No one should have to live in fear of becoming a victim of a violent crime. In private homes, many Americans install high tech security systems to keep their families safe. But not everyone owns their home where providing for their security is possible; many rent houses or apartments, or live where they must rely on a landlord to provide security. And even for those who keep their homes well-secured, what about when they are outside the home, for work, shopping, or recreation? They must then rely on the owners of those properties to maintain a safe environment.
The United States, unfortunately, has a high rate of violent crime, relative to the rest of the developed world. And of the 50 states, Texas ranked number 18 for the most violent crimes in 2014. Clearly our state has a security issue, with assault and battery, rape, gunshot injuries, abductions, and homicides depriving people of their human rights to life, health, and a peaceful existence.
Violent crime is a leading cause of injury and death in Texas and the nation. It is a cause of traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord damage, fractures, psychological trauma, and wrongful death. Although the perpetrator may sometimes be arrested and convicted of the crime, that does little to help the victim. Victims of crime and their families need to have the means to pick up the pieces of their lives and move on after losing a loved one in a homicide or suffering a catastrophic injury at the hands of a criminal. Many of these crimes and the damage they cause could and should be prevented by premises owners, operators, managers, or security contractors. Negligent security injuries occur when those responsible for the safety of the premises fail to live up to their responsibility toward those who are on the property legally, to prevent them from suffering any reasonably foreseeable harm.
While you focus on recovering from a traumatic criminal attack or assault, your lawyer can take care of complicated legal processes for you. An attorney will know precisely how to investigate negligent security claims, gather evidence and build a case against the defendant(s). You can focus on moving forward from the incident while a trusted advocate fights for maximum compensation on your behalf. You can also rest assured your lawyer will not accept a lowball settlement offer from an insurance company.
Without representation, an insurance adjuster may try to take advantage of you. When you hire an attorney to represent you, you force insurance companies to take your case more seriously. Your lawyer can use comprehensive and thorough legal strategies to negotiate with an insurance company on your behalf. From investigating the property owner and collecting police reports to listening to your needs and advocating for top results, an attorney can take care of many things while you focus on the future.
Anyone who owns or leases a property owes a duty of care to those who are invited onto the premises to take reasonable precautions to keep them safe. Reasonable precautions might include:
Similar to a slip and fall accident, another situation that may incur liability on the part of a property owner, an individual or family affected by a serious injury or death on someone else’s premise may be able to recover money in compensation for damages to their finances and quality of life.
Some examples of premises open to the public where crimes frequently occur include:
If you have become a victim of a violent crime, you might be so traumatized and hurting that you are tempted to try to forget it ever happened. Or you may be so focused on the criminal that you haven’t given much thought to who else might be responsible. But with the help of an experienced personal injury attorney working on your behalf, you may be able to achieve some measure of justice and closure, and you may obtain the funds that will allow you to get the medical and psychological treatment that will enable you to move past the trauma and focus on your recovery.
To succeed in recovering compensation for your damages in a negligent security legal action, you will need to prove several elements:
It is important that the attorney you choose not only has experience in handling negligent security cases successfully, but also has the resources and connections to bring on board expert witnesses to help prove your case, including public safety experts and criminologists.
It is also essential that you choose an attorney who is willing and able to take your case to a jury and has a record of bringing in successful verdicts for clients. Many negligent security cases can be settled out of court, but it is sometimes necessary to try a case to a jury in order to obtain a recovery that truly reflects the magnitude of your losses. Juries tend to be sympathetic to victims of violent crimes, and although every case is different, verdicts in the most serious cases can be in the millions of dollars.
If your premises liability lawyer succeeds in demonstrating to an insurer, judge or jury that the property owner reasonably should have improved the security of a premises before the attack or incident, the property owner may owe you compensation. While you can also hold the criminal civilly liable (if in custody), an additional premises liability lawsuit can improve your chances of recovering fair compensation for your damages.
The value of your negligent security claim in Dallas can depend on many factors. The severity of your injuries, whether you have permanent disabilities, your age, income, the nature of the assault, the actions of the defendant and the skill of your attorney could all affect the final amount of your settlement or verdict if you win your case. Contact our attorneys in the Dallas-Fort Worth area to find out what your premises liability case might be worth.
Aaron Herbert is a top-rated (AVVO 10/10) Dallas, Texas, attorney with a Board Certification as a Personal Injury Trial Lawyer and 50 jury verdicts under his belt. He has successfully resolved thousands of personal injury cases and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.
If you have been harmed as a crime victim on someone else’s premises, call the Aaron Herbert law firm to arrange a free consultation with a committed Texas personal injury attorney who knows how to get results. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain, because you will incur no attorney fees, court, or legal expenses unless you recover.