Just as any other major metropolitan area, Miami sees its fair share of criminal activity. Neighborhood Scout, an online resource for information about crime, reveals that there have been more than 22,000 criminal incidents so far in 2019 – 3,358 of which involved violent offenses. These figures are derived from multiple sources, including arrests, incident reports, and other databases of criminal statistics.
While this information may be useful when you are searching for a new home, crime statistics may also be key evidence in a negligent security claim if you are injured because of property owner negligence. You can learn the specifics from a Miami premises liability lawyer, but you may also benefit from some general information about these cases.
Overview of Security in Premises Liability Claims
Property owners have a duty to keep their premises safe and protect others from reasonably foreseeable harm. When they fail to do so, a victim may slip, trip, fall, or sustain other injuries, which is why premises liability claims are familiarly known as “slip and fall” incidents. If property owners do not clean up spills, make repairs, or conduct regular inspections, victims may be able to recover compensation for their losses.
However, the duty of a property owner also extends to other aspects of safety, including providing adequate security for the premises. When criminal activity is common, the owner or party in control over the space may also have a duty to implement such security measures as:
- Security cameras;
- Key-card entryways;
- Auto-locking exterior doors;
- Lighting in halls, stairways, and parking lots; and,
- Many others.
Crime Statistics and Property Owner Knowledge
The critical legal issue in a case based upon inadequate security is whether criminal activity was reasonably foreseeable, such that the property owner knew or should have known of the threat to others. You can expect that the responsible party will almost always deny this knowledge element to avoid liability.
This is where crime statistics may be critical proof in a premises liability claim for negligent security. The data can help establish notice and foreseeability, so you can prove the property owner should have known about criminal activity – even if you cannot show actual knowledge of it. The Neighborhood Scout website is an excellent tool for getting the big picture, but you will need official information to provide solid support for your claim. With help from a premises liability lawyer, you can obtain:
- Calls for law enforcement and all police reports for the subject property;
- Details regarding violent versus nonviolent criminal arrests; and,
- Information on arrest dispositions, including whether the perpetrator was charged, convicted, acquitted, or charges were dropped.
Talk to a Miami Premises Liability Attorney for Free
If you sustained injuries because a property owner failed to provide adequate security over the premises, please contact Gerson & Schwartz, PA today. We can set up a no-cost case evaluation for you at our offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or West Palm Beach. After we review your circumstances, we can determine your legal options and describe the next steps in getting the compensation you deserve.
(image courtesy of Victor Garcia)