Apartment buildings offer homes to millions of people across the country. These buildings often offer great amenities, and remove much of the responsibility of owning a home from the tenants lives. One of the best features that comes with an apartment building is increased security. Many apartment buildings are controlled access, which limit who can enter the building. Even if the apartment building isn’t controlled access, there is a legal responsibility of the apartment complex to provide a reasonable amount of security to their tenants. If you have been the victim of a crime within your apartment complex and have suffered injuries or damages, you may be able to seek compensation due to negligent security.
Negligent security is a type of premises liability. Premises liability is a legal doctrine that holds property owners responsible for the safety of visitors and residents of their property. You may have heard it applied to tripping or slipping hazards. The principal is the same for negligent security, the property owner is to take reasonable efforts to stop a foreseeable crime from occurring. These efforts usually involve having a functioning security system, locks on the doors, limiting who has keys, and informing residents to crimes in the surrounding area.
Foreseeability of the crime is an incredibly important part of negligent security claims. Just because a crime occurred does not mean that you have a valid negligent security claim. Rather, the crime must have been preventable if the apartment building had taken reasonable actions. That being said, your case can claim the complex did not take reasonable action if the security gate is not working, or lights are out in the hallway and complaints have been made to the building manager. These are simple matters to resolve that could easily stop a criminal from being able to bring harm to the tenants of the complex. Remember also that you personally must have suffered injuries or damages to your property during the crime in order to file an effective negligent security claim.
If you believe you have a solid negligent security claim, you should contact a skilled lawyer, like premises liability attorney Dekalb County GA, in your city. An attorney will have the understanding and experience to analyze the factors of your case and determine what legal path would be best for you. Your attorney will help you to hold the apartment complex responsible for not meeting their obligation to provide adequate security, and ensure you receive the compensation that you deserve.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Andrew R. Lynch, P.C. for their insight into negligent security in apartment buildings