If you are the victim of a violent crime causing you injury, simply going after the perpetrator through the criminal justice system likely will not yield you any monetary results other than a worthless piece of paper that you are entitled to restitution. Even if you are able to obtain a restitution judgment against the wrongdoer, restitution only covers your out of pocket medical expenses and does not address additional damages you are entitled to recover such as pain and suffering or lost wages. Often, the perpetrator will not have the funds to pay your restitution order, especially if they spend many years in jail with no source of income.
What is an injured victim of a violent crime to do if going after the perpetrator doesn’t pay?
An injured victim of a violent crime that occurred on commercial premises, the owner or possessor of the premises may be liable to you if they lacked adequate measures to prevent the crime. Whether there was inadequate security personnel, visible cameras, locked gates, or no check-in procedures, the attorneys at Warner & Fitzmartin will investigate to see if there is a claim for negligent security. Typically, the defendant in a negligent security case will be the commercial property owner or possessor of the premises where the violent crime occurred. Thankfully, these property owners or commercial businesses sometimes have commercial liability insurance from which you can make a claim for your injuries, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other damages.
How to Prove Negligent Security?
To prove negligent security in Florida, you must show that:
- You were lawfully on the premises.
- The premises lacked adequate security measures.
- The property owner reasonably foresaw the criminal activity which you suffered.
- You suffered injury as a result.
To prove that the criminal activity was reasonably foreseeable, investigation must be done as to other criminal activity in the area. This is done by obtaining a crime grid from the local police department. The relevance of the crime grid, and the size of the grid, will depend on where exactly the crime occurred. For example, Palm Beach County allows the introduction of larger and wider reaching crime grids than Miami-Dade County because in general Miami has more crime and denser neighborhoods. In Miami you could be in what is considered to be a safe neighborhood but turn the corner and be in an unsafe area.
If you’ve been injured on a commercial premises due to a violent crime, call the attorneys at Warner & Fitzmartin for a free case review.