Blogs By K Ryan

negligent security

How to prove negligent security?

When citizens visit a business or property, they have a reasonable expectation of safety. They don’t assume that getting their morning coffee, going grocery shopping, or visiting a friend will lead to them being harmed due to premises liability. Negligent security is occurs when that reasonable expectation of safety isn’t maintained. 

In fact, property owners are legally required to ensure that their property is safe and secure for customers and visitors. This is true for maintaining the structure, keeping it free of debris, and maintaining security measures to prevent crime from affecting visitors. 

Victims of robberies or assaults on someone else’s property may be able to file a negligent security claim. These assaults are life-changing and very traumatic for individuals. They can even have fatal consequences due to physical damages and mental health issues arising from the trauma. 

If you have been the victim of negligent security and suffered an injury, contact a premises liability lawyer from Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath today. Our West Palm Beach and Boca Raton offices are available to assist you. 

 

What is negligent security?

Under premises liability law, a property owner must take reasonable steps to ensure that their property is secure from crime. They must maintain the environment so that it is safe for visitors or customers who frequent the property.

If they fail to maintain these security measures, they can be sued for negligent security by individuals who are injured at their property. The property owner can be liable for all injuries that victims sustain, even if they are by the hands of a robber or assailant.

Negligent security occurs at a variety of venues. Most commonly, our clients have been injured at stores or shopping centers that have poor security features. We have also represented individuals who were injured due to parking lots with inadequate security features, at workplaces, schools, hospitals, concerts, or sporting events.

 

Examples of Negligent Security 

Negligent security involves a victim who has been injured mentally or physically due to an owner’s failure to take appropriate steps to safeguard their property. Negligent security can lead to serious injuries such as assaults, shootings, and robberies. 

These examples of negligent security are some common ways that property owners fail to take security measures.

 

Inadequate Lighting

Darkness protects criminals. It gives them anonymity and allows them to sneak up on people. 

When property owners do not ensure that there is proper lighting in areas like underground parking garages or they do not change broken bulbs in back aisles of a store, they are opening up their customers to attacks.

 

Lack of Security Systems

Property owners are responsible for installing reasonable security systems around their property. This includes alarms, locks, and security cameras. 

 

Broken Security Systems

If a security feature on a property breaks, it is the property owner’s responsibility to repair or replace it as soon as possible. They could be liable if a crime occurs while a security camera is broken or an alarm isn’t working.

 

Untrained Security Guards

Without the proper training, security guards cannot maintain the premises or prevent violence. 

 

No Security Guards

Security guards are a necessary measure at places with large crowds, such as bars, concert venues, and shopping malls. These security guards can diffuse situations and take appropriate actions in case of an emergency. 

 

Does negligent security apply to public property?

Negligent security cases are dependent on owner negligence, regardless of the property’s designation.

In this case, public property includes shopping malls, parking lots, public transportation, apartment complexes, government offices, airports, grocery stores, and more. These areas are heavily trafficked by citizens who expect to safely go about their day.

If a customer is harmed while on public property, it can be complicated to file a negligent security claim. First, it is challenging to determine who should be held accountable, especially if the site was government-run. Second, there are different time windows to file depending on who the victim is suing. Third, it requires extensive research to take on large legal teams hired by corporations and municipalities.

If you have been injured on public property due to negligent security features, call our premises liability lawyers today. Our free, no-obligation consultation will help you set up your case.

 

Does negligent security apply to private property?

Negligent security can occur on private property. In this case, you know exactly who to target with your lawsuit for damages: the property owner.

If you suffered injuries due to robbery, assault, or battery on the owner’s property, you should first try to determine if they had inadequate security. This could include broken or missing security cameras, unlocked doors, blocked emergency exits, or other unreasonably maintained features.

 

Common Injuries

Negligent security can cause tragic injuries and fatalities. Since they often involve an armed assailant, the damage can be devastating to the victims. 

