Can I sue the apartment complex for personal injury if my son was attacked? 23 Answers as of July 12, 2013

A girl and about 15 of her friends came to my apartment and knocked on my door, trying to start a fight with my son. He was standing in front of me and 2 guys came and hit him and knocked him unconscious. He had to be taken to the hospital by EMS. He has memory loss and a concussion. Is the apartment complex liable for anything because they did not have security and let anyone come onto the property?

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Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
You would need to show that the complex had notice of that danger or a similar danger, and failed to act before liability attached. Stay well.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 6/24/2011
The Reed Law Firm, P.L.L.C.
The Reed Law Firm, P.L.L.C. | Vanessa Reed
Possibly. An important fact is whether the apartment complex knew or should have known of criminal activity and/or unsafe conditions upon their premises. You may have a case, but more facts are to be known before a legal opinion can be rendered. I would strongly encourage you to meet with a personal injury attorney to discuss your case.
Answer Applies to: Virginia
Replied: 6/16/2011
The Law Office of Josh Lamborn, P.C.
The Law Office of Josh Lamborn, P.C. | Josh Lamborn
Most likely not, but it depends on the circumstances. If they have had problems in the past and were on notice that they needed security or said they would provide security, then maybe there may be an argument. However, generally speaking the apartment complex does not have a duty to provide security for you.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 6/16/2011
Cody and Gonillo, LLP
Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
You should consult with a PI attorney in your area who has handled such a claim.
Answer Applies to: Connecticut
Replied: 6/16/2011
The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
Maybe. Need many more facts to establish complex's duty of care. Residence alone does not impose a duty of care.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/16/2011
    David F. Stoddard
    David F. Stoddard | David F. Stoddard
    It is difficult to hold an apartment complex liable for intentional violent acts of others. There have been cases where an apartment complex has been held liable for having inadequate security. In most cases, it is where the locks are inadequate and the tenant is a victim of a home invasion that would not have occurred had there been adequate locks. There are cases where apartments provide security, and are held liable because security did not do its job and allowed an attack to occurred. However, generally, there is no duty to provide security, or to screen visitors. Each case is different the facts of your specific case are important. Some important factors are: Did the complex provide security that failed to do its job, was the apartment on notice that it is located in a violent neighborhood which might give rise to a duty to provide security. If your son's injuries are not permanent, it is probably a case that most attorneys would decline. If your son has serious permanent injuries, it is worth an attorney looking into. If any of the individuals in the attack are minors who have parents who on property, the parents can be held liable up to $5,000.00 (in South Carolina). If they do not own property, it will be hard to collect a judgment..
    Answer Applies to: South Carolina
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    In a case like yours the Apartment complex is usually liable if the persons who committed the assault did not belong in the building because they didn't live there and gained access because of a problem with security such as a broken lock. There must also have been a history of violence in the area that the landlord should have been aware of. You should definitely consult with an attorney. I can help you find one anywhere in the Country if you are unable to. I am only admitted to practice in New York State and cannot practice law in any other State. Please note the following necessary legal disclaimer: I have not given legal advice. I only give legal advice to my clients. I am not acting as your attorney. I have not agreed to represent you. Attorneys often disagree. If you want further information or independent verification of anything I have said then you should immediately consult another attorney. All claims have time limits. In general they are under New York Law: three (3) years for personal injury and property damage actions, two and one half (2 ) years for medical malpractice claims, two (2) years for wrongful death, one (1) year for an intentional wrongdoing, six (6) years for contract claims, but four (4) years for sales of goods under the Uniform Commercial Code, and four (4) months to challenge an action or decision of a government body, department or agency. However, in a claim for personal injury or property damages, if any person or entity at fault is affiliated with a municipal or other government department, agency or facility, then you may be required to file a notice of claim within ninety (90) days and then commence a lawsuit within one (1) year and ninety (90) days, but sometimes within one (1) year. These time limits have exceptions. Never sit on your rights!
