7 Ways You Could Ruin Your Personal Injury Claim
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Sometimes we get asked if a negligent security case different from an auto case. In an auto case, sometimes the facts are pretty clear: someone ran the red light and T-boned someone else and they got hurt. We know pretty clearly who the players are, who the defendant is. This is not so much the situation in a negligent security case. It’s not good enough to say someone got hurt.We’ve got to show that you got hurt because the property owner of the management company or the security company didn’t provide the appropriate level of security. It’s a more complicated case. It takes longer and is more expensive. The outcome can be less clear than in an auto case. They are riskier cases. Many times, we don’t know all that we would like to know without filing the lawsuit. Then we go through a digging process. It’s called discovery where we learn things. We learn more entities to sue. We may not have all of the defendants in play at the very beginning. They are different on a number of levels, including complexity and expense. Having said that, if you have been hurt or been attacked, you’ve been assaulted on somebody else’s property, call us right away. We’ll set up an appointment. We’ll sit and go over everything and we’ll map out a plan of how we can help you best.
When clients come to us with a negligent security case, there are several things we would like for them to have already done before they ever call. Number one is get medical care. If you get hurt, go to the doctor. Go to the emergency room. Follow up with your healthcare provider. Do the things that are going to maximize the possibility of your recovering as well as you can. Get your medical care.Number two is contact the responsible agencies. Contact the police. If you’ve been mugged, if you’ve been attacked, contact the police. It may be that someone has already done so, maybe not. Contact the police. Get them involved. They are experts in evidence collection and finding the perpetrators. Get them involved in the process immediately. Then give them your full cooperation. Then contact the premises owner. For example, if this is something that happened at an apartment complex, contact the manager on duty. Contact the property management company, the landlord. What will happen is this starts the process of generating reports. It’s done while everything is fresh so you’ve got evidence collection and it enhances the value of your case. By that time, you can call us. If you’ve had an assault which you believe was because of some security issues in Duval County, Nassau County, or any of the surrounding areas, call us today. We’ll go over everything with you and give you some guidance on how best we can help you.
In negligent security cases, clients ask often who’s responsible. If someone with a gun shoots you, you assume he’s responsible. What many times clients don’t recognize is that the landlord or another party may also be responsible.The premises owner or the management company that operates the premises, for example, have a responsibility to keep the premises safe. That means different things in different localities around the area in Nassau County or Duval County. Some areas are high crime areas that require a higher degree of security measures. Others are low crime areas, lesser degree of security measures. They all require it. If you get hurt, if you get attacked, if you get assaulted and it can be shown that premises owner did not do what was necessary to protect you by taking reasonable measures, then that premises owner can be responsible for your injuries. If you have a case like that in Duval County, Nassau County, and any of the surrounding areas, call us today. We’ll set up a time to get together to go over all of the ins and outs and we’ll figure out the best way to help you.
We have handled numerous security cases. Looking back over them, the primary mistake that we see is clients thinking they don’t have a case. They see it as a criminal case.It’s not readily apparent to them that someone might be responsible because they’re not security experts. They don’t know that one of the greatest deterrents of criminal activity is adequate lighting or any of a number of basic security things. They don’t recognize it as a security case until later. Time has gone by and we lose the opportunity many times to collect evidence. Things have been repaired. We lose the ability to see the negligent security condition in its condition. That is one of the primary things we see in terms of mistakes being made. Beyond that, not seeking medical care is another; many times, these events happen in low income neighborhoods. The injured person’s ability to get appropriate care may be limited through no fault of their own. That compromises damage evaluation, sometimes. Finally, there’s also the delay in coming to a lawyer. If someone has been hurt as a result of being assaulted, we always urge them to get a lawyer immediately. They can walk you through the process with the experience of dealing with the criminal justice system, the experience of investigating a negligent security claim so that you’ll be protected. If that’s happened to you in Duval County, Nassau County, or any of the surrounding area, call us right away. We’ll sit down, go over things, and figure out a plan that fits you best.
Sooner or later clients in a negligent security case want to know the value of the case. Determining that value requires several considerations, some of which don’t appear until later in the case. In negligent security cases we have to establish the owner of the premises, whether there was a management company. What kind of breach in the security was there? Was it a matter of lights not being posted? Was it a matter of security guards not being present and whether it was a high crime area requiring those types of measures to be implemented?Many of those considerations we don’t know until we start digging into the case, assessing the severity of your injuries and whether you’ve lost time from work. It’s a process that takes time. It’s not a determination that can be made or should be made at the very beginning of the case. When clients ask if we know the value of a case at an initial consultation, we tell them we don’t know, which is true. Lawyers who have been around these cases for decades like us know that values of cases can go up or down once we get into cases. It’s not responsible to put a hard and fast value on a case at the very beginning. Those are the things that go into valuing a case. If you think you’ve got a case where you’ve been hurt because of lack of security in Nassau County, Duval County, or any of the surrounding areas, call us. We’ll sit down with you, talk about the case, gather the facts, and figure out how best to help you.
