Negligent Security Attorney in Lakeland2012 S. Florida Avenue,
Lakeland, FL 33803
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Negligent Security Lawyer in Lakeland
According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), violent crimes in the state increased by 2.3 percent in 2020 compared to the previous year. However, Lakeland property owners could significantly reduce incidents of violent crime by ensuring their premises are reasonably safe. Moreover, you could have a compensation claim if a property owner failed to keep you safe.
Morgan & Morgan knows that experiencing violent crimes, such as assaults, attacks, shootings, or others, can change lives forever. Victims may be emotionally scarred and physically impaired for the rest of their lives. Moreover, losing loved ones unexpectedly can plunge families into immeasurable grief and financial chaos.
If you are affected, you may qualify for compensation such as awards for pain and suffering, healthcare costs, and others. Our negligent security lawyers in Lakeland could hold the responsible parties to account and negotiate a fair settlement for your damages. Contact us now for a free and confidential case review to learn about your legal rights.
Negligent Security in Lakeland
Negligent security laws aim to hold property owners accountable for failing to keep guests, patrons, and visitors reasonably safe. According to Bestplaces.com, the chances of becoming a victim of crime in Lakeland are slightly higher than in Florida as a whole.
Negligent security is not a trivial matter and can lead to severe crimes with lifelong physical and emotional consequences for injured victims. Property owners must implement specific security measures, depending on the nature of their property, to prevent crimes such as violent robberies, assaults, thefts, shootings, and others.
Where Do Negligent Security Incidents Occur?
Negligent security incidents can occur on any private or public property, including but not limited to:
- Hotels and motels
- Shopping malls and retail stores
- Apartment complexes
- Convenience stores
- Public transit
- Government buildings
- Gas stations
Examples of Negligent Security
No two premises have identical needs regarding security measures and installations. Depending on a property’s type and location, complex security measures may be needed, while other premises may only require locks on doors. For example, an apartment complex in a low-crime area has different security needs than a late-night entertainment venue in a bustling city center. However, the following general examples could qualify as negligent security:
- Missing or broken lighting
- Unlocked gates and doors
- Blocked or locked emergency exits
- Broken fencing
- Missing or malfunctioning security cameras
- Unsecured windows
- Untrained or unqualified security guards
- Defective alarms
Since every property has specific security needs, proving a negligent security claim can be problematic. Victims must show that they suffered injuries and damages due to a property owner’s failure to make their premises reasonably safe. If you or a loved one got harmed on someone else’s property, our negligent security lawyers in Lakeland could help.
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What are Injuries in Negligent Security Incidents?
Some negligent security incidents, such as shootings, battery, and violent robberies, can cause catastrophic injuries and death. Injuries that victims of crime in Lakeland may experience include:
- Head injuries such as traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Cuts and lacerations
- Broken bones
- Dental injuries
- Gunshot or stab wounds
- Internal organ damage
However, physical injuries are not the only devastating consequences of assaults and attacks. The psychological effects of being victimized can be debilitating and include post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, fear of leaving the house, and others. Victims may never lead a normal life again due to injuries and emotional scars.
If you or a loved one is affected, you do not have to suffer in silence. Morgan & Morgan can be here for you. Our experienced negligent security attorneys want to help victims and their families recover the compensation they deserve.
Could You Be Entitled to Compensation?
Compensation might be available if you were hurt or lost your loved one in a negligent security incident. Depending on your case, you could recover economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages reimburse victims for any monetary losses from the assault or attack, such as:
- Healthcare costs
- Lost wages
- Property damage, such as stolen or destroyed personal items
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Medical expenses
Non-economic damages should compensate victims for losses of a non-monetary nature, such as physical pain and emotional distress. While non-economic losses can be considerable in a traumatic assault, attack, or shooting, they are generally challenging to calculate. However, an experienced attorney can help you put a dollar value on non-economic damages such as:
- Physical pain
- Emotional anguish
- Reduced life quality
Wrongful Death Compensation
If your loved one died due to the carelessness of a business or individual, you could hold the responsible party accountable and pursue compensation. While nothing can bring back your loved one, receiving damages can help you manage the financial losses due to the death of your relative.
The types of damages you could collect depend on various factors, such as your relationship with the decedent, their age at the time of passing, and the degree of negligence of the responsible party. Examples of compensation survivors could receive include:
- Medical expenses prior to death
- Loss of companionship and protection (spouse)
- Loss of parental instruction and guidance (minor children)
- Pain and suffering of the decedent before death
- Burial and funeral costs
- Loss of services and income from the decedent
- Mental pain and suffering of survivors
- Lost inheritance
Since every case is unique, it is impossible to estimate the average worth of a Lakeland wrongful death claim. However, a negligent security attorney from our firm can calculate your damages and determine the value of your case.
What is the Timeline for a Lakeland Negligent Security Claim?
