If you were robbed at gunpoint, you have legal rights that you might not be aware of.
You have the right to:
Information: You have the right to request information about your robber (e.g., the status of your case, when he will be released from jail, etc.)
Ensure your voice is heard: You have the right to testify against your robber to help ensure the state puts him away.
Pursue compensation for your injuries
A victim’s advocate lawyer can help you determine whether you have a viable civil action, to seek damages in the form of financial compensation. Even if you cannot pursue damages from the assailant who robbed you, you may have grounds to sue other negligent parties to help you get the medical treatment and emergency assistance you need.
Can I Hold My Robber Liable?
After falling victim to a violent crime, you may experience a sense of helplessness. You may have suffered severe injuries — physical and psychological — that prevent you from working, going to school, or enjoying your life.
The police may pursue criminal charges against the assailant, but that does little to help you recover from this traumatic experience.
Fortunately, you are not alone. You can find a powerful advocate in a negligent security or robbery victims lawyer.
A lawyer can help you determine whether you have a valid civil case. You may be able to sue your assailant, although few criminals have any real assets. However, depending on the circumstances of the robbery, other people, businesses, or organizations may have liability for what happened to you.
Meanwhile, your lawyer can ensure that you get the medical care and emergency services that you need, including counseling for the trauma you experienced.
Did Another Party’s Negligence Make Your Robbery Possible?
Depending on the circumstances of the robbery, you may have a valid legal claim against another party besides the gunman.
For example, if you were robbed at gunpoint in a dark parking lot, the property owner and manager may be liable for creating an unsafe environment. If you were robbed at work (in a store, restaurant, office, etc.), you may have a valid claim against your employer for not providing sufficient security.
If the assailant broke in and robbed you inside your apartment, your landlord or management company may be liable for failure to secure the property.
To prove liability and allow you to pursue legal action, we must prove the four legal elements of negligence:
Duty of Care: Someone owed you a duty to ensure your safety. For example, your landlord had an obligation to provide secure window and door locks, an alarm system, etc.
Breach of Duty: Whoever owed you a duty of care failed to uphold that obligation. For example, your landlord did not provide a secure place for you to live.
Causation: The breach of duty led directly to the armed robbery. For example, a broken window lock on your apartment allowed the gunman to enter and rob you.
Actual Damages: You suffered actual, demonstrable damages as a result of the breach of duty. Your lawyer can use your medical bills and other evidence to prove the amount of your damages.
What If You Did Not Sustain a Physical Injury During the Robbery?
Injuries come in all shapes and sizes, and you need not suffer physical harm to have a personal injury claim.
Being held up at gunpoint is highly traumatizing. Victims of similar crimes can spend a lifetime trying to overcome the fear they develop as a result. You will likely need professional counseling from a psychologist or therapist. You might also need time off work to process what happened to you.
Some victims even require in-patient treatment for their psychological damage and post-traumatic stress.
A personal injury lawyer can listen to your story and explain your options. Do not hesitate to contact a lawyer after an armed robbery — even if you have no outward evidence of injury.
How Else Might I Recover Compensation?
You might also be able to recover compensation through the Florida Bureau of Victim Compensation. To recover the compensation you need, you must fill out a form and provide all requested information such as medical records or wage loss information.
Discuss Your Case with a Member of Our Team Today
A robbery is a terrible thing to go through. But you are not alone. A victim’s rights lawyer will help you get the care you need while protecting your legal rights and helping you obtain civil justice.
The lawyers of Edwards Pottinger LLC provide compassionate assistance to victims of violent crimes. Consultations are free and confidential. Contact us today to speak to a victim’s rights lawyer: 954-524-2820.