3-Year-Old Child Shot, Family Files Lawsuit Against Apartment Complex
The parents of a 3-year-old child who was shot in the head—and survived—have filed a lawsuit against the apartment complex that they had just moved into prior to the incident. The child is now in a rehab hospital and her parents say she is doing “great”. However, they hold the apartment complex owners responsible for failing to secure the premises.
Understanding negligent security lawsuits
Livingston & Flowers handles a lot of negligent security lawsuits like the one described above. In these cases, especially those which are successful, there are repeated calls to police, police reports, violent criminal activity, gun violence, and more. Texas law says that a landlord is responsible for the injuries when they have forewarning that violent activity is precedented and likely. In this case, there were 134 reported incidents, 33 crimes involving a weapon, 85 reports of gunfire, and nearly 2,500 calls to 911.
A second aspect of a negligent security lawsuit is that the property owner must have some remedy available to them that they have failed to take. While residents say that the complex does have security, they also say that the security is inadequate to the task. They claim that they never see onsite security driving around.
Foreknowledge is an essential aspect of negligent security
Problematically, this case is hindered by the question of stray gunfire. While security may be able to reduce the amount of crime on the premises, it would be naive to think that it could eliminate it entirely. Property owners tend to point this out when they’re facing lawsuits involving negligent security. There is only so much that they can do to prevent such occurrences. The question then becomes: What did they do and was it adequate to the task?
Since the property owners had reason to know that there were security issues on-premises, and, in fact, had security on-premises, the plaintiffs will need to show that the security they did have was ineffective, negligent, or some other failure.
In many negligent security cases, plaintiffs can point to unlocked doors giving access to common areas of the apartment or other issues with the property that rendered it unsafe. It’s more difficult to make the argument when a stray bullet is involved.
The lawsuit could boil down to whether or not a jury believes that a property owner should be liable for criminal activity on their property. In cases where a stray bullet flies through a window and strikes a child, it is more difficult to make your case than it would be if someone entered the premises and attacked you.
Nonetheless, the landlord’s responsibility to their tenants is what is being litigated, and the allegation is that they failed to provide a basic level of security for their residents. Hence, the landlord’s conduct and failure to provide security is of crucial importance whereas a stray-bullet defense is unlikely to get the property owner off the hook for this negligent security case.
Talk to a Houston Negligent Security Attorney Today
If you’ve been injured due to your landlord’s unwillingness or inability to properly secure your apartment complex, call the Houston personal injury attorneys at Livingston & Flowers today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help.