Assaults & Acts of Violence
As the population of Texas continues to grow rapidly, new apartment complexes are being built daily across the state to house the additional people. Additionally, increases in housing prices mean many families stay in rented apartments longer than they might otherwise. Unfortunately, apartments are often targets for criminals. Thieves are drawn to the large number of residences and vehicles in one area they can easily rob in succession. Lower floors and parking garages are especially at risk of break-ins and attacks. Injury and death can occur for a tenant or their guest interrupting a break-in or being targeted by someone looking to cause physical harm. These types of crimes occur in apartment buildings with alarming frequency, however they are often preventable.
Property Management Should Take Reasonable Precautions
Although crimes will inevitably happen, managers and apartment owners must take every reasonable precaution to protect residents from apartment assaults. If the negligence of property owners and others involved in the daily running and maintenance of the building contributes to an assault or other crime that befalls a tenant, they may be held liable for the resulting damages.
Tenants expect to be reasonably protected in their homes and look to apartment management and staff to provide security for the building and respond to any safety concerns. Besides being at risk for injury from an accident if the property is not well maintained, tenants are also at risk of sexual assault, rape, robbery, and even homicide if key safety measures are neglected. In terms of the premises, building managers are required to keep the complex safe, including addressing things like maintaining the integrity of fences and gates, installing systems to limit entry to only tenants and their guests, installing and maintaining appropriate lighting throughout the complex, and employing qualified and trained security guards.
Besides these measures, management also has a duty to perform background checks on new tenants before they lease an apartment. Allowing someone with a criminal history to move in could endanger the safety of the current tenants. Background checks should also be used for all new employees who will be working in the complex.
If a break-in or an assault does occur, it is imperative that management take steps to inform residents of what happened, if suspicious or dangerous individuals may be trying to get into the apartment building again, and what steps they are taking to prevent future crimes. Clear communication can help apartment community members feel safer and know when to take extra safety precautions.
When renting an apartment, potential tenants should inquire about all safety features and ask about the history of crimes in the complex. Before signing a lease, you should ensure you will be living in a safe place and be protected in your new home. If there are any causes for concern, tenants should feel comfortable bringing them to the attention of the apartment building’s staff.
If someone is attacked and injured at an apartment complex, it is important to examine how the perpetrator was able to enter the premises. If it can be proven that the injury is due to the apartment complex’s failure to keep to the person safe, the owner/management company can be held liable for its negligence. The victim and/or their family may be entitled to compensation for physical and mental injuries, as well as financial suffering, due to the management company’s failure to protect. Damages resulting from an attack can vary greatly, but victims could be facing months of recovery, both physical and psychological. If they are prevented from working after an assault or suffer from a condition resulting from the assault that requires ongoing medical care, the associated costs can quickly become overwhelming. Not only should victims be entitled to compensation for their suffering, but a civil suit can also hold apartment management accountable in order to help prevent future attacks.
To establish that an apartment complex’s management or staff is liable for harm that occurs in an apartment assault, there are several elements that must be proven. Establishing these parameters is often more challenging than it seems, and an experienced Houston personal injury attorney is essential in successfully seeking compensation.
Texas Apartment Assault Attorneys
The Texas apartment assault attorneys at Adame Garza LLP have aided clients injured by a wide range of civil assaults, and we know how to effectively approach these claims. We can analyze the specific details of your attack and give you an honest assessment of what options are available to you. Contact us today to learn how we can get you back on your feet.