If you or a loved one were a victim of sexual assault, you have rights. You likely have a legal case against one or more parties. Criminal sexual assault cases can lead to charges, fines, and jail time for the assaulter. At the same time, a victim could have a premises liability claim against a third-party.
You might wonder what type of compensation you can receive from a legal case. Many people ask if there’s an average settlement number for these types of claims. Below, we’ll look at the factors that go into determining a settlement.
Premises Liability Sexual Assault Settlement Amounts Can Vary
It’s normal for someone to wonder what type of settlement they might receive for their case. However, it’s challenging to mention an average for a premises liability case involving sexual assault here. That’s because every case is so different.
Premises liability claims hold a property owner or business responsible for an assault on their property. The owner or company must have been negligent in a way that contributed to the assault. Settlements for these types of cases can range from thousands to several millions of dollars.
What we can do is look at the factors that determine a settlement amount. How these details apply to your situation will determine your settlement potential.
There are two main types of damages in sexual assault cases. The first is economic damages.
Economic damages have a set dollar value. They can include:
- Medical bills
- Medication costs
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Property damage
Sexual assault survivors often need mental health counseling, too. You can include the costs of all treatment in your claim.
Calculating economic damages is pretty straightforward. Your lawyer will add up all of the expenses you have resulting from the assault. They’ll also determine your missed work hours.
An assault can affect your ability to work as you could before. Some victims lose their jobs or have to take on lower-paying work because of what they’ve suffered. They can also need years of therapy to work through the trauma.
These are all costs we’ll consider when determining a fair compensation amount.
Any personal injury claim allows for non-economic damages. Sexual assault situations tend to have significant non-financial losses. These damages can include:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental pain and suffering
- Emotional anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Non-economic damages are about how the incident affects your life. The psychological effects of sexual assault are far-reaching—and you shouldn’t have to pay for them. A premises liability claim helps hold a third-party liable for an assault they could have prevented.
According to the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) §51-12-5.1, punitive damages are awarded when there is clear evidence of things like:
- Willful misconduct
- Total lack of care
- Indifference to consequences
The law awards punitive damages to punish the wrongdoer more than to compensate the victim. However, punitive damages can significantly increase the total settlement of a claim. Your lawyer can determine if your case qualifies for punitive damages.
Filing a Claim vs. a Lawsuit
When you file during the legal process can also affect your settlement.
Property owners should purchase insurance to cover injuries on their premises. If you were the victim of sexual assault, a property owner might be partially responsible.
If negligent security contributed to your assault, you could have a claim against the property owner. You can seek compensation by filing a claim with the insurance company. Most of the time, victims can achieve a settlement without having to go to court.
Some cases proceed to court if both parties cannot settle. Court cases may end in a larger award for the victim, but the risk is higher. On the other hand, the victim is guaranteed compensation if they settle outside of court.
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Proving Premises Liability Negligence in a Sexual Assault Case
Sexual assault survivors have a right to compensation. Besides bringing a case against the guilty party, victims can also bring a third-party claim. Many victims win substantial settlements from premises liability claims or lawsuits.
Before seeking a settlement, it’s crucial to build a strong claim. That includes establishing causation. You’ll need to show that:
- The property owner owed you a duty of care.
- The property owner was negligent in providing adequate protection.
- The sexual assault happened as a result of the owner’s negligence.
- You suffered injuries and damages from the assault.
Negligence is a legal term for carelessness. You must be able to prove that the owner was negligent in the assault. Most of the time that means the owner failed to provide adequate security.
Thankfully, you don’t have to handle your case alone. Our knowledgeable lawyers have been helping victims for over 20 years. We are not afraid to fight for your rights while you focus on recovering from your terrible experience.
Talk to a Sexual Assault Lawyer for Free Today
If you or a loved one were victims of a sexual assault, John Foy & Associates can help. We’ll discuss your situation and your legal options during a free consultation. There is no fee unless we win your case—you can get started at no risk today. Call us at (404) 400-4000 or contact us online for a free consultation.