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Representing Assault on Premises Victims in Miami
If you are assaulted outside a business or in a parking garage, or while staying at a Miami hotel, it is important to know that you may be able to hold the property owner liable for your injuries. Third-party injury claims in assault on premises cases in Miami can occur when a property owner knows about the risks posed to others on the premises (or should know about such risks) and fails to take safety precautions. Indeed, inadequate safety precautions can result in a crime happening that otherwise might have been prevented.
At Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum Bluestein, LLP, our Miami assault on premises attorneys are committed to helping assault victims seek compensation for their injuries.
We Handle All Types of Assault on Premises Claims
Assault on premises can occur in the Miami area in many different situations. Cases in which a plaintiff accuses a property owner of having inadequate security fall under an area of the law known as premises liability. Property owners have a duty to ensure that their premises are free from harmful hazards, and this duty includes having adequate security to prevent foreseeable incidents such as assaults. Both residential and commercial property owners can be held liable in third-party claims for negligent security that leads to an assault on the premises. These claims can arise at many different locations, including but not limited to:
- Parking lots and parking garages;
- Malls and other shopping centers;
- Convenience stores;
- Apartment and condominium complexes;
- Gated communities;
- Hotels or motels;
- Grocery stores;
- K-12 schools;
- College or university campus buildings, including dorms;
- Sports arenas;
- Amusement parks;
- Restaurants or bars;
- Metrobus, other buses, and bus stops;
- Metrorail system and other forms of public transportation;
- Office buildings;
- Movie theatres; and
- Construction sites.
To be clear, as long as you are not trespassing on the property, the property owner has a duty to prevent foreseeable assaults on the premises. Such a duty can require the property owner to take certain steps such as:
- Installing additional lighting;
- Installing locks (or more secure locks) on doors;
- Establishing keycard entry into buildings;
- Installing security cameras;
- Installing security alarms;
- Properly training and supervising staff members concerning security issues; and
- Hiring security guards to patrol an area.
In most cases, assault on-premises claims arise in Miami because a property owner failed to do something that she or he should have done.
When Can You File a Lawsuit After an Assault Due to Negligent Security?
All commercial property owners in Miami, and throughout the rest of the state, must maintain their premises in a safe condition that can prevent harm to visitors. This includes using sufficient video cameras, hiring appropriate security guards, replacing broken doors and windows, and taking other actions to keep visitors safe from assault. Any time a property owner does not take the appropriate security actions to keep visitors to the premises safe, they can be held liable.
Still, every premises liability case is unique. Commercial property owners in Miami cannot always be held liable when a crime such as assault happens on their property. Every personal injury case involving negligent security will depend on the unique circumstances of the case, including whether the crime was foreseeable, and the relationship between the assault victim and the business owner.
On the other hand, there are times when commercial owners are always liable for assaults and other crimes. For example, under state law, all convenience store owners must have security practices in place during the nighttime hours to protect employees and customers from becoming victims of a crime such as assault. These may include installing security cameras and adequate lighting in a parking lot. When property owners do not comply with these laws, they can also be held liable and a victim of assault may not even have to prove the property owner was negligent.
Proving Liability for an Assault on Premises Incident
To prove liability for an assault on premises incident, Florida law typically requires a plaintiff to prove the following:
- Property owner owed a duty of care to the plaintiff to prevent foreseeable injuries resulting from inadequate security (such a duty typically will exist as long as the plaintiff was not trespassing on the property at the time of the assault);
- Property owner breached the duty of care by failing to take steps to prevent injuries caused by inadequate security; and
- Property owner’s breach of the duty of care resulted in the plaintiff’s assault and injuries.
Claims involving assault on premises are a little bit different from other types of premises liability lawsuits in that the plaintiff usually will need to show that the crime was foreseeable. How can a plaintiff show that the assault was foreseeable, and thus that the property owner should have taken certain security precautions? Each case is different, and a Miami premises liability lawyer can assess your case today. Keep in mind that Florida Statutes Section 768.0705 limits liability for convenience store owners who have implemented certain security measures required by law.
In some cases, a plaintiff might be partially responsible for her injuries. This is known as “comparative fault,” and the property owner can use it as a defense against his or her full liability for the plaintiff’s injuries. Under Florida Statutes Section 768.81, a plaintiff’s comparative fault will reduce her damage award by the percentage for which she is liable. To be clear, even if a jury determines that a plaintiff is partially negligent, she still can recover. For example, if a plaintiff is 20 percent responsible for the severity of her injuries, her damage award will be reduced by 20 percent. Florida’s comparative fault law allows plaintiffs to recover even when their own negligence makes them up to 99 percent responsible.
Injured Victims Deserve Full Compensation
When a plaintiff files a premises liability lawsuit against a property owner following an assault on the premises, the plaintiff can recover compensatory damages, which take two different forms: economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages compensate a plaintiff for objective financial losses, while non-economic damages compensate a plaintiff for more subjective losses. At Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum Bluestein, LLP, we are committed to demonstrating that our clients are entitled to damages in assault on premises claims, and to providing clear evidence of your losses to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.
Our Miami premises liability lawyers can help you to obtain compensation for the following:
- Hospital bills;
- Medication costs;
- Emergency medical bills;
- Rehabilitative therapy;
- Lost earnings;
- Loss of future earnings;
- Pain and suffering;
- Loss of life enjoyment;
- Mental anguish; and
- Psychological injuries.
Plaintiffs who are victims of an assault often experience extreme psychological or emotional injuries in addition to their physical injuries. Our premises liability lawyers can help to seek compensation for all of these losses and more.
How Can a Miami Premises Liability Lawyer Help After an Assault?
Clearly, the law regarding premises liability is complex and it can become even more complicated when a criminal act such as assault is involved. A Miami premises liability lawyer will determine whether you have a case for holding the property owner liable.
For example, if the location was a known area in which criminal offenses occurred, that fact can make it easier to file a claim against the property owner. A lawyer will collect records from law enforcement agencies and other organizations to determine if the property owner should have known their property was a high-risk location, and whether they took the appropriate steps to reduce harm to visitors.
You Can Always Afford Our High Quality Assault on Premises Attorneys
When you work with our dedicated Miami premises liability attorneys at Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum Bluestein, LLP, you will not have to pay anything up front. Our lawyers work for clients on a contingency fee basis. Working on a contingency fee basis means that we only get paid if we are able to secure a settlement or jury verdict for you. We are dedicated to helping injured plaintiffs to seek compensation for their losses regardless of their ability to pay.
Contact Our Team Today
If you suffered injuries in an assault on another party’s premises, you may be able to file a claim against the property owner. Property owners have a duty to make their premises safe for others, and this includes having adequate security to prevent crimes such as assaults. An experienced premises liability lawyer in Miami can discuss your options with you for seeking compensation. We serve clients across the Miami area and throughout South Florida. Contact Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum Bluestein, LLP today to learn more about our services.
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