If you or a loved one has been involved in a security negligence accident, and suffered bodily injury, the law firm of Jeffrey R. Rollins, P.A. can help you. Jeffrey R. Rollins, P.A., strives to take some of the pressure off you and your family, which allows you to concentrate on the recovery of your personal injury. The objective is to get you the financial compensation you deserve and to navigate you through the complex legal process as simply as possible.
Compensation that may be available to you:
Medical treatment whether you have insurance or not.
Past medical expenses
*Future medical care
Past lost income
Future lost income or loss of capacity to earn money in the future
Reimbursement for out of pocket expenses
Past physical pain
Future physical pain
Past emotional suffering
Future emotional suffering
Past loss of life’s pleasures
Future loss of life’s pleasures
*No future medical expenses unless your treating physicians express the opinion in writing or in sworn testimony that you, the patient, are reasonably certain to incur expenses for future medical treatment.
In any Florida negligent security case, every case will have certain elements that have major impact on the successful or failure of your case under Florida law. As the party in pursuit of a cause of action for slip and fall against another person or business, you are known as the plaintiff. In the pursuit of your claim you need to understand these factors in your trip and fall case and be ready to provide proof or evidence in order to establish your right to recovery. The following factors are of critical importance to the success or failure of your case:
Determination of your Legal Status
(2) Invited Licensee;
Why were you at that particular person’s home or at that grocery store, home improvement store, department store or convenience store? If you are an invited guest or a store patron or customer, then Florida law gives you greater rights to be entitled to compensation for bodily injuries and damages while you are there at someone else’s home or at a business as a customer or grocery shopper.
As a victim of personal injury due to a slip and fall, you must be prepared to show that you were on the property as an invitee or a licensee, or a foreseeable trespasser, and therefore proving that you were owed or due a legal duty by the home owner or business or grocery store or department store or home improvement store.
Invitee and Invited Licensee
In order for you to fit into the above category, you need to have been invited onto or into the property or premises by the owner or operator of the home or business premises. When you enter on the invitation of the owner (one who owns the premises) or operator (one who is in possession and control of the premises) of the home or business premises, then a duty of care to maintain the premises in a reasonably safe condition is owed to you. See, Post v. Lunney, 261 So. 2d 146 (Fla. 1972).
What Legal Duties are owed to Invitees and Invited Licensees?
Under Florida’s premises liability law, a property owner or operator has two legal duties to an invitee: (1) to use reasonable care in maintaining the premises in a reasonably safe condition, and (2) to give the invitee warning of concealed perils which are or should be known to the landowner or possessor, and which are unknown to the invitee and cannot be discovered by the invitee through the exercise of due care. See, Knight v. Waltman, 774 So. 2d. 731 (Fla. 2d DCA 2000).
As to trespassers, only trespassers whose presence on the premises is foreseeable by the homeowner or business owner or operator may have a claim for damages for bodily injuries, if at the time and place of the injury incident the homeowner or business owner or operator who owned or had possession of the premises knew or with the exercise of reasonable care should have known of the existence of a dangerous condition that created an unreasonable risk of harm to you. If so, then the property owner or operator will have a legal duty to you to use reasonable care and warn you, the trespasser, of the condition and the risk involved. However, if your presence as an uninvited person was known or reasonably foreseeable by the owner or possessor of the property while you, the trespasser, neither knew nor with the exercise of reasonable care should have known of the dangerous condition and risk of harm. See, Cockerham v. Vaughan, Inc., 82 So. 2d 890 (Fla. 1955).
The Key to Defining Duty by Landowner or Operator is Foreseeability.
Foreseeability of harm is a legal principle well established in Florida law critical to every slip and fall premises liability claim. If the danger or risk of harm was not reasonably foreseeable, then no legal duty exists in the first instance. If there is no legal duty, then the owner or operator of the property cannot be shown to be in breach. See, McCain v. Florida Power Corporation, 593 So. 2d 500 (Fla. 1992).
What do you as a Victim of a Foreseeable Crime Claim Need to Know?
A property owner may be held foreseeable for a crime committed on the property of a business establishment for a crime committed on the property by a total stranger, provided that the crime was foreseeable.
Whenever a victim of crime committed on a business establishment, Florida law will classify that injury victim as falling under one of three broad categories: (1) invitee, (2) licensee or (3) trespasser. See, Post v. Lunney, 261,146,147 (Fla. 1972).
The most protected category is that of invitee, and there are sub-categories of that classification: “public invitees” and “business invitees.” A public invitee “is a person who is invited to enter or remain on land as a member of the public for a purpose for which the land is held open to the public.” See, Post v. Lunney at 148. A business invitee “is a person who is invited to enter or remain on land for a purpose directly or indirectly connected with business dealings with the possessor of the land.” See, Post v. Lunney at 148-149.
A social guest of a landowner whom Florida law designates as a licensee by invitation” is afforded the same duty. See, Wood v. Camp, 284 So. 2d 691, 694-95 (Fla. 1973).
