No one can predict when or where a crime will occur. However, criminals generally seek easy targets, such as locations without security cameras, security guards, gates, street lights, or other safety features that discourage criminal activity. When a property owner neglects to institute these necessary security measures, individuals who visit the property might become more vulnerable to violent crimes.

In a premises liability case, injured individuals are allowed to seek civil redress against a property owner for crimes and violent acts of third parties when it is negligent regarding security. For a premises liability case to be successful, the plaintiff must show that a property owner or occupier failed to take the reasonable steps necessary to prevent the crime that resulted in the injuries suffered. When a crime like rape, assault, or abduction occurs due to inadequate security, the property owner can be held accountable with the help of a Houston negligent security lawyer. Below are some common examples of negligent security:

  • Failure to install or monitor security cameras
  • Failure to warn visitors about any known risks or dangers
  • Failure to respond to a security alert or emergency call
  • Failure to provide adequately trained security personnel or patrol
  • Failure to fix broken physical barriers, such as gates, locks, fences, or doors
  • Failure to maintain an establishment’s appearance
  • Failure to maintain adequate lighting in dark areas

In many cases, foreseeability is a vital element in negligent security cases. This is generally determined based on whether or not there were any prior crimes that shared similarities in the same location that the owner or possessor knew or should have known about. For example, if there were several prior rapes in a mall parking lot before the injuries in another case occurred, it is reasonable to expect that the most recent case was foreseeable. Common locations where inadequate security can occur include:

  • Parking lots
  • Apartment buildings
  • Campus housing
  • Office buildings
  • Restaurants
  • ATM machines and banks
  • Parking ramps
  • Private residences
  • Hotels, motels, or inns

Negligent security cases typically require thorough investigations to uncover evidence to support claims that business owners should have foreseen crimes. In addition, insurance companies are generally implicated and fight these cases tooth and nail. Before a case may proceed to litigation, the claim must be analyzed and deemed adequate for negligent security. This may take some research and time to discover past issues and concerns. Once there appears to be the potential for a case, we’ll determine how to best pursue your case. Call us today for a free case review. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.