Businesses and other property owners have a legal obligation to help protect the safety of people who lawfully visit their property.
That includes ensuring that the premises are in a safe condition and providing adequate security protections, which vary based on the circumstances. When property owners do not live up to these responsibilities, it can cause serious injuries to customers, guests, employees, and others.
At Searcy Denney, we help people injured due to inadequate or negligent security get the full compensation available. Whether you have been victimized by an attack in an office building parking lot, a theft at an apartment complex or a sexual assault at a hotel, a West Palm Beach negligent security lawyer at our firm will work tirelessly to ensure that those responsible are held fully responsible for their actions.
Common Examples of Inadequate Security in West Palm Beach
The type of security that a commercial property owner must provide for people lawfully on the premises varies depending on the situation. However, property owners are generally liable for foreseeable actions and injuries caused or made worse by inadequate security.
Any West Palm Beach negligent security attorney at our firm will tell you that some of the more common cases we see involve:
- Poor lighting
- No or not enough security guards
- Security guards who are not adequately trained
- Broken or malfunctioning locks
- Broken, malfunctioning or improperly placed security cameras
- Inadequate parking lot surveillance
- Ineffective fencing
- Insufficient employee background checks
These security failures can lead to tragic consequences for visitors, guests, employees, business partners, and others. That includes being victimized by crimes like:
- Assault and battery
- Sexual assault
These crimes can change a person’s life in an instant. Although the person committing the crime is primarily to blame, property owners often also bear responsibility for not taking basic steps to stop it from happening.
It is vital that anyone who has been victimized as a result of negligent security seek the advice and counsel of a seasoned personal injury attorney.
A West Palm Beach inadequate security lawyer at Searcy Denney will investigate the situation to conclusively determine the cause of your injuries and identify those responsible. We will also work diligently to build the strongest possible case for money damages.
Legal Rights for People Injured by Inadequate Security
Anyone who has been injured as a result of negligent security in Florida has the right to seek compensation from those responsible for the injuries. That includes the owner of the property on which the incident occurred.
The compensation typically available in negligent security cases includes money for medical bills, property damage, missed wages during recovery, and any impact on the injuries on a person’s long-term earning capacity. Additional compensation is often available for pain, suffering, and emotional distress, as well as in certain situations to punish people or entities for, particularly reckless behavior.
In the unthinkable situation in which a person dies due to negligent or inadequate security, their loved ones have the right to sue for wrongful death. A lawsuit will not undo a family member’s death, but it can help ease the financial burden that often comes with these tragedies.
To get money damages, you have to be able to identify the person or entity responsible for your injuries and prove legal liability. That often means filing a lawsuit asking a court to award you compensation.
The Legal Process for a Claim Against a Property Owner
The process typically starts with a demand letter. The letter informs the person or entity responsible for your injuries (and their insurers) that you intend to make them accountable for failing to provide adequate security. In other words, it explains their liability and demands compensation accordingly.
A West Palm Beach inadequate security attorney at Searcy Denney will evaluate your case and give you an honest assessment of your potential claim. The lawyer will also prepare the demand letter and explore every opportunity to obtain compensation efficiently and without a lengthy court battle.
In many cases, a demand letter leads to settlement discussions and the ultimate resolution of the matter through a legally binding agreement. The injured person agrees not to sue the person or entity responsible for the injuries in exchange for compensation.
In other situations, the next step is to go to court by filing a lawsuit. A complaint can generally be filed in the court in the jurisdiction where the accident happened or where either party lives. This legal document generally lays out how the injuries occurred and why the person or entity being sued (the defendant) is liable. It also asks the court to order the defendant to pay money damages and allows the defendant to respond.
The filing of the lawsuit often sparks another round of settlement discussions. Cases that are not settled at this point move toward a trial. It is essential to have an experienced lawyer who has regularly been before a judge and jury by your side throughout this process. A West Palm Beach negligent security lawyer at our firm will gather all of the available evidence and build the best case possible to obtain proper compensation.
The Statute of Limitations for Inadequate Security Cases
It is important to be aware of the statute of limitations, which creates a deadline for filing a negligent security lawsuit in Florida.
Generally, a person suing for negligent security has four years from the time the injuries were incurred to file a lawsuit. In the tragic event that a person dies as a result of negligent security, however, their loved ones have only two years to sue for wrongful death. Anyone who files after these deadlines are likely to have the suit dismissed as untimely.
The deadline can be paused or extended in certain situations, including when the injured person does not discover the injury until well after it is incurred. Some people with traumatic brain injuries, for example, do not feel the full effects until days, weeks or months after the incident in which the accident happened.
Minors under the age of 18 have seven years to file a lawsuit for negligent security.
Comparative Fault in Florida Negligent Security Cases
Comparative fault is a partial defense that a person or entity sued for negligence in Florida can use to avoid or reduce the money damages they are forced to pay. The defense is essentially that the person suing was at least partly to blame for their own injuries.
Take, for example, a person who is mugged at an ATM outside a dimly lit convenience store. If the person refuses the mugger’s demand to withdraw cash and hand it over and is shot as a result, is he or she partly to blame? That may be up to a judge or jury to decide.
A person who is found less than 50% liable for their injuries can still get compensation based on proportionate fault. A seasoned West Palm Beach inadequate security attorney at Searcy Denney can help you understand your rights and options and evaluate comparative fault.
How a West Palm Beach Negligent Security Attorney Can Help You
At Searcy Denney, our attorneys share decades of combined legal experience helping people injured by negligent security and in a wide range of accidents. As a result, we understand how judges, juries, and insurance companies approach these cases and we know how to make a clear and compelling claim for compensation.
Our track record of successful results for the people we represent includes a seven-figure settlement for the family of a man who was shot and killed at an apartment complex in Orlando. We showed that the apartment complex owner turned a blind eye to rampant safety issues at the property, going so far as to tell security guards to focus on protecting the property instead of the residents and visitors.
Our attorneys are committed to guiding clients through the legal process with experience and personal attention. We take the time to understand each client’s unique needs and craft a legal strategy designed to accomplish their specific goals.
Speak with a West Palm Beach Negligent Security Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of negligent or inadequate security in Florida, you have the right to seek compensation from the property owner and others responsible for your injuries. An experienced West Palm Beach negligent security attorney at Searcy Denney can help you fight for your rights.
Our West Palm Beach personal injury attorneys help injured people and their families put the pieces back together following an accident with maximum compensation. We are pleased to be able to offer contingency fee arrangements in which we do not get paid unless you win your case.
Our offices are conveniently located in West Palm Beach, Tampa, and Tallahassee. Call us at 800-780-8607 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with a West Palm Beach inadequate security lawyer today.