Some injuries that our clients commonly report are:

  • Fractures
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Wounds from gunshots, stabbings, and more
  • Sexually transmitted infections and diseases from rape
  • Scarring
  • Amputation
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Panic and anxiety attacks
  • New phobias
  • Insomnia

 

Contact a Premises Liability Lawyer 

Victims of violent crimes often feel lost, like there is no one out there to help them. This is especially the case if the perpetrator of the crime is not caught and cannot be held accountable for their actions. These victims may not realize that a property owner was legally culpable due to their inadequate security measures.

If you have suffered damages due to a property owner’s carelessness, you deserve justice. Call us at (561) 655-1990 today for assistance.

A bereft woman reaches for her missing loved one at sunset on the beach.

The Relationship Between Wrongful Death and Negligence

The relationship between wrongful death and negligence can make the loss of a loved one more frustrating and difficult to accept than usual.

Since personal injury lawsuits must be filed by the victim of the negligence, your loved one won’t be able to get justice for themselves. With a wrongful death lawsuit, you can seek justice on their behalf.

If you have lost a loved one due to a third party’s negligence, contact Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath today. Our Florida wrongful death attorneys are standing by to help.

What is a wrongful death case?

If your loved one died due to the wrongful actions of a third party, you may be entitled to file a wrongful death claim. With a wrongful death claim, you can recover financial compensation from the at-fault party for the loss of your family member.

The at-fault party did not have to be intentionally homicidal. For example, a driver who was driving under the influence and crashed into your loved one’s vehicle or a doctor who misdiagnoses your loved one’s illness.

These individuals did not intend for death to result from their actions, but they should be held liable for their mistakes.

Wrongful Death Caused by Negligence

For a successful wrongful death claim, you will need to prove negligence in court. Legally, negligence is determined by a duty, a breach of the duty, causation, and resulting damages.

Duty

For an individual to be liable for a negligent death, they must have had a “duty of care” to the deceased party. A duty of care is a requirement for every individual to behave in a way that does not cause undue harm to others around them.

The courts ask, “What would a reasonable person do under the same conditions?”  If they would behave the way that the defendant did, then it is unlikely that their actions were actually negligent. However, if they would not have behaved like the negligent party due to the foreseeable harm it would cause others, then it is likely that their actions were negligent.

Some examples of duty of care:

  • Following traffic laws
  • Performing necessary post-operative checks on patients
  • Maintaining safe business properties for customers to visit

Breach of Duty

Once your wrongful death attorney has proven that a duty of care existed toward your loved one, they will then need to prove that the negligent party breached this duty, whether knowingly or unknowingly.

Examples of breaches of duty of care include:

  • Speeding
  • Driving while under the influence
  • Not cleaning up spills or obstructions on the ground once the owner is aware of them
  • Neglecting patients
  • Prescribing incorrect medication

Proving Fault

Proving fault, also known as “causation”, is the step that relates the negligence of the third party to the wrongful death of your loved one.

Once an individual is found to be in breach of their duty of care, your attorney must prove how this breached duty of care caused your loved one’s death. Essentially, it is the step that proves that the negligent person was at fault for your loved one’s death.

Causation comes in two forms: cause in fact and proximate cause.

Cause in fact means that it can be conclusively determined that the individual’s actions caused the death of your loved one. They would not have perished if it were not for the individual’s negligence.

Proximate cause looks at foreseeability. This deals with the negligent party’s level of responsibility. The courts will determine whether it was foreseeable that the negligent actions could have caused your loved one’s death. If so, then the at-fault party will be deemed to have been the proximate cause of death.

Examples of causation in wrongful death cases:

  • The doctor leaving an instrument in your loved one’s body leads to sepsis that kills them.
  • A speeding car crashed into your loved one’s vehicle, causing them to bleed out.

Damages

The final step in winning a wrongful death lawsuit is proving that you and your loved one were damaged by the negligent actions of the third party. In this case, it is easy to prove since your loved one lost their life, the most significant type of damage there is.

Once you have proved that the accident caused damage to your loved one and their direct family members, you can put forward your claim for damages.

In cases of wrongful death, damages can be claimed for the deceased individual for losses that they suffered due to the accident. Additionally, you can claim damages for financial and emotional losses that your household has suffered due to losing your direct family member and their contributions.

Struggling after the wrongful death of a loved one? We can help.

