Why Are Owners And Businesses Required To Keep Us Safe?
Inadequate security cases stem from the fact that these businesses or land owners have a responsibility to everyone they invite onto their premises to keep them safe. If a land owner or business owner knows that criminals hang out in the parking lot robbing and raping their customers, they cannot stand by and watch. They must do something to prevent this. There are numerous ways that owners and businesses can deter this type of conduct.
The good news is that there are a lot of safe companies and owners out there that care for and put safety over their profits. However, there are still the owners that just don't care. These are the ones that are the most dangerous. They either know and choose not to do anything, or they choose not to know. Either way, it is not an excuse that will work. Texas law allows a victim of a preventable crime to hold a negligent owner accountable.
Where Are Customers And Employees At Risk?
Most assaults and robberies occur at convenience stores, malls, shopping centers, office buildings, schools, hotels, motels, and parking garages. This is where most people are vulnerable. The owners of these commercial properties must be aware of the foreseeable crimes that can or have happened on their premises. This knowledge allows them to set up safety features to prevent it from happening in the future.
What Can Be Done To Prevent Crime?
In most cases where the crime could have been prevented because of prior notice, we see the following types of safety concerns:
- Inadequate or no security systems in place
- Inadequate or no lighting in the parking lot or garages
- Inadequate or no lighting near buildings
- Inadequate systems in place for changing tenants resulting in duplicate keys floating around
- Inadequately trained security guards
- Inadequate fencing surrounding the premises, usually with gaps or broken fences not being fixed
- Inadequate locks on doors and windows
- A lack of security guards
- A lack of off-duty police officers for security
- A lack of security cameras
- A lack of a gate surrounding the premises controlling unwanted visitors from entering
For most of us, this list make perfect sense. We want our home to be safe and do whatever is necessary to protect our family. We expect the same if others are inviting us to buy their goods/services or live in their apartments. Most facilities we see where serious injuries or death occur because of crime, they do not have adequate safety features.
What Is The Law On Inadequate Security Claims?
While each case is very unique, there are a few factors that generally apply to all of them.
- Has previous criminal conduct occurred on or near the property to put the owner on notice?
- How recent were the prior criminal acts on or near the property?
- How frequent do the criminal acts occur on or near the property?
- How similar are the crimes that have been occurring on or near the property and the one that injured or killed the Plaintiff?
- How were the prior crimes reported and did the owner have notice or should the owner have known?
This is a very generalized version of what the law in Texas requires in these cases, but essentially what it boils down to is: did the owner neglect a growing problem with crime that eventually harmed a customer or employee?
The law provides that owners and businesses must protect the invited public and its employees from foreseeable dangerous acts by others. Studies have shown that these violent crimes can be prevented and deterred with proper security and safety systems in place.
What Evidence Matters In These Cases?
In negligent security cases, the evidence that matters is finding what injured someone. It is important to look at the crime stats for that specific building or piece of land and the immediate vicinity or area. Then, we must analyze the safety measures taken (or not) by the owner or business to prevent this type of crime from happening.
What Do We Do At The Button Law Firm?
At The Button Law Firm, we make sure that every stone is turned over. These cases are a huge part of what we do and what we focus on. Inadequate security cases in Dallas and Houston are different than Midland and Austin. However, because of our unique approach to handling these cases, we are usually brought in all throughout Texas to handle these cases.
Our all in approach includes interviewing every potential witness. We track down all prior employees to find out what they have to say about safety and how the business treated the safety of its employees or customers. We order every report we can. At the end of the day, we want to know that this business or owner did everything they could reasonably do to protect you or your loved ones from harm. Because at the end of the day, isn't that what you would do to protect your family?
What Should You Do?
First, if you are injured, make sure to get medical treatment. Next, always make sure to cooperate with the police and make an incident report with the facility. Since these cases are not like car wrecks, you will want to get a trial lawyer as soon as possible that has experience with these kinds of cases. The evidence that is needed to determine whether one of these cases can move forward is so important and usually disappears over time.
When you need to know if there was something that could have been done to prevent what happened to you or a loved one at a business or commercial property, just give us a call or send me an email; we are here for you. We want to make sure to make it right for you and prevent this from happening again to someone else.