Negligent Security and Apartment Complexes

By Mark T. Flickinger, JD on November 20, 2018

Apartment complex at nightPeople who live in apartment complexes should be able to feel safe in their environment. Unfortunately, an unsecure apartment complex can attract criminal activity. Crimes like robbery, battery, and sexual assault can leave victims with physical injuries, emotional trauma, and financial losses.

The person who perpetrated the crime is responsible for his or her own actions. However, in some cases, the owner of the apartment complex may also hold partial liability.

Premises liability laws hold property owners up to certain standards, such as maintaining a reasonably safe property. One part of creating a safe environment is putting security measures in place that are adequate for the area.

Victims of crimes related to negligent security at an apartment complex in the Salt Lake City, UT area can work with the experienced premises liability attorneys at Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton to learn more about their legal options.

Defining Negligent Security

Negligent security is a type of premises liability that describes a property owner’s failure to take adequate security measures. There are no set standards used to define “adequate” security.

Essentially, a property owner should take the necessary steps to provide security measures that are reasonable based on the location of the property and the type of property.

Although this is largely subjective, most people would agree that apartment complex owners should have certain safety features in place, such as:

  • Ample lighting (especially in parking lots and other outdoor areas)
  • Secure locks
  • Gates or security fencing
  • Alarm systems and cameras
  • Trained security guards

A lack of security features alone is not enough to substantiate a negligent security case. If a person is seeking compensation for damages stemming from a crime, they must be able to show:

  • That a crime took place
  • That they suffered losses as a result of the crime
  • That the property owner where the crime took place had reason to anticipate the likelihood of such a crime (crime records for the area can be a key piece of evidence)
  • That the property owner failed to implement security measures that would help deter the crime

Seeking Compensation

Most crime victims are not aware that criminal charges and civil actions are completely separate. Even if a person has been charged and convicted in a criminal case, the victim can still seek compensation for damages through civil court.

If a property owner is found liable for the victim’s losses, the court can order them to provide compensation for damages, which may include medical expenses, the cost of rehabilitation and therapy, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Contact Our Firm

If you are the victim of a crime that you believe was related to negligent security, you may be able to seek financial compensation through a premises liability suit. Contact our legal firm at your earliest convenience by calling (801) 370-0505.  The experienced attorneys at Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton will listen to the details of your case and advise you on your best course of legal action.

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