If you have lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence, you need a wrongful death lawyer to help you handle the complicated details of your lawsuit. Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath know how to let you grieve while we handle the legal case for you. Rest assured that justice will be served for your loved one when you work with us.

Elder abuse victim in nursing home covers face as a hand sits on her shoulder.

Does elder abuse occur in nursing homes?

Trusted friends and family may mean well by putting elders in a nursing home, but they can unexpectedly make their loved one a victim of elder abuse by doing so.

Quality nursing homes have their reputations ruined by bad care facilities. In Florida, elder abuse is rampant within nursing homes where little regard is given for the elder’s welfare and infrequent visits from family members make it easy for staff to conceal abuse.

If you or your loved one are a victim of elder abuse, call (561) 655-1990 today. Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath know that you deserve better. We will fight tirelessly to get you the damages you deserve after your suffering and to ensure that justice is met so no one else will perpetrate the same abuse again.

What is elder abuse?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention classifies elder abuse as “an intentional act or failure to act that causes or creates a risk of harm to an older adult [above 60 years of age]”. This abuse can come from caregivers, family, and other individuals who have gained the older adult’s trust.

The most common form of elder abuse and the type that largely goes unnoticed is financial. Individuals will fraudulently recover benefits intended for the elder, improperly use their money, con them into signing over assets, and stealing their belongings for financial gain.

Physical and psychological abuse are issues in nursing homes, where caregivers will be forceful, violent, or emotionally aggressive to the elders. They may strike the residents, harass them, make them fear for their lives, or neglect to meet their basic needs.

Unwanted sexual interaction of any kind, whether or not it involves penetration, is also a form of elder abuse.

Does elder abuse occur in nursing homes?

Yes, elder abuse occurs in nursing homes frequently throughout the United States. It occurs when caretakers harm residents emotionally, physically, or financially through any sort of means. In most cases, the abusive behavior is done intentionally by a caregiver in a position of authority over the vulnerable individual in their care.

Some elder abuse occurs due to issues such as understaffing, burnout, lack of proper training, and lack of supervision. Staff members may take out their frustrations on the people in their care, may not be capable of attending to all patients as required, or may see opportunities to take advantage since no one is overseeing their work.

If you believe that your loved one is the victim of elder abuse, you should contact the authorities immediately to trigger an investigation. Call Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath when you are ready to file a claim for damages.

Types of Abuse in Nursing Homes

Physical Abuse

Nursing home staff members knowingly cause physical harm by striking patients, grabbing them too firmly, locking them in places, kicking them, or pushing them.

Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse is just as harmful as physical abuse, although it may not leave any physical marks. Typically, emotional abuse targets the well-being of the elder and pushes them away from their family.

Nursing home staff may yell or taunt patients, degrade or discriminate against them, isolate them from friends and family, and more.

Financial Abuse

Elders are at high risk for financial abuse. Many elderly individuals cannot manage their own affairs, so they trust others to do it for them. Nursing home staff may be in charge of managing their money, could scheme to get in the resident’s Will, or could con them out of money as gifts or investments.

Neglect

Neglect occurs when nursing home residents are left on their own for extended periods without having their basic needs met. Residents may be denied food, water, toilet breaks, cleaning up, and exercise. This neglect can lead to serious physical repercussions that can have long-lasting effects on their mental wellness.

Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse is any unwanted form of touching. Staff members at nursing homes repeatedly violate the sanctity of their charges’ bodies. In 2017, CNN found that over 1,000 nursing home facilities in the United States had been sexually abusing residents in some form.

Preventing Elder Abuse

Nursing home elder abuse most commonly occurs when those responsible for elder care are unfit for the job. In many cases, they are not properly trained or are working with too few staff, leaving them stressed and irritated. They then take out these emotions on their residents.

When choosing a nursing home for your family member, seek one with a low ratio of residents to nursing home staff, where there isn’t a high rate of employee turnover.

Look for common signs of nursing home abuse once your loved one is in a nursing home facility. These include physical symptoms such as bedsores from a lack of movement, broken bones due to falls that go untreated, bruises on the skin from rough handling, dehydration or malnutrition, and lack of personal hygiene.

