When Your Landlord Is Responsible for Your Injuries
When you’re at home, you should feel safe and secure. We all expect that our place of residence is the one place we can truly relax and unwind. But that isn’t always the case. Sometimes the person responsible for your safety, the property owner, doesn’t do their job, and you end up being the one who suffers.
What Is Negligent Security?
The term negligent security refers to when the security on private property, whether it be a business, apartment complex, or parking lot, is not adequate for the area. There are many forms that negligent security can take, and it can range from very obvious lapses in judgement, so minor issues that you may not even recognize before there’s an accident or attack. Some common examples that can affect apartment owners include:
- Improper lighting
- Untrained security guards/no security guards
- Broken locks on windows, doors, and gates
- Lack of security cameras
- Lack of alarms
- Open gates, doors, or windows
- Improper emergency exits
Negligent security can lead to many dangerous situations, especially if the unsecured property is in a particularly crime heavy area. This is especially an issue if the place you live has not been given the security it needs, putting you and your loved ones at constant risk of a violent crime.
When You Live in an Improperly Secured Building
When the building you live in hasn’t been properly secured by the property owner or manager, then you could be at serious risk. Negligent security can lead to:
- Violent attacks
- Severe injuries
- Break ins
- Property damage
Any of these outcomes can cause you extreme emotional distress and trauma, as well as potentially leave you with medical bills and time taken off work in order to heal. After such a traumatic experience, it can be difficult to feel safe while at home, and your only option to properly heal may be to move out. But moving can be expenses, and not everyone can afford to break their lease, especially while combatting medical debts and lost wages. That is why it is so important to hold the person responsible for keeping you safe accountable.
Holding Your Landlord Responsible
Even if the criminal who caused you harm or damaged your property is caught and penalized for their actions, they are not the only ones responsible for your trauma. The property owner/manager should also be held accountable for the part they played in allowing the crime to happen. Doing so is not a simple matter, however.
First, you must show that the crime was foreseeable. This means that the property owner should have known that, for example, leaving the apartment building’s front gate unlocked would likely result in a break in, especially if it is located in a crime heavy neighborhood. If the crime was not foreseeable, as in a reasonable person could not predict that a criminal could enter into the building, then the property owner may not be found to be liable.
Second, the risk of harm must have been unreasonable. For example, if the property owner left the front gate open, and tenants complained and requested that the gate be locked, but the property owner did not do so, then they created an unreasonable risk of harm. Essentially, the property manager must know, or be reasonably expected to know, that there was an issue with the security that created a risk of harm but did nothing to fix the situation.
Preparing a Premises Liability Claim
Proving both of these aspects requires documentation, witnesses, and an extensive investigation. No one can be expected to deal with this process while recovering physically and emotionally from a traumatic situation. If you or a loved one have suffered due to negligent security, contact The Lenahan Law Firm at (214) 295-1008 to secure the advice of a Dallas premises liability attorney. You need the best at your side.