Florida Crime Victims Rights: Options For Compensation
What compensation can a crime victim get in Florida?
A crime victim generally has three main ways to get compensation in Florida:
- Crime Victim Compensation Fund
- Civil Claim
What is the difference between Restitution and a Civil Claim?
In the criminal case, the focus is on the criminal. We ask whether the criminal committed a crime against the State of Florida. The victim is often looked at as a witness to the crime committed against the State. While victims have some limited rights in the criminal case, the accused also has many rights. This can be very frustrating to a victim and their family. Cases may get delayed or dismissed after years of litigation. The victim may have limited information about the status of the criminal case, and limited imput as to how the case should be handled. When it comes to restitution, the money is generally ordered to be paid by the perpetrator who may have limited if any means to pay it back. That could lead a victim with tens of thousands of dollars in medical expenses, or a family whose loved one was killed by the crime left with financial hardship.
A Florida civil crime victim case may provide compensation for crime victims and their families. Under Florida law, a victim or family of a victim killed by a crime may have a right to file a lawsuit against any party who caused or contributed to the crime, where they had a duty to those on their property, and where the crime was foreseeable or preventable. Put another way, property owners generally have a duty to protect against crime which is reasonably foreseeable.
In the civil case, the focus is on the victim and the crime itself. We ask whether this crime was foreseeable and whether it was preventable. For example, if someone is shot and killed at an apartment complex, we may look to see whether the complex had adequate security. We may look to see whether adequate background checks were done on the residents, whether there was any access control on the property, or whether there were any prior crimes on the property. If the crime was foreseeable, the property owner may be liable under Florida's crime victim laws for what is called negligent security.
What is negligent security?
A negligent security claim is a case filed against a property, like a mall, apartment complex, school, or business, where the victim alleges that the crime was preventable and foreseeable, and the property owner failed to reasonably protect the victim. Some common types of negligent security cases we've handled include:
Negligent mall - We represented a child who was molested in a mall bathroom. The perpetrator was seen on camera loitering around the bathroom for weeks prior, yet no security officer from the mall ever confronted the man or tried to stop him from staying in and around the bathroom. The victim recovered significant compensation from the mall's insurance company to help with his pain and suffering, and medical care.
Negligent apartment complex - Our Florida negligent security lawyers have handled numerous wrongful death claims on behalf of families of shooting victims. If a victim is shot and killed in an apartment complex, the apartment may be responsible to pay significant compensation to the victim's family.
Negligent bank - If a victim is robbed and beaten or sexually assaulted at an ATM, the bank may be liable to the victim for pain and suffering, medical expenses and more. There are various laws supporting extra security measures that banks are supposed to take to prevent crime from occurring on their properties.
Negligent school - We represented numerous child victims over the years against private schools where children were physically battered by a teacher, or molested by a teacher or staff member. Child victims may be entitled to compensation for their pain and suffering, medical care and more.
Negligent clergy - Our clergy molestation lawyers have handled many claims on behalf of children molested by a youth pastor, priest, or other member of a church.
Negligent shopping center - Our Florida crime victim lawyers have handled many claims on behalf of victims and families of those injured or killed after being victimized on a commercial property, like a parking lot in a shopping center. If someone is robbed and assaulted, shot or raped, the victim or family may be entitled to compensation.
If you were injured or your family member is a murder victim in Florida, you may be entitled to money for medical expenses, pain and suffering, funeral expenses and more.
Free consultation for Florida crime victims
Our Florida crime victim's rights lawyers offer a free consultation to victims and their families. You can call us at 800-337-7755 to see if you qualify for compensation. We work on a contingency fee, so you don't pay us any money out of pocket. We only get paid if you collect money for the crime.
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