When we meet with clients, they often want to know how long it’s going to take. We typically tell them 9 to 14 months at a very minimum. Security cases, oftentimes, last longer, particularly if we get into litigation. Sometimes we don’t know who all the defendants are going to be until we get into the case. That produces delays that will improve the case but will add time to the case.Filing the lawsuit will add a year to that process. The court system in Northeast Florida has gotten clogged up again. It’s taken a long time to get to trial with cases. The idea is to establish the expectation in the clients’ minds that this is not going to be over in a couple of weeks, not four to six weeks. It’s going to be a long time. We tell people that , if you come to a lawyer with a legal problem, leave it here. You get back to living, get back on your feet as best you can. Do what your doctors tell you to do. Get your treatment, be compliant. Having set your expectation timelines will help a great deal. If you have a negligent security case and you’re curious about that, call us. We’ll sit down and go over your case and figure out a plan to best help you.
Clients often ask me if it’s okay to talk to the other side or their insurance company. If they don’t ask, we always raise the issue in the very first meeting. The answer is yes and no. Yes, if it’s your own insurance company. Give them your cooperation. You have a responsibility to do so.They’re the ones who are going to help get your medical bills paid initially and give you some benefits of lost wages and things like that. Give them your full complete cooperation. Contact them immediately. If it’s anybody else, the answer is no. Insurance companies for property owners, the security company that was supposed to install the lights or what have you, those insurance companies have one thing in mind and that is to protect their insured, not you. If they are contacting you, it is with the idea of gathering information from you for the benefit of their insured, not you. They do not have your interest at heart. You should not talk to them. We tell clients to give the insurance company our contact information and let them know they can call us. At that point, it is illegal for them to talk to you about your case. They will call us. The information flow will go from our office to theirs and back and forth, which is the way it should be. If you have questions about this or any other matter, call us today.
When we meet with clients who have been injured on people’s property and they think it’s because of some security issue, we explain that what you have to show is that, under the circumstances of your case, the landowner didn’t provide the appropriate level of security to protect you or didn’t provide the appropriate kind of security to protect you. That lack of appropriate kind of security or appropriate level of security directly led to your being attacked and injured. Without that, there is no case. With it, you have a case that you can prosecute.If you have that kind of a case in Nassau County or Duval County or the surroundings areas in Northeast Florida, call us. We’ll sit and go over things. We’ll discuss your case and how best to move forward with it.
Sometimes an assailant is an employee of a business where the client was going. Since the assailant was an employee, can a client still sue the business? The answer is yes. There are legal issues that come up that have to be addressed. If it meets the criteria of the law in the state of Florida about employees or employers, then you can successfully prosecute a negligent security case against that business.Remember, the case may not be just against the business. It might be with the security company. There are any number of defendants that are available. It’s a more complicated case when it’s an employee. If you have that situation, do not hesitate to call us if your situation occurred in Duval County or Nassau County. We’ll sit down with you and discuss with you those issues, and figure out the best way to move forward with your case.
When people come to us with what they think is a case of getting attacked in front of a convenience store or in front of a business or any other place, they want to know what’s going to happen. Their world has been turned upside down. Several things happen very quickly. Law enforcement gets involved. There’s prosecution.The client has a duty and responsibility to cooperate with the criminal investigation, if the police can find the criminal. If you get a lawyer involved early on, we can track that and walk alongside that and at the same time do our investigation about what kind of security was there. Different kinds of cases require different kinds of security. For example, we had a case several years ago where we represented a man and a woman who were shot at their apartment complex in an area in Nassau County that was known as a high crime area. We discovered this was a gated apartment complex. We discovered there were several breaches in the fencing around the exterior. We discovered that the guard shack where the arm that goes up and down was broken. It was not manned much of the time. The assailant had almost a free pass to get in. We were able to do that investigation because the clients came to us early on. We did get some assistance with the criminal investigation. Those are things that you can expect. Some of it happens very quickly. Some of it happens over time. If you have what you think is a case due to a lack of security in Nassau County or Duval County, call us early on so that we can get involved in the process soon and figure out how best we can help you.
Negligent security cases in Florida are a unique kinds of personal injury cases or wrongful death cases. When we get asked what kind of lawyer someone needs on a negligent security case, particularly in Northeast Florida, we tell them to get someone with experience. These are not easy cases. These are not simple cases. These are cases where experience is a premium.Ask a lawyer if they have ever handled a negligent security case and, if so, how many. What was the outcome? These are not cases for young lawyers. We’ve been in practice 38 years. We have handled these kinds of cases and know the difficulties with them. They require experience. Experience is at the top of the list. If you can satisfy that, get with someone who is experienced in that area, then you should sign up with that lawyer. We’ve had extensive experience with these cases. If you have that kind of a case in Duval County or Nassau County or any of the surrounding areas, call me. We’ll sit down and go over things and see how we can best help you.