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Can store owners be liable for injuries from a crime in Florida?

People enter into convenience stores in Florida every day. Some are just stores and others are associated with gas stations. Given the number of them and their proximity to where people live, they make it easy for people to stop in and get any number of small items that they need. As they are a business and people are invited onto the property, the owners must keep the property free of dangerous conditions and must take measures to prevent accidents from occurring.

Unfortunately, these convenience stores are also robbed from time-to-time. Many times no one is hurt and the robber may end up with some cash from the register. However, sometimes people are hurt during these robberies. People may not realize it, but the store owner may be liable for those injuries as well.

Store owners can protect themselves from liability, though, if they follow certain safety requirements. These include having security cameras, having a silent alarm, having a safe for cash with limited access, ensuring that the windows are not tinted and there are not signs obstructing the window around the register, a lighted parking lot and others.

There are also increased measures a convenience store must take if there has been a previous robbery or other violent crimes on the property. The store must have one of the following: two employees working from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m., a bullet proof glass encasement around the register area, a security guard, lock the store completely, or only conduct business through a pass through window or drawer.

If these security measures are followed then it is presumed that the store owner is not liable for injuries resulting from a crime on the property. However, if they fail to follow these safety procedures they may be liable to the victim.

While it may be impossible for Florida convenience store owners to prevent all crime on their property, they can implement certain safety procedures. This post is only providing general information and is not legal advice. Experienced attorneys understand a store owner's liability as well as an injured victim's legal rights.

Source: Florida Legislature, "Florida Statute 768.0705" accessed on Feb. 16, 2015

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