little brother was attacked and pistol whipped at his apartment complex in Houston,Tx. an area with a high crime rate and a property that had seriuos breaches in its security features.
State/Country relating to Question: Texas
confronted the property manager
I'm very sorry to hear that. What is the question I can answer for you?
what liability does the complex have to provide him with a safe and secure housing. I have read a great deal on premise liability and have spoken with an attorney who seems to be then just excite to take the case. looking for a little reasurance before i write the guy a 15k check. from my point of view it looks like they could have done a lot to help prevent this. my brother all most died I DONT WONT ANYONE TO HAVE TO GO THROUGH THAT
This is a complex area of law, and there is no absolute guarantee that a civil lawsuit against the landlord would be successful, but a case may at least be made.
A landlord has a general liability to provide safe premises to the tenants. A landlord is not typically liable for the acts of third parties (here, the criminal who beat your brother), however, if the landlord could have foreseen criminal behavior that would result in injuries to his tenants, he may be held liable for damages. This type of cases hinges on whether the criminal behavior was foreseeable, which is a question of fact.
The attorney may be convinced based on the facts present that the act was foreseeable, and that your brother's landlord is therefore liable. However, there is no absolute guarantee that he would prevail in a civil lawsuit, and therefore paying attorneys fees upfront is somewhat of a gamble. Many premises liability/personal injury attorneys will take matters on a contingency fee basis, only collecting if the lawsuit is successful. You may want to discuss a contingency fee arrangement, or find an attorney who will take the case on that basis.
I hope this answers your question. Please let me know if you have any follow-up questions.
we have have discussed taking it on contingency. As of a week later of the incident the property manager has still not notified the complex with a letter of notification to the other tenents. I have also spoken with several police buddies and they all say that they are called to the area nightly. Whould you consider that foreseeable??? in you opinion?
Past criminal assaults or the need for police presence does create a strong indication of foreseeability that similar events will continue to occur, yes.
General practice experience in many areas of law
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