Sexual Assault Sexual Assault Attorney in Florida
Property owners have a legal duty to ensure their premises are reasonably safe. When property owners fail to take steps to safeguard guests or visitors from harm, they may be held liable for violent crime such as sexual assault that happens as a result.
Unfortunately, many cases of sexual assault happen at casinos, hotels, office buildings, apartment buildings, and nursing homes due to inadequate security leaving victims with not only physical injuries but psychological harm that can last a lifetime.
If you have been the victim of sexual assault and believe inadequate security enabled your assault, a compassionate personal injury attorney can help you seek the compensation you deserve as your recover from your injuries. Even if the criminal justice system fails to hold the responsible parties accountable, a civil claim can help you seek justice, closure, and financial compensation as you move forward with your life.
Sexual Assault and Premises Liability in Florida
Florida law holds property owners accountable for maintaining safe property conditions for guests. When someone is injured on someone else’s property due to unsafe conditions, the property owner can be held liable under premises liability laws — even in the case of crimes committed by a third party if the property owner was negligent.
Florida classifies visitors to a property in three ways:
- Invitees who are invited for business or personal reasons and are owed the greatest duty of care.
- Licensees such as salespeople or guests of tenants at an apartment complex. Property owners are only liable for hazards they knew existed, as a general rule, when licensees are victims of crime
- Trespassers who are generally owed no duty of care unless the property owner is aware of the trespasser's presence and is therefore owed a warning of known dangers.
One of the duties a property owner owes to invitees and licensees is adequate security. Many property conditions can make it easier for sexual assault to occur such as a lack of fencing and security cameras, a lack of monitoring of secluded areas, faulty locks on doors or windows, or inadequate lighting.
To prove a premises liability claim after sexual assault, your personal injury attorney will work with you to establish not only that the property owner owed you a duty of care which was breached but that this breach of duty caused or reasonably caused your assault.
In general, the property owner must have known about the risks or had reason to forsee a risk of assault and failed to take action. This may be true if there has been a history of security complaints, the property is in a high crime area, or there are characteristics that invite criminal activity.
Damages in a Premises Liability Case
If you were the victim of sexual assault and prove your premises liability claim against the property owner, you may be entitled to several forms of damages including:
- Medical bills including doctor and hospital visits, medication, and therapy
- Lost wages for work missed due to your assault
- Pain and suffering for the physical and psychological pain you have suffered
While the financial compensation you can receive in a sexual assault claim against a property owner can’t erase the harm you have suffered, it can at least help you get some justice and hold the responsible parties accountable while compensating you for the financial side of your injuries.
Contact SteinLaw today to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Florida sexual assault injury attorney to begin exploring your legal rights.