As one of the largest cities in Florida in terms of population, Miami is no stranger to crime. In fact, according to statistics compiled by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), Miami-Dade County tops the list in terms of arrests, with more than 44,000 total arrests every year. Some involve minor misdemeanors, such as shoplifting, public intoxication, and disorderly conduct. However, many individuals are arrested for serious, violent crimes, including murder, aggravated assault, rape, and aggravated robbery.
You can take extra precautions to protect yourself, such as not walking alone at night and being alert about your surroundings. Still, there are places where you expect a certain level of safety, such as stores, restaurants, and other businesses. Owners have a duty to maintain safe premises, which may include implementing security measures in the presence of criminal activity. Unfortunately, some shirk their legal duty by ignoring crime. A Miami crime victims lawyer can advise you on legal options if a business owner failed to act in light of the following.
Reports of Criminal Activity
When customers witness misconduct or suspicious activity, they will often inform the business owner as a courtesy. Vendors are also a source of information, and they might observe criminal elements when making deliveries or pickups. An unofficial, verbal warning about criminal activity puts the owner on notice about security issues.
Even when no offense has been or is being committed, police officers on “beat” duty patrol areas known to have higher crime rates. A heavy presence of law enforcement officers in the area surrounding the business is visible, and owners are well-aware of the reasons why.
Arrest and Incident Reports
The information from FDLE is available online to anyone with an internet connection, and there are multiple resources for determining crime rates in specific areas of a county or city. In light of numerous arrests for violent crime, responsible business owners will:
- Install security cameras;
- Hire a security guard;
- Implement auto-locking doors and gates, along with a keycard entry system; and,
- Ensure all exterior spaces and interior common areas have proper lighting.
The failure to take action in light of arrests and incident reports could be evidence of negligence by the business owner.
Common sense perception of the area surrounding a business can tell you a lot about how safe it is in terms of crime. Observations may not be as solid as actual notice of crime, but they can serve as constructive notice. A business owner could still be liable if they should have known that criminal activity is rampant.
Contact a Miami Crime Victims Attorney to Discuss Your Legal Remedies
Injuries from criminal activity are covered by Florida premises liability laws, so you may be able to recover compensation for medical costs, pain and suffering, and other losses. For more information on your options after being assaulted on property, please contact Gerson & Schwartz, PA set up a no-cost case assessment with an experienced personal injury lawyer. You can reach our offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or West Palm Beach, FL by calling (305) 371-6000 or going online.