Can I sue for premises liability after an ATM robbery?

Premises liability in Florida is usually established by the property owner holding out a business or service to the public. Under general negligence theory, a property owner has a duty to exercise ordinary care to ensure that patrons coming onto their land do not face an unreasonable risk of harm. Under that theory, a property owner may incur liability when one’s failure to reduce that risk results in an unsafe premises. A good example of this might be the failure of the property owner to provide adequate lighting and increased security measures near an ATM machine with a history of prior robbery attempts.

A report written for the U. S. Department of Justice looked at the specific policing issues related to ATM robberies in America. According to the report, ATMs were first used in America as early as the mid-1960s. Since that time, ATMs have become widely used in a variety of businesses including banks, grocery stores, nightclubs, casinos and etc. The report looked at statistics from California which showed that in 1995 there was an ATM-related crime for every 2.5 million ATM transactions.

The study found that most ATM robberies involve the use of a weapon against a lone victim, usually occurring at night sometime between midnight and 4:00 a.m. The report says that most ATM robberies are somewhat more likely to occur in walk-up type ATMs as opposed to drive- through versions. The typical amount of cash stolen in ATM robberies averages between $100-$200. Perhaps most alarming, the study reported that approximately 15 percent of all ATM robberies involved a victim being injured.

If you are a Florida resident who was injured as a result of inadequate security or an unsafe premises you may be entitled to sue for compensation. It is important to remember that premises liability is not just limited to ATM robberies. A slip and fall at a grocery store or an injury suffered from an improperly maintained roof are also examples of premises liability.

A consultation with your attorney about your injuries should uncover the merits of your case. Depending on your particular circumstances, it may be possible to recover your medical costs, lost wages and other associated damages.

Source: U.S. Department of Justice – Office of Community-Oriented Policing Services, “Robbery at Automated Teller Machines” Michael S. Scott, Oct. 22, 2014