Orlando is known worldwide for its amusement parks and attractions as well as its sunny weather and proximity to the ocean. Not surprisingly, Orlando hosts over 75 million visitors in the average year. Whether you are one of those visitors or an Orlando resident, you undoubtedly expect adequate security at hotels, amusement parks, restaurants, and stores you visit. What happens, however, if you are assaulted while you are at one of these properties? Can you sue the owner?
At Bailey Fisher, we have seen firsthand how traumatic a physical assault can be for a victim and his/her family. When inadequate or non-existent security caused or contributed to an assault, a victim may be entitled to sue a property owner for the physical injuries and emotional trauma suffered in the assault. We are committed to aggressively pursuing compensation for all your injuries if you were assaulted while on someone else’s Orlando property.
What Is Premises Liability?
A property owner may be held liable for injuries sustained by a visitor to the property under the legal theory of premises liability. Several factors go into determining if a property owner is liable for damages when a visitor is injured while on the property, including the status of the visitor. Florida law imposes the highest duty of care on a property owner when the visitor is a business invitee. A business invitee is someone who was invited to the property for a specific purpose that is directly or indirectly connected with business dealings with the owner/possessor of the land. A hotel guest, diner at a restaurant, or amusement park visitor are examples of a business invitee.
The doctrine of premises liability requires a property owner to keep the property in a reasonably safe condition and to provide notice of any known dangers on the premises when that danger cannot be repaired or removed immediately. A property owner can even be held liable for hazardous conditions of which they were unaware but of which they should have been aware. It is with this backdrop that a property owner may be held liable for failing to provide adequate security if that failure contributed to an assault on a visitor.
When Is Inadequate Security Negligence for Purposes of a Premises Liability Lawsuit?
All property owners have a duty to maintain reasonably safe conditions on the property when visitors are on the property. A property owner or manager in control of the property owes a duty of care when the visitor is a business invitee because the owner is profiting from the visitor’s presence on the property. Along with properly maintaining the property and keeping it free from hazards, this duty includes providing adequate security for visitors to the property. If a visitor is assaulted while on the premises, failure to provide adequate security may constitute negligence (fault or liability in legal terminology) on the part of the property owner. Common examples of inadequate security include:
- Lighting. Missing, malfunctioning, or inadequate lighting in hallways, parking lots, or other isolated areas of the property that increase the likelihood of criminal attack
- Screening of employees. Failing to properly screen and/or conduct background checks on employees that resulted in an employee with a history of violence committing the assault.
- Fencing/access points. If the property is a hotel, water park, or other commercial business, the property owner may be held liable if there was not an adequate fence and/or secure access point that led to someone gaining entrance and committing the assault.
- Security personnel. At some businesses, such as a nightclub or amusement park, there is an expectation that trained security personnel are always present. Failing to provide adequately screened and trained security personnel could be considered negligence if a visitor is subsequently assaulted.
- Security system/cameras. Security systems and cameras can discourage trespassers and/or criminals from entering the property; however, only if they are legitimate and operational. A malfunctioning security system, or one that never worked at all, could be considered a breach of the owner’s duty of care leading to liability for an assault.
Get Help from Experienced Orlando Negligent Security Attorneys
If you were injured in an assault while on the property of another in Orlando, you may be entitled to compensation for your physical as well as emotional injuries. The experienced Orlando negligent security attorneys at Bailey Fisher Law are dedicated to ensuring that a negligent property owner is held accountable, and that victims are fully compensated for all damages when an assault that could have been prevented leads to physical injuries and emotional trauma.
Call us at 407-628-2929 or submit our online form today. One of our experienced Orlando negligent security attorneys will evaluate your case for free. For viable personal injury cases, we will follow up with the necessary legal action to hold the responsible party accountable for their negligence and recover the financial compensation you deserve for your pain, suffering, and losses.