Some call it a “stop and rob.” All that is necessary is a motivated, often desperate, robber and an unwilling, often unsuspecting, victim meeting at the wrong place at the wrong time. Robberies can occur in private or public spaces.
Most people think of robberies as those committed against banks and financial institutions, but they are actually quite rare. Late night retail stores like gas stations, or convenience stores, are more common. However, most robberies occur on the street or apartment complex or housing complex, directly against a person, and are called a strong-arm robbery. When someone uses force or fear against you to steal your car, it’s called carjacking. When someone robs you in your home, it is called a home-invasion.
Convenience stores and other retail establishments have cash on hand or customers in the parking lot will become targets for robbery, theft, and physical assault, battery and sex crimes. Some establishments have pulled exterior security in an attempt to increase deny-ability to knowledge of this crime.
If security precautions are not in place, these establishments, apartment complexes and more can be held liable. Experts in the field have identified policies, procedures, guidelines and technologies which keep workers and customers safer.
Specific to regulations, these property owners and landlords have an obligation and duty to protect their patrons from dangerous situations and criminal acts of others. At the very least, the property owner is required to warn the customer or guest of any perils. To fail to do so is negligent.
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Florida enacted the Convenience Business Security Act, which requires that security devices and standards be established at all businesses which sells groceries or groceries and gasoline open any time between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. The Act, which is contained in sections 812.1701 to 812.175, Florida Statutes.
The Act excludes businesses which are solely or primarily in the restaurant business, have five or more employees on the premises between the hours of 11 p.m. and 5 a.m., have more than 10,000 square feet of retail floor space or have the owner or a member of the owner’s immediate family (spouse, mother, father, brother, sister or child) working on the premises between the hours of 11 p.m. and 5 a.m.
The Convenience Business Security Act requires training in robbery deterrence and safety for each employee, conducted through an approved curriculum, mandates a drop safe or cash management device that is secured to the floor, ensures a lighted parking lots, makes stores keep window sign placement such that the store allows an unobstructed view of the sales transaction area from inside and outside the building, prevents window tinting that allows for physical identification of all persons in the sales transaction area from outside the building, requires a security camera system that is capable of retrieving an identifiable image of an offender, including an annual test photo and a maintenance log showing maintenance every four months and more.
If the store has had prior issues, additional measures are required, such as at least two employees must be on the premises at all times, may mandate a security guard or off duty law enforcement officer on the premises and premises may be required to be locked with business conducted through an indirect pass-through, trap door or window.
If the negligence of another party can be proved, the injured party may be entitled to monetary compensation from the party at fault. And oftentimes, insurance covers the loss.
You may be able to recover:
Diminution of Value of Property
Past Medical Expenses
Future Medical Expenses
Money Spent on Care and Treatment
Money Lost because of Injury
Compensation for Pain
Compensation for Disability
Compensation for Loss of Capacity for Enjoyment of Life
Compensation for Physical Impairment and Loss of Use
Compensation for Scarring or Disfigurement
Loss of Earnings / Wage Loss
Loss of Capacity to Earn
Damages to Spouse
Damages to Children
Get to a doctor and document your injuries. Not only does being proactive help your health, but insurance carriers and their lawyers always look to use evidence against you- how long you took to get to a doctor, what you complained about or didn’t complain about and they will comb through your records in painful detail. Go to the doctor, be honest and detailed.
Fill out any available accident reports and police reports. Ask for a copy. Then, call your insurance carrier and make a claim. Be careful what you say. All too often, injury victims will say they are “fine” or “not that bad” or otherwise be polite and that will haunt then if their injuries take a turn for the worse. The ER will only really tell you if you have broken bones or major issues, but go and be honest. Hospital emergency rooms tend to leave the bulging discs, herniated discs, shoulder tears and the like to later treating doctors.
Many of our clients are hurting, struggling and hoping they get better, but aren’t. You get one shot at recovery. Lawyers must make sure the insurance companies are acting fairly. John worked for eight years defending these claims for these companies and big businesses and could write a book about ways they use your desire to be fair and reasonable against you. He now solely works for injury victims like you.
While all lawyers are allowed to advertise and anyone can basically handle a personal injury case, only Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyers are allowed to identify themselves as an “expert” or as “specialist” in this area. Certification is the highest level of recognition by The Florida Bar of the competency and experience of attorneys in the area by the Supreme Court of Florida. It also means the lawyer is known for trials- pushing beyond low offers by defendants, passed a peer review and passed a tough exam. Most cases do not get that far, but it is good to have a lawyer with all of the tools in their arsenal.
Insurance carriers try to negotiate every dollar they can, because every $100 means millions in the end to their Board of Directors. Attorneys matter. Defendants and their carriers change their game plan when an experienced lawyer is involved. For that reason – and the misinformation by TV lawyers and referral services- is why people should select lawyers carefully. Also, make sure it is the lawyer who shows up to meet with you and not a mere investigator. You are haring a lawyer and deserve their time. Also, ask for sample closing costs. Some lawyers charge for faxes, phone calls, scanning, postage, “in house courier” charges and even interest in these charges.
Because of the economy, more lawyers are jumping into personal injury and should stick to what they know. Personal injury law requires knowledge about medical science and biomechanics (the forces on a body in a wreck or a fall) far greater and more specific than you’d think. The other side has doctors and millions on their side to say nothing is wrong or fight the claim.
We invite you to review our verdicts, our accolades and awards and what clients have to say about us and give us a call for a free consultation where our lawyers will sit down with you personally. John represents clients in Florida, Georgia and Alabama with passion and compassion. He can be emailed at [email protected] or call us at (904) 444-4444.