Can You Sue if You Get Attacked in a Parking Garage?

Can You Sue if You Get Attacked in a Parking Garage?

You park your car in the parking garage next to the mall. Suddenly, someone jumps out from behind an SUV and attacks and robs you. You have serious injuries, medical bills, and can’t work. Can you sue the parking garage owner? In some cases, yes.

Owners of public properties have a duty to keep them safe for visitors. If the property had inadequate security, such as a lack of security personnel, and you were attacked and injured as a consequence, you can be entitled to damages. Learn more about inadequate security and premises liability claims in this article, then speak to a premises liability attorney in Brooksville for more information.

What Is Premises Liability? 

When you suffer injuries on someone’s property, you might obtain compensation from the property owner. Premises liability law dictates when you can file a claim for your losses, what has to be proven, and what you may be entitled to.

A property owner isn’t liable for every time someone suffers an injury on their premises. But premises liability law describes when the party can be held responsible when something goes amiss on the property and injures someone.

Can you sue if you get attacked in a parking garage

Premises liability law also states the obligations the owner has to visitors and guests and the types of compensation that may be due. If you are hurt on someone’s property, such as a parking garage, premises liability law will determine if your case results in compensation for your losses.

In most states, your legal status on the property in question affects the property owner's obligations toward you. There are three basic categories of visitors. The type of visitor you were when the parking garage attack occurred is critical to your case:

  • Invitee: An invitee is someone who was on a property to do business with the owner. The owner of the property gets an economic benefit from the person being there. If you were in a store’s parking garage intending to enter the business and buy something, you were probably an invitee in this case. Property owners have the highest duty of care to an invitee. The owner must correct or warn any invitee of dangers on the property. 
  • Licensee: A licensee is an invited guest, but they go onto the property for their own reasons, not because they want to do business with the owner. You are likely a licensee if you visit a friend’s house for a party. In a parking garage, a licensee might be a person who was meeting a friend for lunch. There was no intent to do business with the business affiliated with the parking garage. The property owner still owes a duty of care to a licensee but not to the level of an invitee. 
  • Trespasser: A trespasser is someone who was not supposed to be on the property. They were on the property without the owner’s permission. The property owner owes the lowest duty of care to trespassers. They still may owe a duty of care in certain circumstances. If you entered a parking garage after hours and were attacked, you are likely a trespasser, so it is questionable whether you might obtain damages for your losses. 

What Is Inadequate Security? 

One kind of premises liability case is an inadequate or negligent security lawsuit. This claim is brought against a property owner if a person’s foreseeable injury occurred because of inadequate security at a business or residence. An inadequate security claim usually stems from a crime where a person is robbed, attacked, raped, or otherwise assaulted on the owner’s property.

Inadequate security in a parking garage can be many things. Perhaps the parking garage didn’t have enough security personnel patrolling the property at night. Some parking garages may have burned-out lights or broken security cameras. A premises liability claim might be successful if the parking garage where the attack happened had any of these conditions.

Common Injuries In Inadequate Security Claims

A third-party attack on a business property can cause visitors severe injuries and other damages. Some common injuries in adequate security claims from a third-party attack are:

Attacked in a Parking Garage
  • Head trauma
  • Lacerations
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Bruises
  • Stab wounds
  • Fractures
  • Paralysis
  • Mental trauma, such as PTSD
  • Internal injuries
  • Death 

If you suffered an injury in an attack on a business property, you must immediately get medical attention. You can have injuries you are not aware of. Your health is the priority, so get to the ER immediately after the incident. Also, getting your injuries on your medical record as soon as possible will benefit you if you file a claim later. The insurance company can claim that you faked your injuries or obtained them in another way if you delayed treatment.

Also, follow your doctor’s treatment plan to reach maximum medical improvement (MMI) as soon as possible. Not following the treatment plan may delay healing, and the insurance company may question the seriousness of your injuries.

As you heal from the parking garage attack, your premises liability attorney will collect your medical records, investigate the accident, and review your lost income information to prepare the claim for submission to the insurance company. Your attorney will handle all aspects of the claim while you focus on returning to health.

Property Owners And The Duty of Care

Business owners typically owe their visitors the highest level of duty of care unless the person is trespassing. The property owner is usually responsible for providing warnings or correcting hazardous conditions on the property within a reasonable time.

Parking Garage Crime

It may be reasonable to assume that someone can attack you in a parking garage or parking lot on the premises. This can be a particular risk after dark. The property owner may have a duty to have property security on the property. This might include security guards, security cameras, and adequate lighting.

If there is insufficient security on the property and you are attacked and injured, a premises liability lawsuit is possible.

Remember To Report The Parking Garage Crime

In a parking garage attack with injuries, there are potentially two cases: criminal and civil. The civil case is the premises liability claim you may file against the property owner. But you also should report the crime to the police so they can prosecute the wrongdoer.

