Apartment complex residents have the right to feel secure and safe in their homes. However, an apartment crime can occur at any time, causing serious injuries or even death. Assault, battery, rape, murder, and other crimes can happen when apartment complex owners fail to keep their properties reasonably safe for their residents.
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries or death in an apartment crime in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, you may be wondering how you can recover compensation. You might be able to pursue a premises liability against the owner of your apartment complex if the complex owner was negligent in providing adequate security for the premises. Contact our personal injury attorney today to schedule a complimentary case evaluation.
What Is Negligent Security?
Property owners, including apartment complex owners, have a duty to protect the residents from foreseeable crimes. Generally, landlords don’t have to protect tenants from criminal activity in which they were involved or a situation where the tenant is the victim of a targeted crime. If you’ve been injured in a crime at your apartment complex, you must prove that the criminal act was foreseeable by the apartment complex’s owner, and as the result of a random act by a criminal. You will also need to prove that the owner failed to take steps to protect residents from the known danger.
For example, suppose multiple victims have been sexually assaulted in a dark stairway leading to second-story apartments, and the owner knows about the assault. If the owner fails to install security cameras and adequate lighting to protect tenants, victims might have a claim for compensation against the owner for sexual assault. Another sexual assault could occur in the same stairway without the owner taking reasonable steps to protect residents. Other common examples of negligent security include failure to install:
- Secure locks
- Door and window sensors
- Bars on windows
- A security camera for video surveillance
- A controlled-access gate and video doorbell
- An apartment security system
- Hire security and professional monitoring for the apartment complex
- A fence around the entire apartment complex’s perimeter
Common Apartment Crimes
Certain types of crimes are more likely to occur in apartment buildings that do not have adequate security. When apartment owners do not take appropriate measures to protect their buildings and keep their residents and visitors safe, the likelihood of a crime occurring is significantly higher. Some crimes are foreseeable in dangerous areas that already have high crime rates.
Failure to protect residents from foreseeable crimes can result in severe physical injuries and emotional trauma that have a wide-ranging impact on residents’ lives now and in the future. Common apartment crimes that can cause devastating injuries include:
Proving Liability in a Negligent Security Lawsuit
You can pursue compensation through a personal injury lawsuit if you’ve been seriously injured in an apartment complex crime. Having a knowledgeable professional fighting for you with experience in cases just like yours, like our apartment complex shooting lawyers in Dallas, will ensure you get the compensation you deserve. Alternatively, you may be able to pursue compensation through a claim with the apartment owner’s commercial liability policy. When proving liability, you will need to provide evidence that your injuries directly resulted from the apartment complex owner’s negligence.
First, you’ll need to show that the owner had a duty to keep the premises safe for residents of the apartment complex and their visitors. You will also need to show that the apartment owner’s action or inaction breached his or her duty of care to you. When property owners are negligent in keeping tenants from foreseeable harm, they are negligent and breach their duties.
An example of a breach of duty would be a failure to provide physical security guards at night or to install security cameras when crimes occur on the premises. Finally, you’ll need to show that the property owner’s negligence resulted in your injuries and that you’ve suffered losses, monetary or otherwise.
Determining Whether the Apartment Crime Was Foreseeable
Property owners are not liable for every crime on their property. They are only liable for crimes that cause injuries. Foreseeability means that the property owner knew or should have known that a similar crime could occur on their property. Proving foreseeability can be challenging. When you work with the personal injury attorneys at Rochelle McCullough, you can rest assured we will begin a thorough investigation into your case.
We will gather all available evidence showing that the owner knew or should have known that a crime like the one that happened to you was likely to occur on their property. The following factors can help plaintiffs prove that the crime was foreseeable so they can obtain the compensation they deserve:
- Similar crimes have already happened on the property or in the vicinity
- The previous crimes were violent and similar in nature
- Crime at the property was recent and frequent
- There is/was publicity surrounding the prior crime
What to Do If You’ve Been Injured in an Apartment Crime
Apartment residents should be able to feel safe and secure in their homes. If you have experienced a crime or suffered an injury because of your apartment owner’s negligent security practices, there are important steps to protect yourself and your claim. Gather all the documents that show that you and other tenants have felt unsafe, including any photo and video evidence you have.
If you’ve been the victim of a crime, call the police immediately. If you suffered injuries because of a crime, seek medical attention as quickly as possible. Tell your treating physician about your symptoms, attend your medical appointments, and keep all your records. Gathering evidence will help you build a stronger case against the apartment complex owner for compensation. You must also discuss your case with an attorney as soon as possible. You may be entitled to compensation for the following types of damages:
- Past, current, and future medical expenses
- Lost income due to time off of work to recover
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Disability and disfigurement
- Pain and suffering
Contact an Experienced Negligent Security Attorney in Dallas
Negligent security cases involving apartment complexes can be complex and challenging to navigate on your own. The personal injury attorneys at Rochelle McCullough have a reputation for excellent legal advocacy and favorable settlements for our clients. While focusing on recovery, we will pursue the full and fair amount of compensation. Contact Rochelle McCullough today to schedule a free case evaluation.