Austin Negligent Security Lawyer
Property owners in Texas have a duty to keep their premises reasonably safe. This includes maintaining proper security measures that protect guests, customers, employees, and residents from crime. If you or a loved one suffered injuries due to a violent crime caused by a property owner’s negligence, an Austin negligent security lawyer at Shamieh Law can help you seek justice, accountability, and compensation. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.
3800 North Lamar Blvd Suite #200, Austin, Texas 78756
Many crime victims are unaware that someone other than the criminal actor could be liable for their losses, pain, and suffering. Under Texas’s premises liability laws, you may be eligible to seek compensation from property owners where crimes occur when they fail to take necessary security measures.
That’s where the legal team at Shamieh Law comes in. Our personal injury attorneys in Austin have defended the rights of countless victims throughout Texas when injured as the result of criminal activity. We can do the same for you. We will investigate your case, gather evidence, and build a solid premises liability claim on your behalf to secure compensation from negligent property owners. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.
Why Choose Shamieh Law’s Austin Negligent Security Lawyers?
At Shamieh Law, we approach each case with our “Winning With Awareness” philosophy. We treat everyone involved in the cases we handle with compassion, respect, and dignity. Our mission is to secure the best possible result for our clients. We find that building a robust reputation for professionalism, integrity, and service puts us in the best position to do so.
We also remember that there is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to personal injury lawsuits. When our clients might otherwise feel unseen and voiceless in the aftermath of an injury, we take pride in truly understanding their challenges and goals. In every case, you can count on us to deliver high-quality legal services tailored to the unique challenges in your case.
Our award-winning Austin negligent security attorneys have wide-ranging experience representing injury victims, including many crime victims injured as the result of negligent security. Over the years, we have recovered over $100 million for our clients and their families, including $5 million for the family of a dollar store employee killed in a robbery after requesting improved security measures.
What Is Negligent Security?
Criminal actors don’t select targets randomly. Instead, they select opportunistically, searching for areas with lax security measures when planning their crimes. These security lapses are not the victims’ fault but are often due to property owners’ negligence.
When a property owner fails to provide reasonable security measures on their premises and thereby contributes to injuries sustained by victims, the owner may be liable for victims’ injuries. This is known as premises liability, which revolves around the property owner’s legal duty to protect lawful guests, customers, employees, and residents from foreseeable crimes.
Many crimes can result from negligent security, including assault, battery, robbery, sexual assault, and homicide. Common settings include apartment complexes, hotels, banks, health care facilities, schools, office buildings, entertainment venues, and retail stores.
Types of Negligent Security Lawsuits in Austin
Countless factors can come together and result in a negligent security lawsuit. The following are some of the most common types of lawsuits our Austin negligent security lawyers have handled:
- Inadequate lighting – Dark areas caused by improper lighting provide cover for criminals to harm others. Property owners who fail to provide proper lighting in high-risk areas of the premises, such as parking lots, hallways, and entrances, may be liable for any resulting crimes.
- Lack of surveillance – Video surveillance cameras deter criminal activity. Even when the cameras don’t act as a deterrent, surveillance allows staff to respond to security threats quickly. Failure to implement video surveillance measures or monitor these systems creates a liability risk.
- Inadequate locks – When locks on doors or windows are not maintained, it is easier for unauthorized individuals to gain access to properties, particularly private areas like apartment homes and hotel rooms. If a property owner neglects to install proper locks or fails to maintain them, they could be held liable for injuries caused by a break-in.
- Improper training – If security personnel or other staff members receive improper training, they may not know how to identify or respond to security threats. This can result in a delayed or inadequate response to incidents, potentially causing preventable harm to individuals on the property.
Remember, these are just a few recurring factors in negligent security lawsuits we have handled. If your case falls outside these categories, do not hesitate to contact our Austin personal injury law office to find out how we can assist you. We are here to ensure that you know your full legal rights and options.
Who Can Be Liable for Injuries Due to Negligent Security in Austin?
Property owners, whether they are individuals, businesses, or organizations, generally bear primary responsibility for security on their premises. For example, landlords, business owners, and government entities must all maintain a minimum level of security for their lawful guests.
That said, other parties may also be liable for negligent security. For example, in cases where an Austin property owner hires a management company to oversee their premises, the property management company may be responsible for any injuries resulting from negligent security. Additionally, security companies and their employees may be liable if they were hired but failed to adequately fulfill their duties.
Proving Liability in a Negligent Security Case
Someone with a legal duty of care is obligated to take certain measures to avoid causing harm to others. Failure to uphold this duty results in negligence. For example, all road users have a duty of care to avoid causing car accidents.
Similarly, property owners in Austin and throughout Texas have a duty of care to provide reasonable security measures to protect lawful visitors. Property owners generally only owe this duty of care to individuals who have their implied or express permission to visit the premises.
Those who don’t have the property owner’s consent (i.e., trespassers) are usually owed a minimal duty of care. Basically, property owners need only refrain from harming them intentionally.
The Supreme Court of Texas provided helpful language interpreting premises liability law in the case of Timberwalk Apartments, Partners, Inc. v. Cain. A property owner may be liable for a third-party crime if the following is true:
The property owner failed “to use ordinary care to reduce or eliminate an unreasonable risk of harm created by a premises condition which the owner . . . knows about or in the exercise of ordinary care should know about.”
