Premises Liability Attorneys Serving Residents of West Palm Beach
Historically, West Palm Beach in South Florida has had a high rate of serious crimes, including assaults, robberies, and rapes. While property crimes remained almost level from 2011 to 2012, personal crimes rose noticeably over the same period of time. There were over 400 assaults there in 2012. Florida property owners and occupiers often can be held liable for negligent security. They are required to provide safety measures to guests, tenants, and customers under certain circumstances. If a third party attacks and hurts the guest, tenant, or customer, the property owner or occupier can potentially be sued for compensation. The premises liability lawyers at Anidjar & Levine can guide West Palm Beach residents through the process of asserting their rights.
Seeking Compensation for Negligent Security
Generally, people have no legal duty to control a third party’s conduct to prevent him or her from harming another person. Florida courts are careful about imposing liability on a business for failing to control the actions of a third party. One exception to this general rule is when a defendant controls the premises upon which an intentional crime or attack occurs.
A negligent security case can arise in South Florida due to criminal assault and battery or rape. A compensable attack may happen in a parking garage, apartment complex, hotel, school, mall, bar, or any other place where the owner or occupier of the property had control of the premises where a crime occurs and owed a reasonable duty of care to the attacked person.
A Florida business or property owner owes a reasonable duty of care when a criminal attack by a third party against customers or business invitees is reasonably foreseeable. What makes an attack by a third party foreseeable?
Foreseeability can be determined either by showing that a property owner knew a third party’s inclination towards crime or by showing that a property owner knew or should have known of a condition on the property that was likely to harm a customer. The former situation, for example, may exist when an apartment manager knows someone was convicted of murder and pairs up that person with another tenant without warning the other tenant. The latter type of foreseeability may depend on whether there were previous similar attacks in the same geographic location. The court may consider how close the prior attacks were in time to the attack at issue in the lawsuit. The court may also consider whether the same types of crimes happened historically.
Unlike in some other states, there are statutory limits on negligent security cases in Florida, such as when attacks take place at gas stations that have taken certain safety measures specified by statute.
Seek Legal Guidance for an Injury Claim in West Palm Beach
At Anidjar & Levine, we understand how to fight for compensation on behalf of individuals who have been hurt due to negligent security in West Palm Beach. You may need a knowledgeable injury attorney to prove a business’ liability, particularly given certain statutory limitations. We represent victims in cities across Palm Beach County, including Boca Raton, Palm Beach Gardens, and Wellington, as well as in Fort Lauderdale and elsewhere in South Florida. For a free consultation, call us at 800-747-3733 or contact us via our online form.