Inadequate Resident Security LawsuitLast updated on: October 17, 2022
Our homes should be the place where we feel the safest from harm. Sadly though, that isn’t always the case. Sometimes the people responsible for maintaining your living space aren’t always up to the task, leading to unsafe conditions in your home.
If your apartment has created an unsafe environment that led to an injury, contact the lawyers at Zinda Law Group at (888) 541-7576 for a free case consultation.
WHAT IS PREMISES LIABILITY?
Liability refers to being legally responsible for something. Premises liability is the responsibility of a property owner to maintain safety on the premises of his properties. Legally, a property owner cannot allow an unsafe condition to persist on property they own.
If the property does have an unsafe condition, the landlord could be held legally responsible for any foreseeable harms and injuries that result from that unsafe condition. These could include disrepair to areas such as stairs and handrails of buildings, failing to secure landscaping problems such as dead tree branches or holes in the ground, or otherwise allowing unsafe situations to occur on the property.
WHAT IS NEGLIGENT SECURITY?
In addition to our homes being safe, they also have to be secure. If you have a landlord, he is responsible for maintaining a safe environment in which residents of your property do not have to worry about coming into harm’s way. A safe environment could include keeping locks in repair and up to date, having adequate lighting in hallways, doorways, or other areas, and preventing unauthorized guests from entering the complex.
If your landlord is not keeping the apartment safe, it is likely they are acting negligently under premises liability. Your landlord owes a duty to those who live in their apartment complex to prevent foreseeable harms through safety measures.
HOW DO I DETERMINE SECURITY NEGLIGENCE?
In any negligence claim, the elements that must be established are duty of care, breach, and harm.
You must establish the duty that your landlord had to you, which is to act the way a reasonable person in their position would. The way the court establishes what a reasonable person would do in the situation at hand is by looking at those in the same position; in this case, the court is likely to look at the safety measures of other landlords in the area to see what is common practice.
The next step is to establish breach of the duty your landlord owes you; showing that your landlord failed to act as a reasonable person would in their position. For example, if every other apartment complex uses security cameras, and your landlord does not or if a robbery happens the court may determine that a reasonable landlord would have used security cameras and that not doing so was a breach of duty.
The last element to establish is that the landlord’s breach of duty led to some sort of injury or harm. The harm or injury is generally a straightforward fact; people generally engage personal injury lawyers after they have suffered some type of harm. However, it can be more difficult to establish that the harm occurred because of the actions of the landlord—in the previous example, the plaintiff’s lawyer will have to demonstrate that it was the lack of security cameras which caused the robbery, and not another reason that did not have to do with the landlord’s negligent action.
WHAT IS REASONABLE PROTECTION?
Reasonable protection is the level of care that a landlord owes their tenants. This means that a landlord does not have to do absolutely everything in their power to prevent all crime or accidents from occurring on his property; they only have to do what is reasonable, which depends on the circumstances and the situation around the landlord.
A landlord stationing ten armed guards on twenty-four hour watch around an apartment building would certainly prevent a significant amount of crime from occurring on the property. However, in an ordinary town or city, this would not be a reasonable level of protection, and the landlord is not required to go this far, even if a crime occurs that could have been prevented by such an arrangement.
The standard of reasonable protection will vary depending on the situation. For example, security cameras and streetlights may be an adequate level of protection in one neighborhood, while in another neighbor that has a history of high crime rates and robberies, a reasonable level of protection might include more security measures due to the increased risk of the situation.
WHAT IS FORESEEABLE CRIMINAL ACTIVITY?
In negligence law, an individual is only responsible for preventing foreseeable harm to others. In the case of a landlord, that means foreseeable criminal activity. This is criminal activity that could be foreseen by a reasonable individual in the same situation.
Robberies, muggings, and similar crimes are foreseeable in an apartment complex because a reasonable individual could logically imagine such crimes taking place in a residential area with poor security measures. If a building is in a high-crime area, that increases the chances of crimes occurring.
HOW CAN A PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY HELP?
If you have been injured in your apartment complex, you may want to seek compensation from your landlord for failing to maintain a safe environment. Your chances of recovery will be much higher if you hire a personal injury attorney to help you navigate this legal process.
FILING YOUR CLAIM
A personal injury attorney will be able to help you file your claim. A personal injury lawsuit begins with a complaint filed by the plaintiff. It is important to have an attorney when making this complaint because state law and administrative rules in your area can be complicated and difficult to understand, and you do not want your case dismissed on a technicality, like filing in the wrong jurisdiction.
NEGOTIATING A SETTLEMENT AMOUNT
Your lawyer will also be able to negotiate with the opposing party to seek a settlement. A settlement is a sum of money paid to an injured party after harm is done. Typically, the injured party must agree to give up rights to a future lawsuit in order to accept the settlement.
Many people do not want to go to court. Trials are long, expensive, and take a lot of preparation. The outcome of a trial is also uncertain; no one can guarantee an outcome in a courtroom because so much of it relies on human behavior and subjective judgment.
Instead, many people, both at-fault parties and injured parties, would prefer the quickness and security of a settlement. However, with an attorney, you will be aware of how much the settlement is worth as opposed to your chances of succeeding in court; your attorney can also make sure you are aware of all of the legal implications of accepting a settlement.
GET HELP FROM AN EXPERIENCED PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY
We expect to be safe and secure within our own homes. When you are injured or harmed by the negligence of your landlord, you should focus on recovering from what’s happened, not attempting to navigate the law system by yourself. The lawyers at Zinda Law Group take all of their cases personally and will fight for just compensation for you.
NEED HELP? CONTACT ZINDA LAW GROUP TODAY
At Zinda Law Group, we believe that everyone deserves top-notch legal representation without worrying about whether or not they can pay exorbitant legal fees. Our lawyers operate on a contingency fee basis, meaning that unless you receive a positive verdict in your case, you will pay nothing.
If you or a loved one was injured in your home, contact the premises liability tenant lawyers at Zinda Law Group today.
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