Civil Justice for Criminal Assault
If you rent your home or apartment, it is likely your rental or lease agreement contains language about your rights and responsibilities and those of your landlord. What happens if you are victimized by crime on property you rent from others?
The area of law concerned with injury that occurs on property owned or operated by others is called premises liability. Common premises liability cases involve people who slip and fall in a store, or are injured by equipment or other object on the property of others. Assault that occurs on premises operated by another, such as in an apartment building, is also a matter of premises liability.
In Florida, the law looks at your status on the property where you were injured in the following ways:
An invitee is someone invited to visit or enter the premises of another
A licensee is one who may legally visit a premises, without specific invitation of the owner
Trespassers are owed the least duty of care, given they are visiting property without the invitation or permission of the owner or operator.
If you are injured by an intruder in your apartment complex, the case may be both a criminal and civil matter. Law enforcement will investigate and seek to arrest the person or persons who hurt you.
As an invitee, you are owed a high duty of care by your landlord. If your assault occurred as a result of inadequate security, poor lighting, or broken security equipment like locks or alarms, you may have a civil cause of action against your landlord for their negligence.
Understanding your rights is important. If assaulted or if you suffer injury on the premises of another, protecting those rights is our job. Talk to us when you need good legal advice.