Negligent Security and Premises Liability
When you enter a property in Austin, whether it be a coffee shop, a bar, a grocery store, or a hotel, it’s reasonable to expect that the property is safe and maintained by the owner. Part of a property owner’s duty in establishing a safe environment involves installing and maintaining an adequate security system.
If you were injured on a property due to negligent security, you could be entitled to recover compensation for any damages you suffered, like medical expenses, lost earnings, and more. The Austin-based premises liability attorneys at Loewy Law Firm have the knowledge and skills to help you hold negligent property owners accountable for their actions and pursue the settlement you deserve.
Contact us today to set up a free consultation with one of our distinguished attorneys.
What is a Negligent Security Case?
A negligent security claim or lawsuit is a type of premises liability case. In Texas, residential and commercial property owners have a duty to ensure that their properties are safe for guests and customers. If you were injured because a property owner failed to provide adequate security on their property, you could file a claim or lawsuit against the property owner. For example, if you were at a club or bar and were assaulted due to sub-par security, you could file a negligent security claim.
To bring a negligent security claim or lawsuit against the property owner, any criminal attack that occurs on the property must have been “foreseeable.” It’s not possible to predict the future. However, someone who owns a piece of property is required to consider possible threats to their property and take reasonable steps to protect visitors.
For instance, if the property is in an area where robberies often occur, then the owner should take proactive steps to safeguard their property. If the crime rate in the area is higher than average, then it’s not unreasonable to assume that the owner’s property could be affected. If the owner fails to provide adequate security to ward off these threats, they could be held liable if a visitor is injured due to a criminal act on the property.
In a typical negligent security claim or lawsuit, premises liability lawyers will research the area to uncover any history of criminal activity and use the evidence they collect to show that the property owner should have known about reasonable threats to their property. Establishing that the property owner knew or should have known about possible threats is the first step in proving your case.
How Do I Prove Negligent Security?
To prove liability in a negligent security case, you need to be able to show that you were lawfully present on the property at the time of the incident. You will also need to show these four elements of negligence:
- First, you need to show that the property owner had a duty of care to prevent you from being harmed on their property. This includes providing sufficient security on the premises based on the owner’s knowledge of the area.
- Second, you need to demonstrate that the owner breached their duty of care by failing to take reasonable and adequate security measures.
- Third, you’ll have to show that you were injured because the property owner was negligent in their duty to provide sufficient security.
- Lastly, you need to show that you suffered compensable damages due to the injury. Compensable losses include financial damages like medical expenses and non-financial damages like pain and suffering.
A full investigation will likely be needed to determine whether the property owner knew or reasonably should have known about possible threats in the area yet failed to protect their property or warn visitors of potential dangers. That’s why it is critical to consult with an experienced negligent security lawsuit attorney as soon as possible after the incident.
When is Security Considered Adequate?
Adequate security will vary from property to property, depending on the type of property and the level of crime in the area. Some standard security measures that property owners can take to prevent criminal activity on the premises include:
- Ensuring that all locks of the premises function correctly.
- Making sure that only authorized people are permitted on the property, especially at night.
- Providing security staff with sufficient training to perform their jobs.
- Ensuring that security staff and patrols have access to the equipment they need.
- Utilizing and maintaining surveillance cameras.
- Installing panic buttons on the property.
- Posting signs to deter criminals from entering the property.
- Responding appropriately if criminal activity increases in the area where the property is located.
In general, a property owner should take whatever security measures are necessary to ensure that customers, guests, and visitors are protected while on the property. Suppose a property owner fails to provide adequate security based on their knowledge of the area or fails to respond appropriately by boosting security when criminal activity occurs in the area. In that case, they could be held liable for damages if someone is injured due to their negligence.
Contact Loewy Law Firm Today
If you were injured because a property owner failed to provide adequate security on their property, you might be eligible to pursue compensation for:
- Present and future medical expense – including hospital bills, physical therapy expenses, prescription medication expenses, and psychological care.
- Lost earnings – if you were unable to work while recovering from your injuries
- Future lost earnings – if you are temporarily or permanently disabled due to the accident and you cannot perform your daily job duties as you usually would.
- Personal property damage – including damage to personal property that can range from eyeglasses to an automobile
- Pain and suffering caused by the incident – including loss of quality of life, physical pain, emotional distress, mental anguish, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Contact an Experienced Austin Negligent Security Lawyer
At Loewy Law Firm, our Austin-based negligent security lawyers have the resources to conduct a thorough review of the accident, gather evidence to support your claim, document and calculate damages you’re owed for, determine liability, and aggressively pursue compensation on your behalf.
Contact us today to discuss your case and review your legal options.