Be on high alert for sudden unexplained changes in weight, sleeping ability, and a negative turn in their mental health. Abused elders may become violent or aggressive, have lower self-worth, experience suicidal thoughts, or become unwilling to be touched.

Work with a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer

If your loved one has been abused in a nursing home, you need a lawyer. The elder abuse attorneys Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath can help you get the justice you and your loved one deserve.

Warning signs are one way to prevent premises liability lawsuits.

Can you sue for inadequate maintenance?

When you visit a personal residence or retail establishment, you expect a reasonable level of safety. When that is violated, you can suffer serious consequences. Slip-and-falls can cause lifelong injuries, such as broken bones, spinal issues, and traumatic brain injuries.

Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath believe that you should feel safe when you visit an establishment or are invited into someone’s home. We protect your rights and the rights of others by bringing the defendant to justice.

If you have been injured in a slip-and-fall due to inadequate maintenance, contact our Florida personal injury lawyers today. In your free consultation, you’ll find out our course of action for your case and how we plan to get you maximum compensation.

Call (561) 867-4117 now to schedule your appointment today.

Who can you sue for inadequate maintenance?

You shouldn’t have to bear the financial and emotional losses that come with your accident alone. Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath protect your rights to damages and help you determine who is at fault.

Our skilled team has seen many premises liability cases, is constantly keeping up with local laws, and understands the consequences that you are suffering. We put our clients first, even when it means working harder to get them the maximum compensation.

In premises liability cases, several parties can be found liable. Typically you can sue the homeowner or business owner for inadequate maintenance if it is their property. However, those individuals are not always the ones residing in the property. In other cases, you may file a claim against a homeowners’ association for not having adequate requirements, a contractor for not completing their job properly, or an employee who may have been responsible for the hazard.

Property Owners Duty of Care

Property owners, especially business owners, have a duty of care to anyone that they welcome onto their property. This does not necessarily extend to trespassers.

There is a reasonable expectation that when you visit the property you have been invited to, you will be safe. For example, if a friend invites you to a dinner party, or if a business has an “open” sign in the window.

No property owner can prevent all injuries. But if the customers or guests are injured due to inadequate maintenance, the property owner may be liable for their injuries. It must be determined that the injury is due to inadequate maintenance and that the property owner had ample time to repair or warn of this issue.

Some examples of breached duty of care are:

  • The front steps are old and worn, but the property owner does not get them fixed for years
  • There are no wet floor signs
  • Cracked or crumbling pavement is not adequately signposted or repaired
  • The ceiling crumbles onto a customer due to ill maintenance

This list is by no means exhaustive but it demonstrates some of the cases of inadequate maintenance where the customer or guest could file a claim for premises liability damages.

Seeking Compensation for Inadequate Maintenance

To seek compensation for premises liability injuries due to inadequate maintenance, you will need to prove that there was inadequate maintenance, that the owner was aware of it, and that it directly caused your injuries.

This is extremely challenging to do. Work with an experienced premises liability attorney at Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath to protect your rights throughout this process and to prove damages.

Our experienced team has adequate constructive knowledge and legal awareness to prove that owners violated local ordinances. Where it may be challenging for you to determine whether or not the owner knew of the violation, our skilled attorneys can prove it definitively with the evidence that they collect.

Proving Negligence for Inadequate Maintenance

Citizens of the world have a duty of care to other individuals. This is a legal principle that states that every individual owes a reasonable amount of care for the safety of those around them and should not behave in a way that threatens this.

For example, an individual should not disobey traffic laws, as there is a reasonable expectation that this will cause harm to others on the road.

To prove negligence, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant had a duty of care, such as providing a safe residence for them to visit, and that they breached it. Every homeowner or business owner should be expected to maintain their property to a standard that is safe for those who enter it. If they do not, then they have breached this duty.

Finally, to seek a claim for damages, the defendant’s negligent actions must have directly caused the injury to the plaintiff.

Explore Your Options with a Premises Liability Lawyer

If you’re considering a lawsuit for inadequate maintenance, contact a premises liability lawyer at Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath today. Our skilled attorneys are prepared to take on your case. Call us for a consultation.

Motorist gets into rear-end accident with uninsured driver.

