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Houston Personal Injury Lawyer > Blog > Assault & Negligent Security > I WAS ASSAULTED AT MY APARTMENTS. CAN I SUE THE APARTMENTS? YES!


Shot of a young woman sitting in the corner of a dark room with a hand reaching out to help her

Apartment security (or lack of) is a common problem. Apartment owners and their management companies have been known for putting profit over safety. That is, they have been known to go cheap on security measures as simple as lighting, fencing, fixing broken gates, or warning residents of prior assaults at the apartment complex.

Apartment Owner and Management Responsibility. 

In Texas, if an apartment owner and management company know of security issues such as poor lighting, lack of fencing, broken gates, or criminal activity at its apartment property, the apartment owner and management company have a responsibility to fix the problem, and if the problem cannot be fixed, they must warn you about the problem. That is, if the apartment owner or management company knew that trespassers were coming onto the apartment property (premises) thru a broken gate to assault residents, and a resident is later assaulted, but the apartment owner or manager failed to fix the gate or warn residents of what they knew, the apartment owner and management company can be held liable for the assault and all injuries caused by the assault. This is what we lawyers call a “premises liability” or “negligent security” case.

An example of an actual “premises liability” case is one of many cases we have handled in the past involving an assault of a family inside their apartment. Our client was coming home late one night. As he exited his car, several men approached him in the dark parking lot, put a gun to his head, and forced him into his apartment where the men beat him, threw him into a closet with his daughter, and assaulted his girlfriend—all while (fortunately) his young son slept in the back room because the men did not see him.

We learned during that case (thru documents we requested) there were multiple incident reports given to apartment management by other residents complaining that these multiple other residents of the same apartment complex were approached in the same parking lot at gun point and assaulted. The kicker in the case you ask? The apartment owner and management company never warned residents who lived at the apartment complex that these previous assaults had taken place.

In another case we handled, our client was moving into her new apartment. Several men were seen on security footage entering the apartments thru a gate. The same men were seen hanging out on a stairwell directly in front of the apartment manager’s apartment unit. The apartment manager walked by our client and passed the men in front of her apartment. The same men would later assault our client inside of her apartment. Not only did the apartment manager not say anything to the men hanging out on the stairs in front of her apartment (which, by the way, was against apartment policy), but the apartment manager later testified in her deposition that she knew of a previous assault on a woman at the apartments and did not warn our client (or anyone else) before our client signed her lease and started moving in. Our client found us, after another attorney turned down her case before digging into it.

Both property owners above knew they had “premises liability” problems and did nothing about to fix or warn about them before our clients were badly injured.

Premises Liability Injuries on Property Other than Apartments

Apartment owners and managers are not the only property owners who can be held liable for assaults or injuries on their property. Any property owner can. That is, if the property owner, manager, or business in control of the property knew of security issues or premises defects on the property before you were injured, they can be held liable too.

In another premises liability case (non-assault), our client stopped at a gas station. As she walked across the gas station property to go inside, she tripped and fell on cracked concrete severely injuring herself. Just like the cases above, the gas station owner did not fix or warn of the premises defect—the cracked concrete. We learned during the case from the deposition testimony of the gas station manager that another patron of the gas station previously tripped and fell (drawing blood) at the same spot on the gas station property, the manager emailed the owner about that previous fall, but the owner never fixed the defect in the concrete before our client fell.

Premises Liability Personal Injury Attorneys.

If you were injured in an assault at or on someone’s property or business or by a defect in the property—such as cracked concrete, broken gates, or criminal activity—you may be able to hold the property owner or the property management company responsible. Contact the Houston personal injury attorneys at today to schedule a free consultation and discuss your options to get what you deserve.

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