Tampa Lawyers Powell and Espat Represent Victims Injured as a Result of Bad Security

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Bad Security, Negligent Security and Inadequate Security are all the same - they all cause victims to be injured from crime.

Criminals are like sharks. Both of them have the same objective: to find a target or victim who will be an easy prey. They focus on victims who are weak and who cannot escape –the ones who are exposed, alone and can’t get help. They choose locations where they won’t be caught. They are masters at exploiting vulnerabilities.

No matter what you call the lack of security, it creates a dangerous situation causing people to needlessly become victims of crime. This lack of proper security is negligence. Victims of crime can make a claim against property owners who don't provide adequate protection for their customers, patrons and tenants.

Examples of Poor Security that lead to Personal Injuries

  • A woman walks into a poorly lit hotel parking lot and is viciously attacked ...
  • A broken door lock allows a criminal to get into an apartment and savagely beat a man who is surfing the Internet ...
  • A young woman rents an apartment from a large “up-scale” apartment complex, that has a security guard, and advertises how safe the community is. Then she is violently raped in her apartment by an intruder. She finds out later that the apartment complex denies they have security guards but now calls them “courtesy guards” who are not supposed to offer any security or protection. After the rape, the complex says they only hired courtesy guards to attract tenants and to give the impression of security. They were not hired to prevent crime . . .
  • Or shoppers who are violently attacked and mugged in Mega Store parking lots and later we find out that literally thousands of violent crimes have occurred in the Mega Store parking lots over the last two years, and that the Mega Store knew about these crimes, but chose not to take any action to prevent these crimes from happening to their customers . . .
  • Or the apartment complex that hires a maintenance person, who has a long history of sexual misconduct, and he lures a six year old girl into an empty apartment and molests her.

Behind every horror story we see on TV or read about in the paper, there are victims. People who are seriously injured because of inadequate security. These attacks are caused by opportunistic criminals taking advantage of security weaknesses.

Personal Injuries Resulting from Inadequate Security

Crime is not random. Criminals look for places where they have the least chance of detection, where they can commit the crime easily and escape after the crime is committed without apprehension.

Crime Victims are commonly attacked and injured at:

Businesses, apartment buildings, colleges, shopping centers, hotels, restaurants, residential rental housing and resorts. Each of these is responsible for providing safe environments for shopping, studying, working and vacationing. Property owners and managers, who ask customers to come to their business and spend money, are responsible for maintaining a reasonably safe level of security for their customers. When these businesses fail in their responsibility and they allow unsafe situations to exist on their property, criminals take advantage of these weaknesses and seriously injure, rape or kill innocent people. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured due to inadequate security, call Tampa attorney Matt Powell and ask to speak to him about your situation of victimization. Every call is 100% confidential.

As a general rule, businesses are not responsible for “third party criminal acts” because they are not foreseeable. However, if there is a pattern of crime around or on the business property, or if the nature of the business makes it more susceptible to criminal activity, the law imposes a duty upon the business owner to provide reasonable security measures to prevent crimes. Such measures may include: increased or better lighting, security guards, better or additional locks, fences, security cameras and overall improved maintenance of the property. A breach of this duty to provide adequate security is negligence. Sadly, many business owners choose to save money on security at the expense of exposing their customers to dangerous crimes. They make more profits but their customers are needlessly victimized by criminals.

Property owners have an obligation to know about the crime that has occurred in their surroundings. They have an obligation to provide appropriate safety measures to prevent crime and ensure the safety of people who reside in or visit their businesses. When they do not have adequate security features in place or their management is lax in preventing crime, it will lead to serious injuries. Although the injuries were caused by a criminal, you may still have the right to make a recovery from the property owner who could have prevented the attack by providing proper and adequate security.

Where do Businesses Spend Their Money for Security?

Quite often, businesses spend a great deal of money on security, but they do so to protect their own inventory and equipment from internal theft rather than to protect their customers from third party crime.

Tampa Law Firm Powell & Espat Seeks Justice for Crime Victims

Our goal is to obtain compensation for the victims of crime. To obtain justice for our crime victim clients, we will aggressively go after the insurance company of the negligent business to recover money for your injuries, medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages and loss of future earning capacity. If the criminal is caught, we may also be able to pursue punitive damages against them. We can bring a case in civil court for you regardless of whether or not the criminal who hurt you was caught.

