money won’t solve anything, it can help you on the road to recovery and allow you to focus on your healing without the worry of medical bills and other lost income.
What Is The Statute of Limitations for a Negligent Security Claim?
If you were the victim of a crime and believe you have a negligent security claim, it’s important that you file your claim within the specified period of time so you don’t miss out on the chance to collect monetary compensation. In Florida, you must file your case within 4 years of the date of the incident. This might sound like a long time, but it passes quickly. It’s extremely important to remember that video footage, if it exists, often gets erased automatically after a few weeks or months. Video footage could be the key to a negligent security case, so it’s crucial to request the footage immediately so that it is preserved. As soon as you’re able, you should contact a negligent security lawyer so they can help you with this.
What Are Examples of When a Property or Business Owner Would Be Liable?
There are many circumstances in which a property or business owner could be held responsible for a crime committed against you on their property. Some of the most common examples include the following:
Landlords/Owners of Apartment Buildings
A common situation that leads to negligent security claims is crimes that occur in or around apartment complexes. When you rent a property from someone, you expect to feel safe and be protected to some degree. Landlords and property owners are required to keep the area reasonably safe. For example, all parking lots should be well lit, gate locks keeping non-residents out should be working, apartment door or common area door locks should be changed if a key is lost, cameras should be installed outside of the complex, and all apartment units should be able to be locked from the inside. Additionally, all apartment complex employees should be thoroughly vetted before they are hired.
If a tenant is the victim of a crime because these safety measures were lacking, it’s possible that they could hold the landlord or owner liable and collect compensation from them through a civil claim in court.
As stated above, convenience stores are hotspots for criminal activity throughout the country. There are very specific security requirements they must follow to keep patrons safe. If you were the victim of a violent crime while on their premises and they failed to implement the required safety measures, it’s likely that there could be a successful negligent security claim against the store owner.
Malls are another place where crime can easily take place if appropriate security measures aren’t in place. Most malls are open late, meaning people are walking to their cars in the dark. Additionally, most individuals who are at the mall have purchased something or are assumed to have money or credit cards on them. Well-lit parking lots and security cameras are incredibly important at these establishments.
Nightclubs have a duty to provide adequate safety measures for their customers. The most important measures in this type of establishment typically include well-lit parking lots, competent security guards, and working security cameras. People often visit nightclubs until very late at night or early in the morning, and alcohol consumption is incredibly common. It’s an unfortunate reality that crimes often occur in or outside nightclubs. Examples include sexual assault, battery, robbery, theft, shootings, drugging, and carjackings.
It's not a surprise to anyone that these types of crimes are common in this setting, so all nightclubs are clearly on notice that they need to provide adequate security. In addition to the measures listed above, having security guards inside the actual club, especially near the bar and bathrooms, is another measure that should be taken to avoid criminal activity. Security guards should always ask people to leave if they are over-intoxicated or are starting trouble inside or outside the club.
Contact Morgan & Morgan For Assistance
You might not realize that property owners are required to maintain their properties and security in a certain manner. If you were the victim of a crime and it was a result of the property owner’s failure to do this, you might be able to file a civil claim against them even though they aren’t the individual who committed the crime. This is especially true for businesses, such as clubs, supermarkets, and shopping malls. All of these businesses are directly profiting from the individuals who visit their establishment, so it’s not unreasonable that they are required to provide a minimum amount of safety and security on their premises.
If you need help with a negligent security claim, contact Morgan & Morgan to speak with a negligent security lawyer. We have been handling negligent security claims for decades and will do whatever it takes to help you receive the compensation you deserve. Contact Morgan & Morgan today for a free consultation.