You may have a negligent security claim if you experience a violent incident such as an assault in a public area of your apartment building. If you live in a rental unit and suffer an attack in the building’s laundry room, lobby or another common area, you can possibly file a lawsuit.
Review the New Jersey laws about negligent apartment building security.
For this type of claim, you must prove that the landlord was negligent. That means that he or she knew about or should have known about dangerous conditions, but failed to fix the problem. For example, you may have become a victim of violence in an apartment stairwell or hallway. You told your landlord about the broken lock, but he or she did not bother to repair it. The judge must agree that a reasonable person would think your landlord shirked his or her duties.
Reviewing the legal process
You and your attorney must show that the landlord often ignored safety-related requests. Maybe he or she failed to replace lightbulbs, resulting in a dark lobby where a violent person could hide. If the building has broken windows or locks, intruders can enter easily.
You must also show that the failure to keep tenants safe caused your injury and the resulting financial damage. You must present evidence such as photos and videos of the site of the incident, medical bills, police reports, and other documentation.
In New Jersey, you have two years to file this type of lawsuit. Otherwise, the court will dismiss your case.