Gainesville Woman Attacked Outside UF Health Parking Garage

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My CBS 4 recently reported that University of Florida’s Police Department (UFPD) had been notified that an attack occurred on campus early one Monday morning. The attack happened north of Garage #9 on SW Archer Road on the popular public university’s campus.

According to UFPD, it was reported that the female victim was walking north from the garage when she was suddenly grabbed from behind by a male. UFPD describe the suspect as possibly a 5’6” to 5’7” Hispanic male who was wearing gray shorts, a tan shirt, and a black baseball cap at the time of the incident. Fortunately, the victim was able to flee his grasp. The male suspect ran back toward the garage. UFPD are still investigating the incident and are asking anyone who may have information or may know the suspect’s identity to contact them right away.

Empty parking garage

Negligent Security and Premises Liability

 When someone is hurt on another’s property in Florida, the legal concepts of negligent security and premises liability come in to play when monetary compensation is being sought for damages suffered. A negligent security claim arises from a premises liability claim. At its essence, a negligent security case is one where the property owner or operator failed to provide reasonable measures for the safety and security of those on the property to protect them from preventable harm. Notably, a property owner or operator is under a legal duty to provide a safe premises. All types of property – public and private – can be the place where someone is hurt or killed due to negligent security. This is because all of us have a legal right to be safe from harm and not be victims of crimes, when the crimes or harm is foreseeable.

The common denominator in a Florida negligent security claim is the legal duty owed by the property owner or operator to provide a safe environment for the injured plaintiff. Courts generally recognize that the owner or operator of a property has the right to control the land and, accordingly, a duty exists to protect others against dangerous conditions as well as warn them of possible hazards. An injured plaintiff must establish:

  • The property owner/operator owed a duty to provide adequate security on the premises
  • The property owner/operator breached this duty by failing to provide adequate security
  • The defendant’s breach was the legal and actual cause of the plaintiff’s harm, which was foreseeable

When it comes to establishing causation in negligent security cases, it can become complicated because Florida law requires that the injury be foreseeable in order to successfully recover damages.

How to Stay Safe in Parking Structures

While parking structures and garages are not the safest places to be – in fact, they rank second when it comes to crimes of violence – there are ways to stay safe. The presence of surveillance cameras in parking structures can help either deter a criminal or help identify a suspect should something happen. Some safety tips that can be useful if you are in a Florida parking structure include:

  • Be aware of where the exits are located when entering a parking garage and park close to it, or at least in an area that is well-lit
  • Make sure your doors are locked and windows are rolled up when you park, and never leave anything of value in plain view
  • Hold your car keys in your hands prior to going to the vehicle to avoid any delay in getting in your car
  • Always visually scan the area around your vehicle and be alert and aware of your surroundings at all times
  • Finally, trust your instincts. If you do not feel comfortable or feel something is off be sure to turn around and locate a security guard to walk you to your vehicle as a precautionary safety measure

Notably, a property owner or operator is under a legal duty to provide a safe premises.

Premises Liability Attorneys Here to Help

If you have been hurt on another’s property due to negligent security, know that you have rights under Florida law. The personal injury attorneys at Bogin, Munns & Munns will fight for the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for your free personal injury consultation.

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NOTICE: The article above is not intended to serve as legal advice, and you should not rely on it as such. It is offered only as general information. You should consult with a duly licensed attorney regarding your Florida legal matter, as every situation is unique. Please know that merely reading this article, subscribing to this blog, or otherwise contacting Bogin, Munns & Munns does not establish an attorney-client relationship with our firm. Should you seek legal representation from Bogin, Munns & Munns, any such representation must first be agreed to by the firm and confirmed in a written agreement.

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