Residents of apartment and condominium complexes have a right to be safe from criminal acts in their residences and on the grounds. This legal liability based on criminal acts is applied to businesses, too. If the property is not reasonably protected by security devices, the property owners and managers can be negligent and held financially liable should a resident or patron become a crime victim, sustaining injuries and financial damages.
It is generally unproductive to hold the criminal perpetrator financially liable in civil matters, however, unless they have the financial resources to pay damages. The satisfaction of winning a judgment may be comforting. Boca Raton negligent security lawyers can represent people who have been victimized by criminal acts conducted by strangers. A skilled premises liability attorney can help people whose security in residential buildings and businesses was lacking or non-existent.
Types of Security Measures
The specific and necessary security measures depend somewhat on the type of property. Florida negligent security law requires certain measures for various types of businesses, including residential enterprises.
Typical security measures, for example, are deadbolt door locks and locking windows, surveillance cameras, closed-circuit television monitors, lighted elevators, stairwells, parking lots, and garages. In some property situations, private security firms patrolling the area regularly and trained security guards are necessary, such as a guard at an ATM in front of a bank.
An example of business type requirements, convenience stores in Florida are required to post a sign on the front door advising that the cash register only has as much as $50, with other funds locked in a safe box of some sort.
Proof of Liability
To hold property owners and managers liable, the injured person, called the plaintiff, has the burden to prove negligence with the assistance of a Boca Raton negligent security lawyer. Negligence is failing to treat others in the same way that a reasonable and prudent person would to ensure someone is not harmed, or failing to act in a way that a prudent person would behave, resulting in harm.
To have a case, a lawsuit must show that the presence of the plaintiff on the property was lawful, that the property owner or manager failed to take reasonable care to prevent harm, that the injury was caused by a third person, and that actual financial expenses directly related to the event occurred.
The defendant must have had constructive knowledge. In Florida, the law presumes people reasonably have constructive knowledge even if they actually do not. For example, the manager of an apartment complex has never seen an intruder on the premises, but the manager knows it can happen. Proof of constructive knowledge is if the manager installed security cameras.
The defendant also must have foreseen that the injury could have happened. If crimes have taken place on the property itself or on similar properties in the vicinity, the defendant has foreseeability. For example, a neighborhood near an apartment complex has police cars often summoned to the area. The manager of the apartments has foreseeability that police may be called to other apartment buildings in the vicinity.
Role a Boca Raton Negligent Security Attorney
The Boca Raton negligent security lawyer will investigate the crime and the security measures in place to document that they were inadequate for the property and a potential threat to those who are on the property.
If the parties agree to settle out of court, the attorney will aggressively negotiate a settlement with the insurance company that is satisfactory to the injured person.