What should I do if I'm a victim of a violent crime on business property?
Those who visit a business should feel safe, but many violent criminals target unsuspecting victims on business grounds and parking areas. When a victim is injured on business property, he or she has the right to pursue a negligent security claim against the property owner, business owner or lease holder.
According to neighborhoodscout.com, here are the violent crime figures for West Palm Beach and the entire state of Florida:
- Florida's violent crime rate per 1,000 residents is 3.85.
- West Palm Beach's rate violent crime rate is 9.26.
- Your chances of being a victim of a violent crime across Florida is 1 in 260.
- In West Palm Beach, your chances are 1 in 108.
- West Palm Beach has a crime index of 5 (100 is the safest) and is safer than only 5 percent of U.S. cities
The most common violent crimes in West Palm Beach include:
- Murder — rate of 0.24 per 1,000 residents (U.S. national average is 0.05)
- Rape — rate of 0.69 per 1,000 residents (U.S. national average is 0.43)
- Robbery — rate of 3.19 per 1,000 residents (U.S. national average is 0.86)
- Assault — rate of 5.13 per 1,000 residents (U.S. national average is 2.47)
How negligent security leads to injuries
Violent crimes on business property often happen unexpectedly. Victims who feel safe one moment are often not aware that danger lurks in a parking lot or walkway. This is often due to:
- Robberies (sometimes armed)
- Personal disputes that escalate into violence
- Sexual assaults
- Unprovoked and senseless acts of violence
These violent crimes can happen anywhere, including:
- Apartment complexes
- Shopping malls
- Gas stations
- Parking lots and garages
- College campuses
Business owners, property owners and lease holders owe a duty to provide safety for their customers and visitors. There are generally three ways adequate security can be provided:
- Hiring enough security personnel — This includes hiring security guards to stand watch at entrances and exits, as well as patrol parking areas.
- Installing surveillance cameras on and around the property — Surveillance cameras may not always stop violent crimes from happening, but they can sometimes scare off perpetrators. Security cameras can also catch perpetrators and lead to arrests.
- Providing adequate lighting — All areas inside and outside of a business should have adequate lighting to allow customers and visitors more awareness of their surroundings.
Get a lawyer for help with your negligent security claim
Violent crimes often result in serious injuries, such as:
- Serious (sometimes permanent) traumatic brain injuries
- Lacerations and bruises
- Bone fractures
- Puncture wounds
- Facial injuries (including disfigurement)
- Neck, back and spine injuries
If a property owner, business owner or lease holder failed to provide adequate security, they can be held accountable for any injuries that occur due to violent crime. This type of negligence is known as proximate cause, since violent crime on business property is probable (especially in high crime areas). Therefore, property owners, business owners and lease holders should already be aware of the potential dangers their customers and visitors face. They also can't try to blame the criminal as a defense from liability.
Speak to an experienced West Palm Beach negligent security lawyer if you injured on business property. Attorney David J. Glatthorn can launch a thorough investigation into the business where you were injured. An investigation may reveal a history of prior violent crimes on the same business property and a failure of the owner or lease holder to act accordingly.
Attorney Glatthorn will also fight to help you recover every dollar in damages owed to you. He serves clients in West Palm Beach and throughout South Florida. Contact him online and schedule your free case review.