Personal Injury Claims Based on Criminal Attacks
In certain situations, those who are injured in a criminal attack can file personal injury suits against the property owner where the incident occurred. Collecting compensation from someone who failed to make his or her property reasonably safe for customers or residents can play a crucial role in an injured party’s ability to move on from a traumatic and painful experience. However, proving that a property owner was negligent can be difficult, so if you were the victim of a criminal attack, it is critical to contact an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you seek compensation for your losses.
Business owners are legally required to take reasonable steps to keep their clients and customers safe from becoming a victim of a foreseeable crime while on their property. How much security a property owner is required to provide depends on a series of factors, including:
- The crime rate in the area;
- Whether crimes had been committed on the property before;
- The type of business being run by the property owner; and
- The size of the property.
The amount of security that a property owner must provide is dependent on these factors. For instance, banks are known for being robbery targets and so must ensure that they have enough guards, security cameras, and other safety measures in place to protect other customers. Gas stations must provide enough protection to ensure that customers are able to pump gas without becoming the victim of a foreseeable attack. This requires owners to install a security camera system and to use lights in the parking lot that illuminate an area at an intensity of at least two foot-candles per square foot. These businesses must also be equipped with a silent alarm.
Similarly, hotels must have secure parking lots as well as windows and doors that can be locked. Landlords of apartment complexes must also take steps to keep residents safe. This could require the manager to hire nighttime security guards or to install security cameras and lights in dangerous areas.
In order for a victim who was injured while on someone else’s property to collect compensation, he or she must be able to demonstrate that:
- The property owner failed to behave as a reasonably prudent person or entity would act under similar circumstances; and
- The type of injury suffered by the plaintiff was foreseeable.
Proving that a criminal act was foreseeable is especially important in these types of cases. Injured parties who can demonstrate that a property owner failed to take reasonable steps to protect them may be able to collect compensation that covers lost income, pain and suffering, medical expenses, and rehabilitation costs. However, in order to recover damages, an injured party must file his or her claim within four years of the date of the criminal act. Failing to do so could lead to the case being barred by the court.
Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer
To speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer, please call Boone & Davis at 954-566-9919 today. Our Fort Lauderdale attorneys are prepared to help you immediately.