Reporting the parking garage attack to the police increases the chances they will find the person and keep them from hurting others. Also, reporting the incident to law enforcement can aid your personal injury claim. Proving negligence in a premises liability lawsuit means you will need considerable evidence. If you were robbed and beaten in a parking garage attack, having a police report about the incident will help to prove your claim to the insurance company.

If you lack sufficient proof that the attack happened, the parking garage owner’s insurance company may claim you lack enough evidence to prove the case. Even if the business owner was completely negligent by not having adequate security, their insurance company will probably vigorously contest the claim. So, having evidence from law enforcement that a crime occurred will bolster your claim.

How To Prove Liability In An Inadequate Security Claim

Your ability to sue for your injuries after a parking garage attack depends on proving negligence. Negligence is defined as a person or entity owing you a duty of care, but failing to meet that duty within reason, which led to your injuries. The burden is on you to prove that inadequate security contributed to an attack and injuries in the parking garage.

First, you must show that the parking garage owner owed you a duty of care. Generally, business owners have a responsibility to keep their property safe and free of hazards.

Negligent Security

Second, you need to show that the attack on the property happened because the owner breached the duty of care. For instance, the parking garage owner may not have wanted to spend money on security personnel, lighting, and cameras to keep the property safe. The insurance company or jury will look closely at the evidence to decide if there was insufficient security or lighting in the parking garage. They also may consider if other incidents happened at the parking facility in the past.

Third, you must show that you suffered an injury because of the breach of duty of care and have injuries that can be compensated for.

Proving that the property owner’s violation of the duty of care caused your injuries is challenging. The business owner’s insurance company will fight the claim and do all it can to deny it. Hiring an experienced premises liability attorney is critical to proving your case and potentially obtaining compensation.

Damages You Can Receive In A Negligent Security Claim

If you suffered an injury in a parking lot attack by a third party, you may have serious injuries and damages. Your attorney will help to get you the most compensation possible, such as:

  • Medical expenses: You may have extensive injuries from the parking garage attack, such as cuts, bruises, head injuries, stab wounds, and more. You may be entitled to compensation for ER treatments, hospitalization, surgeries, doctor visits, medicines, physical therapy, mental health counseling, and more. 
  • Future medical expenses: If your injuries are severe, you may need treatment for months or even years. Your attorney will work with your doctors to understand your future medical needs, so you get fair compensation. 
  • Lost earnings: Many people with negligent security injuries cannot work for a significant amount of time. You may be entitled to compensation for the time you miss at work. 
  • Lost future income: If your injuries are severe and you have a temporary or permanent disability, you can receive compensation for losing the ability to earn a living. 
  • Property damage: If your vehicle or other personal property was damaged in the incident. 
  • Pain and suffering: Many people with serious injuries from a parking garage attack have considerable pain and suffering, as well as emotional anguish. 

How A Premises Liability Lawyer Can Help With Your Case

After being attacked in a parking garage and injured, it is understandable if you want to focus on the crime itself. You may think mostly about contacting the police, finding the person, and prosecuting them. Filing a personal injury lawsuit may not even enter your mind initially.

However, if you suffered an injury in a business’s parking garage, it is worth scheduling an appointment with a premises liability attorney. The first appointment is usually complimentary, so you don’t need to pay anything. The attorney will review the incident with you, where it happened, your damages, and how it affects your life. The attorney may recommend filing a claim if there is a reasonable chance that the business owner violated their duty of care.

Retaining a premises liability lawyer after a parking garage attack can also inform you about your case’s potential value. For instance, many injured parties don’t know that they can demand compensation for their lost work time and emotional anguish related to the attack.

James Holliday
James Holliday, Premises Liability Lawyer in Brooksville

Your attorney also will collect important evidence to prove the property owner violated the duty of care. Your attorney can assist you if you are overwhelmed with medical expenses or don’t know how to find evidence about the garage’s security setup. The attorney’s legal team also can access camera footage from the parking garage’s security system, if available. This evidence can be critical to proving what happened so you can demand fair compensation.

The premises liability lawyer can hire private investigators to determine if similar incidents have occurred. Other experts, such as economists and vocational professionals, can be hired for your case to prove how much future income you may have lost from your injuries.

The attorney also will negotiate with the insurance company for the most compensation for your injuries and other losses. If insurance negotiations falter, the lawyer can represent you in court.

Speak To A Premises Liability Attorney Today 

Were you recently attacked in a parking garage? You might file a lawsuit against the property owner for inadequate security, a type of premises liability claim. Handling the claim yourself is challenging, so you should speak to a premises liability lawyer today for assistance.

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James Wayne Holliday Author Image

James Wayne Holliday

James Wayne Holliday has been practicing law since 1995. He has been named as a “Best Attorney” Lifetime Charter Member in Florida, an honor awarded to less than one percent of the nation’s lawyers.

Mr. Holliday has earned a reputation as a relentless trial lawyer because of his outstanding work ethic and thorough preparation of his cases for trial.

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