If you or a loved one suffered the impacts of an assault or attack, you should move quickly to protect your legal rights. While you may have four years to file a negligent security lawsuit in Lakeland, the timeline can be shorter in some instances, for example, if you are suing a government entity. Surviving family members of a deceased victim only have two years to file a wrongful death claim, starting from the date of the death.
The sooner you contact a negligent security attorney, the sooner they can start to gather evidence, build your case, and fight for the compensation you deserve. On the other hand, waiting too long and missing the state deadline could prevent you from pursuing and receiving any compensation.
Who Is Liable in My Negligent Security Claim?
Generally, the business or individual responsible for a property is liable if an individual gets killed or injured in a negligent security attack or assault. However, depending on your specific case, there could be other responsible parties, such as:
- Security firms
- Homeowners’ or condominium associations
- Hotel management
- School administration
- Store and gas station managers
- A government entity
- Restaurant managers
Since you could have several defendants in your claim, consider consulting a Morgan & Morgan Lakeland negligent security lawyer to walk you through your options and move forward with a legal claim.
Should I Sue the Perpetrator of the Crime Instead of a Property Owner?
You could, in some circumstances, file a personal injury lawsuit against your attacker, providing they are identified. However, you may not be able to recover any damages from an individual that is unlikely to have the means to compensate you. Therefore, filing a lawsuit against the criminal that hurt you or your loved one may not be worth it.
On the other hand, a property owner is typically covered by insurance, meaning a recovery can be much more likely when victims hold the business or individual who owns the premises accountable.
Can I Sue a Security Firm in Lakeland?
You could sue a negligent security company and seek damages. However, suing a third party rather than the property owner can be tricky. Unlike the premises owner, a security firm is not usually responsible for ensuring the safety of guests and patrons of a property. The security firm primarily has a duty of care toward the property owner.
However, if the property owner and security firm have a contract that holds the company liable for lax security, they may be on the hook for victims’ damages. A security firm could be exposed to legal claims in the following cases:
- Unqualified and untrained security guards
- Impaired guards due to alcohol or drug use
- Negligent supervision of security personnel
However, when a lawsuit happens, the property owner and security firm may hotly contest liability for victims’ damages. Retaining an attorney can be critical in complex negligent security claims. Morgan & Morgan’s negligent security lawyers can identify all liable parties in your claim and hold them accountable for your losses.
How Can a Property Owner Prevent Negligent Security?
As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Lawsuits can effect change by holding property owners responsible for negligent security and motivating other businesses to implement measures that keep visitors safe. While there are no one-size-fits-all security installations, business owners can take general steps to tighten security in and around their premises, including:
- Putting up warning signs for visitors
- Lighting properties and outside areas adequately
- Maintaining locks, gates, and fencing
- Installing security cameras and alarms
- Hiring qualified and trained security personnel
While recommended security measures are property-specific, even simple improvements such as locks on doors and windows could help to avoid injury and deaths in Lakeland.
Can I File a Lawsuit if My Attack Happened on Public Property in Lakeland?
Negligent security attacks can occur on private and public properties, including airports, government offices, parking garages, and other locations. Therefore, you could have legal recourse against the state or local government. However, filing a negligent security lawsuit against the government can be challenging as different regulations, deadlines, and laws may apply.
Claimants typically have to notify the relevant government agency with a written “notice of claim” before they qualify for a legal claim. There may also be caps on the compensation a victim can receive. Since such claims can be tricky to litigate, consider working with an experienced negligent security lawyer in Lakeland if you want to sue a government entity.
Do I Need a Negligent Security Attorney?
Going it alone with a negligent security claim can be frustrating and exhausting, especially if you have to stand up to a well-known business and a team of lawyers. A negligent security lawyer in Lakeland knows the applicable laws and has handled similar claims to yours. They can:
- Determine whether you have a case
- Identify the liable party or parties
- Calculate your damages
- Negotiate with the defendant and their insurer
- File a lawsuit and fight vigorously for what you deserve at trial
Having an experienced attorney by your side will also reduce stress and leave you free to focus on healing from your ordeal.
How Much Does a Negligent Security Lawyer in Lakeland Charge?
Every law firm has its own fee structure. Although some personal injury lawyers do not charge attorney’s fees upfront, they may ask clients to pay for legal expenses, such as court filing fees, deposition expenses, and other costs.
Morgan & Morgan never charges clients a dime upfront. We work on a “no-win-no-fee” basis, meaning we do not charge you anything out of your pocket and only get paid if we win your negligent security case and recover compensation. Moreover, first consultations are always free and can allow you to determine your options and next best steps.
Morgan & Morgan Is Here for You
Experiencing a violent crime or assault, or losing a loved one in this way, can stay with you forever. While receiving compensation cannot turn back the time, it could help you access the best medical and counseling care, helping you recover from the incident.
Morgan & Morgan is dedicated to protecting injured victims and their families. We can fight those responsible for causing your injuries and losses or the death of your loved one. Get in touch with us today to find out how we could help you get justice.