Attacks/assault at businesses, hotels and apartments. Negligent security cases.
You’ve been attacked in a public place, be it a mall, nightclub, hotel, restaurant, apartment complex, or other public business. What happens next? Unfortunately, situations such as these happen all too often — shootings, beatings, muggings, rapes, and other criminal acts of violence. It’s even more unfortunate that the property owner of wherever the incident occurred will often times deny their responsibility, simply blaming it on the criminal or dangerous third party who caused the attack. But the property owner is at least partially responsible for providing reasonable safety and security measures to protect their guests and visitors from preventable harm. Even further, according to the Premises Liability Law, the property owner or renter is in fact legally responsible to provide safe premises for those who enter the vicinity, and protect them from harm’s way, whether it be a slippery floor that causes and slip-and-fall accident or any type of victimization by a third party on the premises.
The first step that must be taken in order to win a negligent security case is to work with a skilled negligent security attorney like those at Wolf & Pravato, a leading personal injury law firm in Fort Lauderdale, to determine whether or not the property owner or manager is indeed responsible for said negligence, and owes a duty to the person who was injured. Examples of property owners or managers who would owe this duty to the injured party include those owners of properties that are open to the public or of properties where guests are invited in, such as store-owners who open their stores up to customers; landlords who rent property to tenants, and employers who operate a place of business and invite employees to come to that place of business to work.
If the property owner or manager has not taken adequate precautions to ensure their public property is up to safety standards for its guests, there is a risk for dangerous results. Even worse, most of the time the victims are completely unsuspecting and have no idea danger is coming their way, giving them no advantage or ability to even attempt to save themselves from the situation.
Now that we’ve determined the types of people who owe a duty, let’s differentiate between the types of people who are obligated to this duty. The highest duty of care goes to the Invitees, which refers to people in a place of business who were “invited” to do business with the property owner or renter. These Invitees are owed the most amount of duty by the property owner or manager, landlord, business operator, or whoever is responsible for this open-to-the-public property, and have a legal right to be kept safe from foreseeable harm or criminal acts of violence. Then there are Licensees who are owed an intermediate duty of care, such as friends, acquaintances, and neighbors who are invited over for casual visits that benefit both sides. Lastly, there are Trespassers, who, believe it or not, actually are owed a minimal duty of care. Trespassers refer to anyone who goes onto a piece of property without invitation. It is generally the obligation of a property owner to avoid setting any kind of trap for a trespasser; however, if there is some kind of “attractive nuisance” created that could potentially lure someone in, such as a swimming pool, the duty of the property owner can increase.