The extent to which a landowner can be held liable for a criminal act that occurs on their property depends on the type of “visitor” an injured person was in the context of premises liability law. Liability also depends on whether the crime in question was “foreseeable” by a landowner and if they took sufficient action to reduce the risk of crime on their property.
Defining foreseeability in Houston negligent security claims can be a legally complex and evidence-intensive process, as any experienced premises liability lawyer could affirm. If you want to pursue a civil lawsuit against a landowner for failing to protect you from criminal behavior, speaking with a skilled negligent security attorney at Roberts Markland LLP could be a crucial first step towards achieving a positive case result.
If someone is legally visiting or residing on someone else’s property, the property owner or manager has a legal duty to demonstrate “ordinary care” in keeping their land reasonably safe. For example, owners must quickly fix hazardous conditions they know about, warn visitors of hazards they cannot immediately address, and regularly inspect their property for unknown risks.
Landowners must also take reasonable measures to protect lawful visitors from “foreseeable” criminal acts—in other words, crimes that a reasonably aware and responsible property owner would expect as a possibility. A failure to meet this requirement could be grounds for negligent security litigation if an anticipated crime leads to a visitor or tenant’s injuries.
For the most part, foreseeability in careless security cases applies to violent crimes like robbery, assault, and sexual assault. However, it can sometimes be used for other offenses like burglary if the criminal act in question leads to an injury, as a skilled attorney in Houston could explain during a consultation.
A crime can be anticipated in different ways depending on where property is located, what type of property it is, and what has or has not happened there in the past. For example, a person who owns property in an urban area should have more security measures in place than someone who owns rural property since cities tend to have higher comparative crime rates.
Likewise, residential properties are more likely to be burgled than commercial properties, so additional security might be warranted for an apartment complex that might not be necessary for a shopping mall. But, most importantly, areas that have seen high rates—and especially property that has had specific crime occur there in the past—can be very strong evidence that a similar crime was “foreseeable” and that a property owner in Houston should have taken additional steps to minimize the risk of reoccurrence.
Negligent security claims can be challenging in any context, particularly when it is unclear whether a particular crime was “foreseeable” by a reasonable person. Proving you have a valid reason to file suit along these lines can be much easier with guidance from a legal professional who has successfully handled many similar cases.
A conversation with a capable lawyer could help you better understand foreseeability in Houston negligent security claims. Call today for a confidential meeting.