Inadequate Security Can Lead to Injuries and Fatalities
In June of 2014, a man entered a first-floor apartment through a sliding glass door and committed a murder. The accused man who committed the crime has pled not guilty and will face criminal charges. The parents of the victim believe the criminal who stabbed the apartment owner to death is not the only one responsible.
The victim was a young pastry chef, and her parents believe that her death was caused, in part, by inadequate security at her apartment. They claim reasonable security precautions were not taken, adequate locks and keys were not provided, and the lighting at night time was not sufficient to make the premises reasonably safe.
The parents of the victim have filed a civil lawsuit against multiple defendants, including the apartment owners and managers. The lawsuit is one of many that are filed each year under premises liability laws. If you or someone you love was hurt or killed because of inadequate security, you may also be able to file a similar claim. A personal injury attorney can provide assistance in pursuing a cause of action for negligent security.
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Injury claims for negligent security
Apartment owners and managers have certain duties to the people who live in their apartment buildings. The owners and managers of apartments are responsible for maintaining common spaces in order to ensure that there are no hazards, like broken stair railings or slippery tiles that someone can trip over.
In addition to maintaining the premises and making sure that reasonable steps are taken to avoid physical conditions on the property that could cause harm, those who own and manage the apartment also have other safety obligations as well. They need to take reasonable precautions to prevent apartment renters and visitors from threats of violence.
Property owners and those responsible for properties, including apartment owners as well as owners of shops and restaurants, are not responsible for making sure that visitors or residents are 100 percent safe from all possible risks. They do, however, need to make sure that they take appropriate steps as necessary to provide a reasonable level of safety.
The specific security precautions that need to be taken will vary depending upon the extent of the threat of violence, among other factors. In other words, in higher crime areas or in areas where acts of violence have happened in the past, there may be an obligation to provide security.
In the lawsuit filed against the apartment owners and managers following the stabbing death of the pastry chef, the parents will have the burden of proving the defendants had a duty to their daughter and that the failure to fulfill the duty was the direct cause of harm. Others who wish to pursue legal action in premises liability cases will have to prove similar elements of their own case. A personal injury attorney should be consulted for assistance building a claim.