Another category is “uninvited licensees” who are “persons who choose to come upon the premises solely for for their own convenience without invitation expressed or reasonably implied under the circumstances.” See, Iber v. R.P.A. Int’l Corp. 585 So. 2d 367, 368-69 (Fla. 3d DCA 1991).
Lastly, there is the trespasser, whom Florida law defines as someone “who enters premises of another without license , invitation, or other right, and intrudes for some definite purpose of his or her own, or at his or her own convenience , or merely as an idler with no apparent purpose, other than perhaps to satisfy his or her curiosity. See, Post v. Lunney at 147. The landowner or operator’s duty to a trespasser is merely to refrain from the infliction of willful or wanton injury. See, Post v. Lunney at 147.
Therefore, uninvited licensees and trespassers may not under Florida law expect the premises owner or operator to protect them from foreseeable crimes committed by non-employees, what the law calls third-party crimes, since only invitees and invited licensees are entitled to that expectation.
What Crimes Are Foreseeable?
Invitees and invited licensees must prove that the crime in question one that the premises owner or operator should have foreseen. One way to accomplish this is to prove that knew or should have known of the specific third-party’s inclination toward crime, a well-established test under Florida law. See, Hall v. Billy Jack’s Inc., 468 So. 2d 760, 761 (Fla. 1984).
However, whether prior crimes make the crime in the present case foreseeable presents a striking disagreement between the Third DCA which covers Miami-Dade County and Broward County and the Fourth DCA that covers Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast. The Third DCA staked out a unique position and announced that a plaintiff (9the party bringing the claim) must satisfy a rigorous test that consists of 3 separate criteria: (1) the similarity of the prior crimes; (2) the geographical proximity of the prior crimes; and (3) the temporal proximity of the prior crimes See, Prieto v. Miami-Dade County, 803 So. 2d 780 (Fla. 3d DCA 2001).
The Fourth DCA applies the generous landlord-tenant standard to all premises liability cases and holds that evidence of prior dissimilar crimes is relevant and admissible to foreseeability in any context whatsoever. See, Holiday Inns v. Shelburne, 576 So. 2d 322,331 (Fla. 4th DCA 1991).
The Fourth DCA does not, unlike the Third District, require a showing that any prior crimes be similar to the crime at issue.
As to geographic proximity of the prior crimes, that constitutes the second hurdle to proof of a given crime’s foreseeability, since the Third District held in Admiral Port Cove Condo Ass’n, Inc. v. Feldman, 426 So. 2d 1054 (Fla. 3rd DCA 1983) that any prior similar crimes must have occurred on the landowner’s premises in order to be considered probative. , See Prieto at 780.
In the Fourth DCA there are no strict constraints as to time the time frame of prior crimes will bar a jury from deciding whether the totality of the circumstances connotes foreseeability whereas in the Third DCA crimes older than two years may if no prior similar crimes occurred on the premises during at least the previous two years.
A criminal assault and battery where you are the victim on a business premises as an invitee or invited licensee resulting in injury to you can be mentally and physically excruciating. The resulting events caused by the accident, can add even more physical and economic hardships to accident victims and the family of an accident victim’s recovery efforts. Insurance companies will try to settle a crime victim’s premises liability negligent security accident injury claim to the insurance companies’ advantage.
If you were not at fault, but rather the victim of a crime on or in a business establishment, Jeffrey R. Rollins, P.A can help guide you through the legal process. You should consider hiring an experienced personal injury trial lawyer after a car crash as the insurance company claims process can potentially be unfair. Therefore, to protect and preserve your rights, it is essential that you have proper legal counsel to deal with the legal issues that will arise from a security negligence premises liability accident.
Unfamiliarity with personal injury laws can place victims of negligent security accidents and personal injury at disadvantages and hinder their rights to recover fair, just and reasonable compensation from the at fault party’s insurance company.
Take advantage of the free consultation offered by personal injury attorney Jeffrey R. Rollins, P.A.
Jeffrey R. Rollins, P.A., is a personal injury attorney in private practice and has spent the past nine years exclusively representing personal injury victims and their families, holding insurance companies responsible and honoring the terms of their insurance coverage.
Personal injury attorney, Jeffery R. Rollins, Esquire of Jeffrey R. Rollins, P.A. spent the first 16 years representing those insured by insurance companies in the defense of personal injury claims, insured motorists, insured physicians, insured hospitals, insured pharmacists and pharmacies , insured nursing homes, and through that vast experience, developed an intimate knowledge of how insurance companies adjust claims and defend lawsuits against their insured. Take advantage of the free consultation offered by personal injurt attorney, Jeffrey R. Rollins, Esquire.
Jeffrey R. Rollins, P.A. is a personal injury attorney representing car accident injury, medical malpractice, surgical mistakes, product liability, nursing home neglect, pharmacy negligence and wrongful death serving Florida and the surrounding areas in Ft. Pierce, Okeechobee, Vero Beach, Port St. Lucie, Stuart, Palm City and West Palm Beach.