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo
    Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo | Mark Leonardo
    In order to hold the apartment complex liable there would have to have been prior criminal activity at the apartment, made known to the landlord, and the landlord failed to take adequate precautions. Your better claim is to sue the kids that beat up your son and their parents. They are liable to a certain extent, by statute, for the actions of their minor child.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Bernard Huff, Attorney/Mediator
    Bernard Huff, Attorney/Mediator | Bernard Huff
    You should contact and consult with an attorney who specializes in landlord/tenant matters. Also, the state and local agencies which regulate the requirements and maintenance of apartments in your City would be appropriate contacts to make to find out if your specific apartment violated any ordinances by not having proper security.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    LT Pepper Law
    LT Pepper Law | Luke T. Pepper
    It depends on the layout of the property and whether the property provided security to the residents. If there was security in place and they let these people in without permission or their security was inadequate then there might be a case. There is definitely something worthwhile here to discuss with a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
    If lack of adequate security was the cause of the assault, the answer is yes. The complex is not a guarantor of safety but they must do what is reasonable.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A.
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A. | James P Kelaher
    I hate to give you an unclear answer, but I don't have enough information to answer your query. If this was the first time anything like this has ever happened, then probably not. If there have been other reported incidents of batteries of this nature, then I would consult with a lawyer who has handled these types of cases before; they are called negligent security cases when you call to speak with a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    The Trial Law Offices of Bradley I. Kramer, M.D., Esq.
    The Trial Law Offices of Bradley I. Kramer, M.D., Esq. | Bradley Kramer
    Probably not. An apartment complex is not, by law, required to have a security gate or guard.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC
    Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC | Lacy Fields
    The short answer, in my opinion, is no. However, if the apartment complex was supposed to have security, or were aware of these sorts of problems and looked the other way, then they may be negligent.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Coulter's Law
    Coulter's Law | Coulter K. Richardson
    Under most circumstances, landlords do not have much of an obligation to protect its tenants from third parties. However, depending on the circumstances, such as lighting, locking doors, or lack thereof and if there is any prior history of criminal activity, the landlord may be considered to be "on notice" of a dangerous condition and would then therefore have a duty to take some steps to remedy the situation. A thorough investigation is recommended to determine if any of these factors exist.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Law Offices of Earl K. Straight
    Law Offices of Earl K. Straight | Earl K. Straight
    Possibly. Claims against an apartment complex for inadequate security are fairly common. Beyond that I dont have enough information to say whether the facts of your case would create a claim. I would definitely speak with a local attorney as soon as possible. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    West law Office
    West law Office | Russell West
    Unless the complex had a security system that was not working which would have prevented an attack then there is no liability on the part of the complex owner. Here is no legal statute for a complex to have security. The perpetrators are subject to criminal charges and your son can have a civil action against them.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Allen Murphy Law
    Allen Murphy Law | W. Riley Allen
    That would depend on what notice of prior incidents the complex had or what notice they had potentially of this type of incident. If there was no opportunity for the complex to do anything, then you don't have much to talk about. The complex absent notice is not an insurer of everyone present. The homeowner's insurance carrier for the kids, assuming their parents owned homes, might be liable.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A.
    Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A. | Christopher J. Roberts
    That sounds like a very scary incident with potentially long-term consequences, so I don't blame you for wanting to obtain compensation. It is possible to hold an apartment complex responsible for violent attacks on the premises. However, most jurisdictions do not hold property owners strictly liable for such events. This means that you need to prove some type of negligence such that the owner should have foreseen the event and taken steps to prevent it. Usually these cases come down to what the apartment owner knew about the area (what was the crime rate, was there a history of such attacks), and whether there was reasonable security in light of the specifics of that area. Of course no one wants to live in a "lock down" situation if it's not necessary, so the complex owner is only responsible if it failed to employ reasonable security to address a known risk. If the attacker was a resident with a known history of violence, that could also trigger liability for the owner for failing to kick that resident out of the complex. Other possible sources of responsibility can include poor lighting that makes it easy for attackers to hide, lack of security cameras, and similar issues. You should talk to a local attorney in your area who can obtain more detail from you about the incident, the attackers and the level of security (or lack thereof) at your complex. He or she should be able to tell you whether there is a viable cause of action against the property owner.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 2/21/2012
    Cary J. Wintroub & Associates
    Cary J. Wintroub & Associates | Cary J. Wintroub
    I don't know about the Security setup in your building and thus I can't answer. However the matter is actionable against the 2 boys but collection may be difficult.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Lyle B. Masnikoff and Associates
    Lyle B. Masnikoff and Associates | Lyle B. Masnikoff
    Depends I need a lot more details.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/12/2013
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