Crime Victim Attorney
Crime victims not only have to endure the trauma of an assault or robbery, but they often believe that they may have no legal recourse to be paid for their substantial losses. But the person who controls the property where you were robbed or assaulted can be required to pay through a negligent security claim.
Owners of property have a responsibility to keep you safe. If they fail to do so, they may be held accountable. The entity controlling a property is responsible for ensuring the security of their premises. This is especially true if crimes have previously occurred on the premises or in the surrounding neighborhood. However, property owners may simply neglect to install appropriate security measures that can assist keep guests safe. They may be held accountable by a lawsuit if none of this is done. These types of cases are commonly referred to as inadequate security, negligent security, or lack of security claims.
The bulk of inadequate security cases (42 percent) include assault and battery charges, followed by sexual assault and rape allegations (26 percent), wrongful death (15 percent), robbery (9 percent), and false imprisonment (9 percent). The remaining 4% falls into a miscellaneous category, which includes car jacking, arson, and invasions.
Property owners who fail to take reasonable precautions to safeguard their visitors, on the other hand, may be held liable for damages like as medical costs, lost earnings, and pain and suffering.
A crime victim attorney will explore and gather evidence to build a claim against the property owner or manager. The negligent security lawyer’s office will work to get police records of earlier illegal conduct, notifications previously given to people in control of the property, questioning witnesses, and collecting video evidence.
For your case to be successful, you must show the following:
- The property owner against whom you are pursuing your claim must have been aware that some critical safety measures were absent.
- The property owner must be aware of the risk of an injury like yours and failed to prevent it from occurring.
If you can show those two elements, the landowner will be held liable for your injuries and losses as a result of their lack of security.
While you may be able to file your injury lawsuit against the individual who hurt you, it is normally more effective to make your claim against the owner of the property where you were hurt. The criminal who hurt you may not have enough money to pay you or perhaps is a fugitive.
Negligent security is a violation of premises liability law. In general, this field of law holds a property owner accountable for injuries and financial losses sustained by customers or visitors to the facility as a result of carelessness. They must take reasonable precautions to maintain a safe atmosphere for everyone visiting their property. Both residential and commercial property might be subject to lax security.
We routinely hold landowners responsible for negligent security that leads to violence like rape, assault, and robbery. Contact our crime victim lawyer today at (713) 529-9377 for your free consultation.
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Places Where Inadequate Security Cause Injuries
Negligent security can occur in a variety of situations when an owner or lessee failed to maintain property security. Usually, these claims arise when a customer is followed to their vehicle at a shopping center and then mugged before they are able to get into their car. Negligent security can be to blame when an individual is shot or robbed while taking money out of an ATM machine. An inadequate security claim may occur when someone is robbed at a gas station while they are filling up their car with gas. Lack of security claims can also include an assault that takes place inside of a hotel room or an assault in an apartment complex lobby.
The following are examples of places where landowners and managers may be held accountable for attacks on their property:
- Big box retailers
- Shopping centers
- Shops in public places
- Amusement parks
- Apartment buildings
- Gas stations
- Health-care providers
- Concert venues and theatres
- Shopping centers
- Parking lots and garages
- Shopping malls
- Grocery stores
- Sporting events
- Office buildings
- Government facilities
- Schools and universities
- Hospitals and nursing homes
Factors Courts Consider in a Negligent Security Claim
Texas courts consider the following legal factors in a negligent security case:
- if prior illegal acts happened near or on the property
- how close in time the prior criminal conduct occurred
- the frequency of the criminal conduct
- the similarity with the previous criminal conduct and the harm suffered
- assessment of the severity of the injuries sustained
- the publicity or awareness of the prior criminal acts to determine what the landowner or property manager knew or should have known at the time the injuries occurred
According to crime victim lawyers, these indicators show the likelihood of risk, the property owner or management must take reasonable precautions to safeguard people from death or harm caused by the illegal or violent activities of others.
What Can a Business Do to Maintain Adequate Security?
The following are some reasonable precautions that property owners can take to safeguard their guests:
- Employing security guards
- requesting that police patrols be increased in high-crime areas
- Including enough light in parking lots, stairwells, and building entrances
- Installing video surveillance cameras in high-crime locations
- removing trees and shrubs that provide hiding places for attackers
- Window and door locks in hotel rooms and apartments
- Halting the sale of alcoholic beverages to drunk guests
- Actively monitoring security cameras
- Creating and distributing to a security plan
- Having working locks on doors, windows, and gates
- Installing an intercom system or text/email system to alert guests of possible danger
- Developing building access control measures, such as door codes or gate codes
- Having a one-use hotel room key cards
- Installing ATM panic buttons
- Placing emergency buttons in parking lots
If a property owner becomes aware that criminal activity is taking place on their land, they must take reasonable actions to prevent crime and make the property safe. Our crime victim attorney knows that the following are some activities that specific types of properties can take to discourage crime.