What happens if an uninsured driver hits you?

If you have been injured in a car accident, you can seek damages from the other driver’s insurance company. However, if the driver who hit you was uninsured, it becomes more complicated to seek compensation.

A Florida car accident attorney can provide answers. Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath know how debilitating car accidents can be. That’s why we help all of our clients collect the maximum compensation, even if the other driver did not have insurance.

Contact us today for a free assessment of your case.

Steps to Take After You’re Hit by an Uninsured Driver

Whether the driver who hit you had insurance or not, it’s important to take steps to protect your health and your rights at the scene of the accident. Follow these steps before you leave the scene of the car accident.

1. File a police report.

Call the police and file an official report. The police will investigate the scene and make a determination of fault that can benefit your case.

2. Do not accept liability.

Never admit fault at the scene of the accident. Even an accidental admission can mean issues down the line.

3. Do not accept cash.

Uninsured drivers may try to buy you off. However, the amount they offer will never be as high as the amount you can get once you know the extent of your injuries. In many cases, it won’t even cover your initial medical assessment.

4. Seek medical attention.

Always seek medical attention, even if you don’t feel injured.

5. Call your insurance.

In Florida, you need to file with your insurance company first before you can possibly pursue damages from the other driver.

6. Call a car accident attorney.

Call Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath for assistance with your claim.

Were you hit by an uninsured driver in a no-fault state?

A no-fault state means that no matter who was at fault for your accident, your own insurance provider will be paying some or all of your medical bills. This makes things slightly easier in the case of a collision with an uninsured driver as it means that you will be covered regardless of the other person’s ability to pay.

However, in many cases, individuals need to claim damages from the at-fault driver to cover property damage, additional medical bills exceeding their coverage, and to recover the amount paid by their insurance.

This is when you will need to speak with a car accident attorney for assistance handling the case going forward.

What happens if an uninsured driver hits you?

Uninsured drivers typically cannot afford to pay for damages. This means that when they are required to pay for your medical care and property damage, they often default on their payments.

To ensure you actually recover damages so you are not financially crippled by the accident, you can use one of the following methods of recovering compensation:

Personal Injury Protection

Personal Injury Protection is included in most car insurance packages. In Florida, it is required that drivers have some form of personal injury protection insurance so they can cover their medical bills.

In Florida, every driver must have at least $10,000 of personal injury protection in their car insurance. However, many medical bills will exceed this amount for car accident injuries.

This form of insurance is beneficial but is not a complete answer to seeking compensation for your injuries.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage

Uninsured motorist coverage is optional coverage available with most car insurance plans. It will cover property damage to your vehicle as well as some level of compensation for your injuries if you have been in a collision with an uninsured motorist.

Uninsured motorist coverage is beneficial to ensure you can repair damage to your vehicle. However, it is often limited. Insurance companies will not give you a larger amount of uninsured motorist coverage than you have for liability insurance overall.

Speak with your insurance company to determine what level of uninsured motorist coverage you require when you purchase your policy.

Other Ways to Collect Damages

If you cannot collect damages from your insurance company there are still alternatives. These vary in effectiveness and can be more complicated. To improve your chances of success, it is advised that you consult with a car accident attorney before filing a claim. Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath will review your case and help you determine how best to seek damages.

If you suffered significant injuries, your health insurance provider may cover your medical expenses. You need to contact your health insurance provider as soon as possible to discuss your injuries and inform them that they were caused by an uninsured motorist.

Alternatively, you can file a lawsuit against the uninsured driver. If they do not have the funds to pay you, your car accident attorney can negotiate a payment plan to ensure you get your compensation in full over time.

Another party may be liable for your accident. Manufacturers, vehicle owners, and mechanics can all be found at fault for a car accident, even if they were not on the scene.

Contact a Car Accident Attorney in Florida

It’s unfortunate, but it happens. When an uninsured driver hits you, you’re tasked with not only focusing on your physical recovery but tracking down the money you are rightfully owed. Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath are compassionate car accident attorneys. Our team has helped thousands of victims like you recover damages so they can get back to living their lives.

Let us help you today. Call (561) 655-1990 to schedule a free consultation.