Inadequate Security of Property

When someone is violently attacked on another’s premises, many questions come up. Can a property owner be held liable for an attack on the property? Do property managers have a duty to protect others from attacks? If someone is assaulted at a store, can the injured person recover from the property owner or manger? Patrick R. Kelly is a lawyer in Dallas, Texas who represents people who suffered injuries or death resulting from the inadequate security on a company’s property. He can answer these questions and legally represent an injured victim to obtain the compensation he, she, or the family deserves.

Each property assault case is unique. The specific facts of each case will determine whether a claim can be made when someone is injured or killed at an apartment complex, office building, store, parking lot, or other public venue. These types of cases are commonly referred to as inadequate security, negligent security, or lack of security claims. The cases can involve injuries to guests or customers on the premises. They also can involve employees who are injured based on the common law duty that a “master use reasonable care to provide his servant with a reasonably safe place to work....” Sears, Roebuck & Co. v. Robinson, 280 S.W.2d 238, 240 (Tex. 1955).

The Texas Supreme Court recognizes a common law claim for inadequate security. A duty exists to the landowner or manager of the property to take reasonable safety measures to protect its invitees (people on the premises with express or implied permission) from foreseeable dangers posed by third parties. The evidence must prove that specific previous crimes on or near the subject premises existed to establish foreseeability. The foreseeability is considered in light of what the owner or manager knew or should have known before the criminal act occurred. To do so, Texas courts consider the following legal factors:

  1. whether previous criminal conduct occurred on or near the subject property (Note: Texas Courts generally use a small geographic area in considering crime in the immediate vicinity);
  2. how recent the prior criminal acts occurred on or near the subject property;
  3. the frequency of the criminal activity;
  4. the degree of similarity between the previous illicit conduct and the conduct that led to the injuries suffered; and
  5. the publicity or awareness of the previous occurrences, so as to determine what the landowner or property manager knew or should have known at the time the injuries occurred.

If these factors establish a foreseeability of danger, the property owner or manager must establish reasonable measures to protect others from suffering death or injury caused by the criminal or violent acts of others.

An experienced attorney in inadequate security cases will pursue and gather the evidence to establish a claim against the property owner or manager. The attorneys’ office must work diligently behind the scenes to accomplish various tasks such as obtaining police reports of prior criminal activity, notices previously sent to those in charge of the property, interviewing witnesses, and retrieving video footage.

If you or someone you know suffered severe injury on another’s premises due to criminal or violent activity, call the Law Offices of Patrick R. Kelly. Unlike most law practices, you will have an aggressive attorney assist you with your claim from the initial free consultation, through pre-suit settlement discussions, and all the way through trial if necessary. We will not treat your case like just another number and will not assign a paralegal to handle your case. Instead, you will have an experienced, creative lawyer focused on your claim. Call us now!

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