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Should the property owner have protected you?

If you have been a victim of a violent crime, you may be running over the details in your head. It's common to second-guess yourself but it is not helpful at all. What might be useful, however, is looking at the circumstances where you were attacked and how the crime might have been prevented.

This is all about "negligent security" or the failure of a property owner to do the most basic things necessary to prevent crime. There is a high standard for the responsibilities of property owners in Texas to protect visitors on private property. But you may be entitled to compensation under certain circumstances. It's important to have an experienced negligent security attorney review your case.

What is negligent security?

Business owners who allow the public onto their property have a responsibility to provide basic measures to make sure that everyone is safe. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Proper lighting
  • Proper access restrictions
  • Security guards or cameras, when appropriate

You have a right to feel safe in any space which is open to the public. If you have been the victim of an attack there may well have been negligent security, or a failure to provide the most basic standards of safety.

A high standard

The Texas Supreme Court ruled in 1998 that for property owners, "A duty (for security) exists only when the risk of criminal conduct is so great that it is both unreasonable and foreseeable." That can be a high standard to meet, but the standard includes specific times when security is clearly required.

For example, if there have been a series of attacks in the area the risk of there being more can be shown to be "foreseeable," or easily predicted. If that can be shown, there may be a good case that the attack you endured should have been prevented by the property owner taking a few more steps to prevent it.

Compensation may be justified

Because of the technical nature of these cases, it is important to have an experienced negligent security attorney on your side. The details of the case are very important, but so are many other factors regarding the place where it occurred and the surrounding area.

It's also important that a link between the apparent negligence of the property owner and the tragedy that you have endured be established. Negligent security cases require a very close attention to detail and a thorough understanding of the law.

No matter what, if you have been the victim of an attack it is worth your time to consult with an attorney to see if compensation may be justified. It does no good to run over the details the incident in your mind without also considering what other people, particularly property owners, could have done to prevent the tragedy.

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