Legal Help After Inadequate Security Leads to Injury
When you attend a concert, shop at a convenience store, or go to your home at an apartment complex, you have a reasonable expectation of safety. When your life is turned upside down by criminal activity at one of these locations, whether it be a robbery, battery, or sexual assault, this expectation has been violated.
If the owner or tenant of the property on which you were injured failed to offer reasonable security measures to protect lawful visitors from foreseeable crimes, they may be held liable for your injury. Inadequate security claims indicate that the crime and the victim’s injuries could have been prevented had appropriate security measures been taken by the property owner or tenant.
Inadequate Security and Premises Liability
Inadequate security falls under the umbrella of premises liability. In Texas, premises liability law states that anyone who owns, occupies, or manages a piece of property has a responsibility to keep the property reasonably safe for visitors. The law defines four types of individuals who may enter a property:
- Invitee. An invitee was explicitly invited onto the property by the owner or manager of the property. This may be through a social invitation by a private individual, or a retail store customer who was “invited” to shop at the location.
- Guest. A guest is someone who may not have received an explicit invitation to be on the property at that specific time, but is a generally welcome visitor to the property.
- Licensee. A licensee has legal rights to enter the property regardless of an invitation. This generally included landlords, tenants, and anyone else who has been given legal permission to enter, such as a meter reader or postman.
- Trespasser. A trespasser does not have permission to be on the property and does not have a legal right to be there. A property owner is unlikely to be liable for the injuries of a trespasser.
These labels affect whether or not a property owner can be held liable if someone is injured on their property. If you are an invitee at a concert venue, meaning you have purchased tickets for a scheduled show, the event organizer has a responsibility to hire certified security to prevent criminal activity. If you trespass on the same venue after hours, however, the property owner will probably not be liable for not having security there to protect you from criminal activity. In Texas, a landowner is not liable for a trespasser’s injuries unless the owner intentionally injured the trespasser.
Proving an Inadequate Security Case in Dallas
Because inadequate security is considered premises liability, to prove the property owner’s liability for your injuries, you must demonstrate the following:
- You actually suffered the injury. You must prove that your injury occurred using photos, medical records, expert testimony, and other relevant evidence.
- The injury occurred on the owner’s property. A criminal attack that occurred a block from a concert venue would not be the venue owner’s responsibility.
- Inadequate security was a contributing factor to the criminal activity, meaning the property owner was negligent in their duty to maintain a safe area. For example, a venue has only one security guard for a crowd of 1,000 people. At the time of your injury, the security guard was busy attending to another issue. Had there been an adequate number of guards, a guard may have been able to intervene, preventing the criminal activity from taking place.
Foreseeability is an important aspect of inadequate security cases. If previous crimes occurred on a property and the owner did not implement any security measures to combat them, your injury would be considered foreseeable, making the property owner liable.
Work with an Experienced Texas Inadequate Security Lawyer
Our Dallas personal injury attorneys at Crowe Arnold & Majors, LLP can help injured victims receive support for damages caused by the crime, including medical bills, lost wages, future medical treatments, pain and suffering, and emotional distress.
Property owners have a duty to provide a reasonably safe environment with adequate security, and if they do not, you deserve to receive compensation for your injuries. Give Crowe Arnold & Majors, LLP a call at (214) 231-0544 to schedule a no-cost case evaluation.