Apartment Shootings- Rights of Residents and Guests

A shooting can happen anywhere in today's world. These vicious occurrences can happen at the shopping mall, bar, gas stations, campuses, or any other public or private property. Florida is third in the United States for having a large number of mass shootings, but often a shooting involves one or two victims.

The shooter is responsible for the attack, but if an attack occurs at an apartment complex, managers and property owners may also have legal responsibilities. They have the legal responsibility to provide adequate security for guests and residents, and if they have failed at this, there can be legal repercussions.

Responsibility of Apartment Shootings

It is common for a lawsuit to follow a shooting that has occurred at an apartment complex. Property owners have a 'duty of care' under Florida law. If you have been a victim of a shooting, or someone you love has experienced this terrible event, you may have a claim against the property owner. If a property owner in Florida has been negligent in protecting their residents and guests against potential, foreseeable dangers of a shooting, they can be held responsible.

Determining a Foreseeable Crime

There are several factors taken into consideration in determining a foreseeable crime:

  • The crime rate in the location of the apartment complex
  • If there have been similar crimes on the property or in similar types of property
  • If the shooter had posed a known threat

Who Can File Death Lawsuit in Shooting Event

Not everyone is allowed under the law to file a death lawsuit after a shooting. These are those who can:

  • The spouse of the victim
  • The victim's children under the age of 25
  • If the victim does not have a spouse, their children over the age of 25
  • If there are neither children nor a spouse of the victim, the surviving parents can file a lawsuit
  • Blood relatives who are financially dependent on the victim

Premise Liability in Florida

Premises liability in Florida allows for managers and property owners to be held responsible for crimes and injuries such as a shooting that happens on their property due to negligent security or unsafe conditions.

Florida law states property owners have a 'duty of care' to customers, residents, and guests to maintain a property that is safe, and hazard-free, of conditions that would encourage crime.

The 'duty of care' is, however, limited. A property owner is not required to warn visitors if a hazard is obvious, and they are not expected to protect residents and guests about unforeseeable risks. An example would be that a property owner cannot protect residents and guests from an earthquake, and they cannot plan and foresee all types of crime.

There are certain elements, when met, where a property owner can be held responsible. If you have been involved in a shooting at an apartment complex, contact Batts-Daniels Law to learn if your case qualifies under premises liability. 

When is a Property Owner Responsible for a Shooting?

Premises liability is difficult to take to court, but there are situations where a property owner can be held legally responsible for a shooting by a third party. Most cases involve negligence to provide adequate security. These are the other situations that would have to be proved to file a premises liability case:

  • The apartment complex owner could foresee a shooting or violent crime was possible and did not provide adequate security
  • The premises owner owed a 'duty of care' to the victim
  • The breach of 'duty of care' led to an injury
  • The victim suffered damages in the shooting

Who to Contact if Involved in an Apartment Shooting

Batts-Daniels Law has over 45 years of combined legal experience and fights aggressively to protect your rights and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. We have helped victims who have suffered from shooting at apartment complexes, convenience stores, gas stations, and more. If you have been a shooting victim, contact our office and learn how we can help you.

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