If you live in an apartment building, it’s reasonable to expect the landlord or owner to provide certain security measures. It is the responsibility of the apartment building owner or landlord to ensure tenants are reasonably protected from undue harm. Unfortunately, some building owners neglect necessary security measures, which can lead to tenants getting injured or killed in assaults and other violent acts.
If you’ve suffered injuries due to negligent security in an apartment building in Clayton, Missouri, you may be wondering how you can recover compensation. If negligent security caused your injuries, you could file a claim against the apartment complex or landlord. Our Clayton premises liability attorneys can help you pursue a negligent security case.
The Sumner Law Group, LLC, has over 50 years of combined experience helping injured clients throughout Missouri and Illinois. Our firm has earned a reputation for aggressive representation and favorable outcomes for our clients. We’re always ready to go the extra mile to get our clients the justice they deserve.
Contact us today for a free case evaluation.
What Is a Negligent Security Premises Liability Claim?
Owners of apartment buildings and landlords owe a legal duty to ensure the property is reasonably safe and secure for tenants and visitors. You may have the right to hold the owner legally accountable with a negligent security premises liability claim if the owner of an apartment building fails to provide adequate security and you suffer an injury due to a foreseeable crime.
It is important to note that a negligent security claim is a civil matter. You are attempting to collect compensation for your injuries and losses from the building’s owner, landlord, or other responsible parties. There could also be a separate criminal case, depending on the circumstances. The two matters are unrelated. You could recover compensation in a civil claim even if the criminal case does not result in a conviction.
Common Crimes Committed in Apartment Buildings
Certain crimes are more likely to happen in apartment buildings with inadequate security. These crimes can include:
If the owner of your apartment building has not taken appropriate measures to protect the building and keep apartment dwellers and visitors safe, the likelihood of crime is much higher. These crimes can leave victims with severe injuries and emotional trauma that could have a wide-ranging impact on their life both now and in the future.
Proving Liability in an Apartment Inadequate Security Case
When attempting to prove liability, you must establish that your injuries resulted from the building owner’s negligence.
To prove negligence, four elements must be satisfied, which are:
- The apartment building owner owed you a legal duty. First, you must show the owner had a duty to keep the premises safe for tenants and visitors.
- The owner’s action or inaction breached this duty. A breach of duty means the building owner failed to fulfill the duty of keeping the premises safe. For example, not providing physical security at night or not installing security cameras and sufficient lighting could be considered a breach.
- The owner’s breach of duty resulted in your harm. Once you’ve established the first two elements of negligence, you must prove their negligence ultimately resulted in your harm.
- You suffered losses. Your harm must have resulted in losses, monetary or otherwise.
Aside from negligence, it is also essential to prove that the crime committed and resulting injuries were “foreseeable” enough that the property owner should have known it could happen. For a crime to be foreseeable, a reasonable person in the owner’s position would deem it likely that a similar crime could occur on their property.
Certain factors can help determine whether a crime was foreseeable, for example:
- Whether additional or similar crimes happened on the property or in the vicinity
- Whether previous crimes were violent
- How frequently law enforcement is called to the property
While proving liability is crucial, it can also be one of the most challenging parts of your case. A knowledgeable premises liability lawyer will know what steps to take to establish liability.
How Can an Apartment Complex Improve Security and Keep Tenants Safer?
Many crimes are preventable with added security systems and measures. Even relatively simple steps, like adding more lights to outdoor spaces can make them safer.
Owners of apartment buildings and landlords should take the safety of their residents seriously. To improve security, owners could:
- Install a security camera and other security equipment to provide video surveillance
- Install a controlled access gate and a video doorbell
- Install an apartment security system
- Install door and window sensors
- Install secure locks
- Fence the entire perimeter of the property
- Install bars on windows
- Hire security and professional monitoring for the rental property
What Should I Do If I Have Been Victimized?
You should be able to feel safe in your apartment complex. However, if you’ve experienced a crime or been injured due to negligent security, there are steps you should take that could help your claim, including:
- Whenever there are instances at your apartment that make you and other tenants feel unsafe, document with photos and videos. Keeping a list can also be helpful. Documentation can help establish liability in the event of a crime against you.
- Call the police right away if you’ve been the victim of a crime.
- If you’ve suffered injuries, be sure to get medical attention as soon as possible so they can treat and document your injuries.
- Gather as much evidence as possible, including police reports, medical records, and witness information. Evidence is helpful when building a case against the property owner for compensation.
- Discuss your case with a premises liability lawyer in Clayton, Missouri. An attorney can answer your questions, address your concerns, and help you understand your rights.
Contact an Experienced Negligent Security Attorney in Clayton Today
Premises liability claims can be challenging to navigate on your own. If you want to sue the owner of your apartment complex for inadequate security, our law firm can assist you with pursuing compensation and seeking the justice you deserve.
At The Sumner Law Group, LLC, our team of experienced Missouri negligent security lawyers provide skilled representation to those who’ve been injured due to the negligence of an apartment complex owner or management company. Reach out to us online today for a 100% free consultation to discuss your case.