What is Negligent Security?
When you think of premises liability, slips and falls may be the first things that come to mind. However, premises liability can actually encompass a variety of elements, including negligent security.
Negligent security occurs when a lack of security causes a crime to occur on the property. Criminals tend to frequent places where they can get away with their crimes. For example, if you were at an apartment complex late at night trying to get into your home and you were robbed by someone because the security guard was asleep, you could potentially sue for negligent security. Rape and assault are other crimes that may occur when there is a breach in security.
Property owners are often sued in negligent security cases because it is easier to locate them than the person who actually committed the crime.
Premises liability cases are based on negligence as well as the knowledge of the property owner. Proving these two elements can be quite tricky, which is why premises liability cases are hard to win.
Property Owner’s Obligations
A property owner has two main obligations for anyone who enters their property: Make the property safe and make guests aware of dangerous conditions. The safety measures you should take will depend on your situation. What if you own a small home and rarely have guests? Is it necessary to have a security guard? Probably not. But if you own a commercial property, such as a store, parking lot or apartment building, and get a lot of traffic, it would be wise for you to get the best security possible. This may include improved lighting, surveillance cameras and other security measures.
Foreseeability is an important aspect of a premises liability case. For example, if there were crimes in the area, it is possible that the property owner could experience the same crimes. These previous crimes are considered foreseeable by a judge. If the property owner should have known about these crimes, but did nothing to prevent them from occurring on their property, then they could be held liable if a guest on their property was harmed due to the crime.
Proving Negligent Security
If you were harmed due to a lack of security, be prepared to prove the following elements:
- There was a dangerous condition on the property.
- The landowner should have known about this condition.
- The condition is not open and obvious.
- You were not made aware of the condition.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer
You should feel safe and protected when on another person’s property. If you suffer injuries due to a lack of security or lighting or some other issue that the property owner should have addressed, you may be able to file a premises liability lawsuit.
Liability laws can be confusing in Texas, so don’t handle such a case on your own. Get help from the Houston premises liability lawyers at The West Law Office, PLLC. We can help you obtain the compensation you deserve. Schedule a free consultation today. Call 281-347-3247 or fill out the online form.