There can be no question that gun violence is a problem nationwide, but a look at statistics sheds some light on the issue in Florida. According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), more than 110,000 people are arrested statewide for such crimes as manslaughter, assault, robbery and homicide. Firearms were used in 74% of the murders, 36% of robberies, and more than one-quarter of assaults. If you were hurt or lost a loved one to gun violence, it is encouraging to know that criminal laws are tough on offenders.
However, seeing your assailant sentenced to jail time and other punishment does nothing to compensate for the extreme losses you suffer. To recover monetary damages, you must seek civil remedies – often against a party you might not expect. A Miami crime victims lawyer will guide you through the process, but additional figures on shootings may be helpful.
Additional Statistics on Guns and Violent Crime
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that approximately 316 people are shot in the US every day, and more than one-third of them die from their injuries. Plus:
- Convenience stores are the fourth most common location for violent crime, falling after homes, public thoroughfares, and parking lots.
- More than 21,000 people are arrested for violent crimes in Broward, Miami-Dade, and Palm Beach Counties annually.
- Among victims who survived a violent criminal attack, almost 30 percent faced an assailant who was in possession of a firearm.
- More than 50% of individuals who were treated for nonfatal gunshot injuries in emergency departments were the victims of assault.
About two-thirds of crime victims who suffer non-fatal gunshots are hospitalized after receiving emergency medical treatment.
Potential Parties in a Crime Victims Claim
You might assume that your only legal remedy as a victim is pursuing the offender, but you may have additional options under Florida personal injury laws. The concept of premises liability applies, imposing a duty upon property owners to keep their spaces reasonably safe and free from foreseeable hazards. Failure to provide proper security measures could be a breach of this duty. Examples of negligent security include:
- Not installing security cameras;
- Inadequate lighting;
- Neglecting to hire a security guard; and,
- Failure to install proper locks on doors, gates, and fencing.
In addition, a specific provision of Florida law applies to convenience stores. These businesses must implement the measures designated by the statute, and they gain the advantage of a safe harbor from liability when they do. When a convenience store does not comply with the law, a violation serves as strong evidence to support your claim.
Trust a Miami Crime Victims Attorney for Legal Help
To learn more about your rights and remedies under Florida premises liability laws, please contact Gerson & Schwartz, PA. You can set up a free consultation at our offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or West Palm Beach, FL by calling (305) 371-6000 or visiting us online. After reviewing your circumstances, our lawyers can advise you on strategy.