Therefore, foreseeability is a major element in determining whether a property owner is liable in an Austin negligent security case. As explained by the Court, “foreseeability requires only that the general danger, not the exact sequence of events that produced the harm, be foreseeable.” To help determine when something is foreseeable, the Court prescribed the following factors:
- Physical proximity of past crimes.
- Frequency and recency of those crimes.
- Similarity of past crimes to the crime in the inadequate security claim under consideration.
- Publicity of past crimes, including reports to the property owner.
Even so, determining what is foreseeable and what is not varies widely based on context, and at-fault parties may unfairly use that ambiguity to their advantage. Don’t worry. Our Austin negligent security attorneys will thoroughly investigate the reality of what happened to cause your injuries and determine whether the property owner knew or should have known about the danger.
When Is Security Considered Adequate?
Though the law envisions a “standard of reasonable care,” what that looks like in each case varies widely. Each property has different security needs based on location, size, property type, and crime history.
After evaluating these considerations, property owners must decide what security measures are necessary to protect others from foreseeable harm on their premises. The following are some examples of security measures they can take:
- Ensuring that high-risk areas of the property have sufficient lighting.
- Implementing a controlled access system that only allows authorized visitors onto the property.
- Installing locks on all doors and windows and making sure they function properly.
- Hiring professional security personnel and informing them of potential safety risks.
- Providing sufficient training and equipment to security staff.
- Performing background checks on prospective employees and rejecting applicants with criminal histories.
- Installing surveillance cameras and monitoring them for suspicious activity.
- Installing panic buttons throughout the premises.
- Posting signs that deter criminal activity.
- Performing regular inspections and maintenance of all security measures.
- Promptly repairing broken security equipment.
The Austin negligent security lawyers at Shamieh Law have the skills and resources needed to investigate a property’s security infrastructure and determine whether it’s adequate based on its unique features.
Types of Compensation Available in Negligent Security Cases
A negligent security lawsuit can help ensure a sense of justice and accountability for what happened to you. However, the primary purpose of legal action is to seek compensation for the losses you sustained due to the crime. These losses, legally referred to as damages, usually fall under one of two categories: economic and non-economic.
Economic damages are tangible, quantifiable losses that have a direct financial impact on you. In other words, they reimburse you for specific monetary losses you suffered because of the incident. Common types of economic damages in personal injury negligent security cases include things like:
- Medical expenses – This includes all past and future medical expenses related to the injuries resulting from the incident, such as hospitalization, surgeries, doctor’s visits, prescription medications, physical therapy, and rehabilitation.
- Lost wages – If you cannot work due to your injuries or the incident has limited the type of work you can perform, you may be compensated for past earnings and lowered future earning capacity.
- Therapy costs – Violent crimes can cause significant psychological trauma. You may be compensated for the cost of mental health care, such as therapy and counseling.
Non-economic damages are more challenging to reduce to a dollar value because they compensate you for the intangible impact the incident had on your life. In personal injury cases, non-economic damages can compensate for things like:
- Pain and Suffering – This type of compensation accounts for the physical and emotional pain, distress, and suffering you’ve experienced because of the incident.
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life – Your non-economic damages could also include compensation for losing the ability to participate in activities you enjoyed before the incident, such as hobbies, sports, and travel.
What About Wrongful Death Damages?
Of course, money awarded in a lawsuit cannot right the wrong of losing someone we love to violent crime. However, through a lawsuit, our Austin wrongful death lawyers can help you and your family secure compensation for:
- Funeral and burial expenses – This component of wrongful death damages covers the costs associated with arranging and conducting a funeral along with the burial or cremation of the deceased.
- Loss of financial support – You may also seek compensation for the financial support your lost loved one would have provided if the incident had not occurred, such as income and benefits (e.g., retirement and pension accounts).
- Loss of companionship – In recognition of the intangible aspects of your relationship with your lost loved one, you may receive compensation for their missing companionship, love, care, and guidance.
- Grief and anguish – Additionally, you may be awarded damages for the emotional distress and psychological suffering you experienced due to losing your loved one.
How Long Do You Have to File an Austin Negligent Security Lawsuit?
Your negligent security case is governed by a strictly enforced deadline set by the statute of limitations. The deadline is two years from the date of injury or death.
Though this rule has a few exceptions, you should not rely on them until an attorney confirms whether they apply to your case. Failure to file your lawsuit before the correct deadline will most likely result in it being dismissed in court. Call our experienced negligent security attorneys in Austin for a free consultation to learn more about the specific deadlines that may apply in your case.
Schedule a Free Consultation with an Austin Negligent Security Attorney
If you or a loved one was the victim of a crime and you believe negligent security may have played a role in the incident, we invite you to contact us today. Remember, there is a limited amount of time to file your case.
Our Austin legal team is on standby to listen to your story and guide you through your legal options. When you turn to our negligent security lawyers, we’ll put our extensive experience to work in your favor. We will handle every step of the legal process so you can put more time and energy toward what matters most: your recovery.