How Florida’s Tort Reform Bill Affects Negligent Security Claims In Orlando
Everyone has the right to experience a life free from violent criminals. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done. If you live in a multifamily residential property such as an apartment building in Orlando, you might feel unsafe in your own home due to the activities of your neighbors. Perhaps you have even suffered injuries due to assaults or other violent crimes. But what can you do in this situation? Is it possible to sue the owner of your apartment building for failing to implement effective security protocols? And perhaps more importantly, how does Florida’s new tort reform bill affect your ability to sue? Let’s find out:
House Bill 837 Explained
Florida’s tort reform bill is House Bill 837, and it has made considerable changes to the way the state handles negligent security cases. The bill specifically mentions owners and operators of multifamily residential properties. But what exactly are multifamily residential properties? An obvious example would be an apartment building. Any single property that houses more than one family is considered a multifamily residential building. This might also include townhomes and related properties. Florida’s official definition is:
- A residential building, or group of residential buildings, such as apartments, townhouses, or condominiums, consisting of at least 5 dwelling units on a particular parcel
The most important thing to remember about House Bill 837 is that it creates a “presumption against liability” for owners and operators of these properties. These parties may include landlords, owners, property management companies, or potentially Airbnb/short-term rental management companies.
So… what is a presumption against liability? Essentially, this means that property owners and operators are presumed not to be liable for injuries related to negligent security. Think of it as a “get out of jail free card.” This is typical of recent changes in Florida which favor defendants rather than plaintiffs in personal injury cases.
But don’t give up hope just yet if you have suffered an injury due to negligent security. In order to escape liability under this new law, owners and operators must show that they have met a number of requirements:
- Installing security cameras that face every entrance and exit
- Having a well-lit parking lot
- Having well-lit common areas – including walkways and laundry rooms
- Having deadbolts on each dwelling unit door
- Having locks on each window and sliding door
- Having locked gates on fences surrounding pools
- Having a peephole on each dwelling unit door
- Compliance with law enforcement on crime prevention strategies
- Giving crime deterrence and safety training to employees
Where Can I Find a Qualified, Experienced Personal Injury Attorney in Florida?
If you’ve been searching for a qualified, experienced Orlando personal injury attorney, look no further than Payer Law. We have been helping injured victims in Orlando for years, and we can guide you towards the compensation you deserve. Landlords and property owners have a legal duty to uphold the safety of their tenants – whether that involves repairing a broken set of stairs or installing security cameras. Florida’s new tort bill may complicate your negligent security lawsuit – which is why you need to work with an attorney who pays close attention to these changes. Book your consultation with us today to get started with an effective action plan.