A violent crime isn’t an accident. Criminals are always looking for a place that gives them the opportunity to catch their victims off-guard and all alone. Poor lighting in an area of a building or parking lot can provide the perfect location for a crime — and lead to negligent security claims in Florida.
Criminals use guns, knives, and other weapons to intimidate, disable, or kill their victims. Getting shot, stabbed, strangled, or beaten can leave a victim with serious, even fatal injuries. There is often a long-term emotional toll as these injuries can require extensive medical treatment and leave the victim unable to work or engage in their favorite activities again.
If you’ve been injured in a crime that occurred in a poorly lit area, you may be entitled to collect damages for the losses caused by those injuries by filing a personal injury claim. While the perpetrator probably doesn’t have the resources to cover your losses, you may be able to file a claim against the property’s owners, managers, or legal occupants.
Property Hazards and Dangers Caused by Inadequate Lighting
Florida state law requires property owners to keep visitors, guests, and other invitees safe from any hazardous conditions that might exist on their property. Inadequate lighting is one of these hazards. When owners fail to adequately light their property, serious incidents can occur. Inadequate lighting accidents or crimes can result in serious, even fatal injuries.
There are many situations in which an inadequate lighting accident can happen. For instance, the owners may have forgotten to replace a burned-out bulb or fix a broken light fixture. In some cases, sections of a property may be poorly lit simply due to a design flaw that was never addressed.
Some of the most common areas where poor lighting accidents in Florida occur include:
- Parking lots
- Parking garages
- Sidewalks and outdoor walkways
- Basements and attics
- Office buildings
- Bars and restaurants
- Patios and pool areas
- Parks and other public spaces
Poor Lighting and Inadequate Security are a Recipe for Disaster
When a property is poorly lit, guests and visitors may not be aware of any slip, trip, or fall hazards until it’s too late. There is also the possibility that they may become the victim of a violent crime. Poor lighting and inadequate premises security can attract the wrong sorts of people. Robbery, assault, rape, mugging, and abduction are just a few of the crimes that often take place in improperly lit public places.
Property Owners, Managers, and Occupants Have a Duty to Protect Their Invitees from Being the Victim of a Crime
State premise liability laws spell out the legal obligations property owners, managers, and legal occupants have to protect invitees from possible harm while on their premises:
- Duty #1: They must use reasonable or ordinary care in keeping the premises in a reasonably safe condition.
- Duty #2: They must warn of latent or concealed perils that are known or should be known to the owner or occupant, of which the visitor is unaware and cannot discover through the exercise of reasonable care.
When a premise owner is aware that poor lighting is creating a potential environment for crime and they fail to do anything to protect their invitees, they could be held liable for any damages caused by injuries resulting from a violent crime through negligent security claims.
Collecting Damages in a Negligent Security Claim
Filing a personal injury claim for negligent security caused by inadequate lighting is easy; collecting compensation is more difficult. In order to prevail, you must be able to prove:
- The owner knew or should have known that inadequate lighting and security were creating a dangerous situation on their property.
- They failed to take the steps to correct these problems.
- This failure enabled a violent crime to occur on their premises.
- You were injured as a result of this violent crime. And
- You suffered damages as a result of your injuries.
Most people in this position hire a personal injury attorney with experience in premises liability claims to protect their rights and interests. A premises liability lawyer can assist you by gathering the evidence needed to establish your claim, assign a dollar value to your damages, and negotiate with the property owner and their insurers to get the total compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Speak to a Lakeland FL Premises Liability Attorney
If you were injured in a Lakeland, Florida, crime that occurred in a poorly lit area of a building or property, it’s important to take immediate steps to protect your rights.
Tania Rivas is an experienced Lakeland premises liability attorney. She has helped clients all over Central Florida obtain the compensation they deserve for injuries caused by inadequate lighting, inadequate security, and other dangerous conditions encountered on someone else’s property. Tania’s legal skills and knowledge have earned millions of dollars in settlements for her clients.
Contact Rivas Law Group through our website, or call us at (877) 299-5539 to schedule a free, initial case consultation to discuss your premises liability claim.