Unsafe premises: Civil lawsuits as an option for crime victims

While many rape and assault crimes are prosecuted through the Florida criminal court system, victims may not be aware that it can be possible in some cases to also pursue a premises liability case against a business if inadequate security was a factor in the crime. While a conviction in a criminal court can certainly mean penalties for the other party, it does nothing for the victim’s medical bills, counseling to address emotional repercussions or pain and suffering.

In Miami, it can be possible for third parties to be held financially responsible for the incident if their negligence created an environment that made it easier for an attack to occur. Inadequate security, poor lighting in stairwells and around exits and unsafe conditions in parking decks can make it easier for criminal activity to go on unnoticed.

Even giving a statement to police can be a harrowing experience for victims after a violent or sexual attack, and the emotional trauma can linger for years as victims work to move forward with their lives. The criminal justice system is set up in such a way that it can make victims feel they are partly responsible for the crimes committed against them, but this is not true. Pursuing a civil case can help victims work through these emotions and find closure. While there is no such thing as a guaranteed case, a ruling in favor of the victim can also provide much needed financial support.

An attorney who is experienced in pursuing civil cases involving inadequate security or premises liability connected to criminal charges can help victims better understand how the laws may apply to their situations and prepare for the different possible outcomes.