Injured at a Central Florida Business or Apartment Complex?  Know Your Legal Rights. 

You are watching the evening news in Orlando and you hear the horrible news. Someone was attacked at their rental apartment community in the evening off Semoran. The reporter interviews neighbors and witnesses. They complain that the community has a lot of crime and the management “doesn’t do a damn thing about it!”, one woman complains. Another says that the area where the lady was attacked was not lit up because the lights have been out in that area for months. The victim in this case has a valid claim to sue the community for negligent security. It happens more than you think.

Central Florida business owners have a duty to exercise reasonable care in ensuring that you, as a patron of that business, are protected from any unreasonable risk of harm. However, injuries and accidents can occur, which can be the direct result of a property owner’s negligence. It is important to know your legal rights if you have been injured while visiting a local business or theme park in Central Florida.

A duty of care means that the business owner must appropriately inspect and maintain his or her building both on the inside and outside for any hazards. As soon as something is discovered, the business owner is required to fix that hazard as soon as possible or, at the very least, to warn people of the dangerous condition. For example, if a store had a leak overnight, leaving a large puddle of water in the middle of the floor and you are injured as a result of the owner’s failure to clean up the mess or warn you of the danger, you are within your rights to sue for any injuries and damages that resulted.

Sometimes injuries can occur due to negligent or inadequate security.  This can oftentimes be a factor in robberies or sexual assaults that occur at apartment complexes and shopping centers. Due to the nature of owning a business, owners and operators must provide reasonable security to protect their shoppers, visitors or tenants from harm that could result from potential criminal activity. This area of premises liability is known as negligent or inadequate security.

Your ability to win a negligent security depends on the landowner or business owner’s duty to provide reasonable security to protect visitors from foreseeable crimes.  Not all injuries can be prevented, but if the crime is foreseeable, given the type of business that is involved, the business owner or property owner is charged with providing some level of reasonable security to protect its patrons.  For example, if you are shopping at the mall where several robberies have occurred over the past month, if the property owner fails to provide security to prevent future assaults from happening; if you are injured, you will have a claim against the mall owner. Security could be something as simple as providing proper lighting in the parking lot or offering security patrols.

We always recommend that you obtain an incident or police report after the injury is incurred. Make sure the security officer and store manager are aware of what happened, and get their names and contact information, too.  Get copies of all of these reports for evidence of what occurred.  Document the scene as much as you can, showing the conditions of the floor, lighting, security, or anything else that could assist with your case. Preserve what you were wearing when the accident occurred, including your shoes or clothes.  Take photographs and get the names and contact information for any witnesses who saw what occurred.

Do not sign anything given to you by the property owner or business owner without speaking to an attorney first. You may unknowingly waive your rights to pursue a case. Personal injury cases are complex legal matters that require the assistance of a professional who has years of experience in this area of the law.