Attacked at Home: Is Your Landlord Liable?

If you have been injured in a criminal assault or attack in your New York apartment, you may be able to recover compensation for your medical expenses, lost income and your pain and suffering. Although the criminal who hurt you can be held responsible, they have to be caught first, and then have the means to pay.

Even if the person who assaulted you cannot pay for your injuries and losses, you still have options.

If your landlord failed to provide adequate security and that failure played a role in your being harmed, you may be able to recover compensation from your landlord under the premises liability theory of negligent security.

Landlords Have a Duty to Provide Adequate Security

Negligent security claims against landlords are complex and the burden of proof is on the plaintiff. You will have to prove not only that the landlord failed to provide adequate security but that the failure contributed to your being harmed. For instance, if the back entrance had insufficient locks, but the assailant entered through the front entrance, the lack of locks in the back would not have contributed to your injuries.

Although each situation is unique, some of the basic security measures landlords are expected to provide in apartment buildings include:

  • Adequate, working door and window locks
  • Proper building access controls
  • Adequate lighting in stairwells, hallways, and other common areas
  • Working security cameras
  • Adequate security personnel

Upon investigation we sometimes discover that the landlord acted responsibly by hiring a security company and that the security company is to blame for failure to live up to its duties. In that case, we would seek compensation from the security provider.

If you or someone you love has been harmed in a criminal assault on property owned or managed by another party, McPhillips Fitzgerald & Cullum LLP, may be able to help you recover the compensation you need for your injuries and losses, please call or email us today to schedule your free initial consultation.


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