- Awareness of criminal activity on the apartment property
- Gates with controlled access
- Security guards that are properly trained
- Surveillance cameras
- Procedures for telling tenants of criminal activity
- Working locks on doors and windows
- Proper lighting in common areas
Hotel and Motel
- Properly trained staff
- Secure and well-lit parking
- Surveillance cameras
- Peepholes on hotel room door
- Policies and procedures to discover and stop human trafficking
Health Care Providers
- Proper staffing ratios
- Following rules and regulations designed to prevent abuse
- Hiring qualified staff
- Proper training and supervision of staff
- Bright lighting, especially in parking lots
- Active, constantly patrolling security guards
- Surveillance cameras
What is a Negligent Security Lawsuit?
Negligent security describes when a person occupying a property fails to make it reasonably safe from criminal activity. It is vital that a lawyer analyzes whether you have a civil claim for negligent security after you are a victim of a criminal, violent attack, like a robbery, rape, shooting, or assault, while you are on someone else’s property.
This involves the responsibility to be aware of what is going on around them in the community. If shootings, robberies, and other sorts of violent criminal activity have occurred within a reasonable distance of where your event occurred, the property owner has an obligation to take measures to keep you safe. For example, if robberies occur frequently in a shopping center parking lot, the shopping center owner has a duty to close some exits and entrances, add more lighting, install more video surveillance, hire more security guards, and take other actions that other shopping centers would or should take to protect against crime.
If a certain shopping center within a local region is targeted more than others by criminals, this shopping center may have a greater obligation to provide a better level of protection for consumers than another shopping center located across town, where a much lower level of criminal activity occurs.
Although violent offenders are sentenced to extended prison terms, this does not assist the victim’s financial circumstances when they are left with thousands of dollars in medical expenses, lost capacity to produce income in the future, and lasting impairments.
If a property owner fails to take proper care of their property and you are hurt as a result of that failure, they are liable and you can hold them accountable. The following are some of the questions that a negligent security lawyer seeks answers to if someone is a victim of a violent crime while on someone else’s property:
- Is there any evidence of past violent criminal activity near or at the location where the crime took place?
- In the area where the crime took place, was the lighting adequate?
- Was there private security hired in high crime rate areas?
- Do the doors have functioning locks?
- Was a satisfactory surveillance system or alarm system installed and operational?
If you were injured in an attack on someone else’s property, then you should contact a negligent security lawyer.
What is Foreseeability in a Negligent Security Lawsuit?
The law considers something as foreseeable if the event can be reasonably anticipated. Different standards are used by different states to answer this question of whether a criminal attack was foreseeable or not in a negligent security case. In general, most states use a combination of the factors below for determining foreseeability:
In the case of imminent harm, foreseeability is determined based on evidence that the property owner should have known or knew a specific crime was imminent based on the crime taking place previously on the property or in the area.
Prior Similar Incidences
Foreseeability is also determined based on evidence that similar criminal acts happened near the property within a specific time frame
Totality of the Circumstances
Foreseeability is determined by the layout, condition, and location of the premises, which include any previous criminal activity near or on the property.
No matter which approach is used, whenever an attack is deemed to be foreseeable, it will be found by courts that property owner did have a duty to take reasonable measures for protecting individuals against assaults who are on their property.
What is a “Balancing Test” That is Used By Courts in Negligent Security Lawsuits?
Most courts apply a balancing test to decide whether the property owner should have implemented particular security measures. This test weighs the likelihood of an attack and the potential for harm against the burden placed on a property owner to implement security measures to avoid the event. For example, if there was a crime that resulted in harm near or on the property and the expenses to protect the property were cheap, the court will most likely decide against the property owner.
What are the Common Defenses That Inadequate Security Property Owners Use?
Although the availability of certain defenses will differ from state to state. The following are some of the most typical defenses asserted by property owners:
Absence of duty: The property owner owed no responsibility to the wounded individual.
Adequate security: although an attack happened, the landowners provided adequate security.
Contributory negligence: While the landowner may bear some of the blame for the attack, the plaintiff is also partially to blame for the attack owing to either taking the risk or failing to exercise reasonable care.
Apportion fault: The property owners will allocate all or some of the blame to the attacker’s intentional unlawful activity.
No security measures available: criminal profiling might be used by property owners to argue there were no security measures available that were capable to deter this specific kind of criminal
To overcome those arguments, a person who has been wounded as a result of an attack on someone else’s property should ask for the help of a negligent security lawyer.
Negligent Security Lawyer
If it looks like you need a negligent security attorney, then you should contact our personal injury law firm that specializes in these types of matters.
Our crime victim lawyer has helped many critically wounded clients nationwide who have been hurt by an attack, including assault and rape. David P. Willis is board certified as a personal injury trial law specialist. We represent families in lawsuits against negligent property owners across the United States. For almost 40 years, we’ve put in a lot of effort to get the best results for our clients, and we’ll do the same for you and your loved ones. Call us at 1-800-883-9858 to tell us your story.