Who is Responsible for a Crime Victim's Losses?

Negligent or inadequate security cases often involve two distinct types of acts. First, there is the intentional act committed by the criminal who assaulted you. Secondly, there is the property owner's act or failing to act to maintain the property in a reasonably safe manner which attracted the criminal to commit the crime on their property.

What You Can Expect Powell & Espat Attorneys to Do for Your Injury Claim

At Powell & Espat, we work closely with top security experts to evaluate the property, the neighborhood, and the crime patterns in and around the site where you were attacked. Our experts measure how effective or ineffective the security measures are to meet basic safety requirements. We put all of this information together in a clear and compelling way to make it easy for anyone to understand why the property owner knew or should have known of the criminal risk to you, the victim. In many cases, the detailed preparation we put into your case in the early stages of our investigation benefits you in the form of fair settlement offers from the insurance companies who pay because their business customer was negligent and responsible for your injuries. Quite often, they would rather settle your case with a fair offer, rather than take the risk of having a jury see all of the evidence.

Powell and Espat Maintains Privacy for Rape Victims and Others When Bringing a Claim for Injuries

Whether you were the victim of a sexual assault or were injured in an attack, Matt Powell is an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you seek justice for the full amount of your losses that you are legally entitled to recover. When we represent a victim of a sexual assault or a person who is embarrassed by their being a victim of crime, we protect their privacy by filing suit under a pseudonym name such as Jane Doe.

The Burden of Proof: Foreseeability of Criminal Attacks

Something is foreseeable "if its occurrence can or should be reasonably anticipated or if a person of ordinary cautiousness would expect it to occur or exist under the circumstances." The question of whether or not a criminal attack was foreseeable in negligent security cases is up to a jury. We approach proving foreseeability a few different ways:

  • Imminent harm: Foreseeability determined by evidence that the property owner knew or should have known a particular crime was imminent based on prior incidences of the crime in the area or on the property.
  • Prior similar incidences: Foreseeability determined by evidence of comparable criminal acts during a specific time frame on or near the property.
  • Totality of the circumstances: Foreseeability determined by the location, condition and layout of the premises and other relevant factors including any prior criminal activity on or near the premises.

Regardless of the approach, when an attack is deemed to have been foreseeable, courts will find that the property owner had a duty to use reasonable measures to protect people on the premises from assaults. Reasonable security measures may include hiring a qualified and reliable security service, installing security systems, actively monitoring security cameras, creating a security plan, implementing access control measures, having one-use hotel room key cards or installing ATM panic buttons.

Common Defenses the Insurance Company uses to Deny Injury Claims

  • Absence of duty: The property owner did not owe a duty to the injured person.
  • Adequate security: The land owner provided reasonable security despite the occurrence of the attack.
  • Contributory negligence: While the land owner may share some of the responsibility for the attack, the plaintiff is partially responsible for the attack by failing to exercise reasonable care and/or assuming the risk.
  • No available security measures are available: Property owners may use criminal profiling to argue that there were no available security measures capable of deterring this particular type of criminal act.

If you have been Injured by a criminal caused by Negligent or Inadequate Security, here is a list of what you should do:

  • Promptly report the attack to the police.
  • Seek medical treatment immediately. If you were raped or sexually assaulted, request an appropriate examination to document your injury.
  • As quickly as possible, get the names, phone numbers and addresses of all witnesses involved. Take photographs of the scene if you can.
  • Call Powell & Espat as soon as possible so that an investigation may be started, evidence collected and preserved. A suit may have to be filed within a specific time frame according to the "statutes of limitations". You also need to keep in mind that evidence in cases like yours can disappear overnight by the property owners in an attempt to protect themselves at your expense.

If you have been injured or attacked on someone else's property, contact Powell & Espat as soon as possible. There are two important reasons not to wait. One, is so that any evidence may be saved before it is lost and two, so deadlines like the statute of limitations do not expire and forever bar your claim. We hope that this information helps you select the very best negligent security lawyer for your claim.

Call us and find out who is the best personal injury lawyer for you and your family
if you have suffered a personal injury as a result of bad security

Board certified civil trial lawyer Matt Powell
and experienced personal injury lawyers Mitch Espat, T. Edmund Spinks and Anita DiGiacomo

Contact Powell & Espat Now!