You probably need a lawyer because you will need help fighting for your rights. Besides the person who assaulted you being at fault, a property owner could also be liable. But only a premises liability lawyer can help you with this type of claim.
Property owners do not like to admit they helped cause a sexual assault. The owner will deny responsibility or bring their own team of lawyers. But you can protect your rights by hiring your own experienced attorney.
Why Should You Hire a Premises Liability Lawyer?
Premises liability cases are complicated. For one, property owners are not responsible for any harm that happens on their property. Victims must prove that:
- The owner or manager knew (or should have known) that the property was unsafe.
- The owner or manager did not take measures to make the property safe.
- A sexual assault occurred because the owner or manager didn’t take appropriate action.
Victims also have a duty to be reasonably careful, according to OCGA §51-11-7. Even if an owner was careless, the owner might claim that the victim could have avoided the assault.
Sexual assaults can affect a victim’s life in many ways. Many victims blame themselves for what’s happened, even when they hold no fault. They might worry that the police and others won’t believe their story. This can make it challenging for victims to come forward and seek legal justice after an assault.
A premises liability lawyer knows how to handle the complications. They can advocate for the victim and stand up for their rights. If the owner or their insurance company tries to deny liability, an experienced lawyer will know what to do.
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How Sexual Assault Relates to Premises Liability
Premises liability is about holding a property owner or manager accountable for injuries. According to the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) §51-3-1, an “owner or occupier” must keep safe premises for those they invite onto their property legally.
If someone suffers injuries because of an unsafe property, the owner could be responsible for the costs. This includes a sexual assault that occurs because of insufficient security measures.
Sexual assault is serious. If this instance happens on someone’s property, they may deny liability. No one wants to admit that they could have prevented a terrible crime at their place of business. However, you deserve to seek justice if you’ve been harmed on someone else’s property.
The Burden of Proof Is on You
Sexual assaults can happen at any location. Bringing a criminal case against the assailant is often a long road.
The burden of proof is on the victim to prove that the assault occurred. Most survivors need help from an experienced lawyer from the beginning. Bringing a case against the person who assaulted you seeks justice and helps protect others from becoming victims.
Besides suing the assailant, there may be another case. If the assault happened on someone else’s property, you might have a third-party premises liability case. For example, a business might have failed to provide proper security measures to prevent assaults.
A premises liability lawyer can help bring a case against the third-party. At John Foy & Associates, our team keeps your case as confidential as possible. We’re passionate about helping survivors and their families seek justice and begin to heal. To discuss your options during a free consultation, call (404) 400-4000 or contact us online.
Examples of Negligence that Can Encourage a Sexual Assault
Many people are surprised to learn how sexual assault can happen. Factors that may contribute to sexual assault on a property include:
- Inadequate lighting
- Overgrown bushes or other landscaping
- Lack of security cameras or guards
- Areas left without security measures
- Faulty or defective doors or windows
Many times, poor security is the reason for sexual assaults on property. The owner or manager might avoid additional security to cut costs. But owners should understand the risks of the area and take appropriate action.
Proving the Property Owner Is Liable for Your Assault
It can be difficult to show that the property owner failed in their duty of care. There must have been a reason for the owner to anticipate assault or injury risks. Then, the owner must have failed to take steps to protect guests and customers.
This is where working with a premises liability lawyer is invaluable. Your lawyer will consider the following points when building your case:
- Crime rates in the area where the assault occurred
- Histories of sexual assault in the area
- Past complaints from visitors or residents about property safety
- Hazards or other factors that could have encouraged assailants
Property safety might not be your first thought after a terrible sexual assault. However, it’s true that the property owner could be liable in some way. Carelessness can easily lead to situations that increase the risk of criminal behavior.
Sexual assault cases are more complicated than other personal injury claims. Proving fault and liability is often a lot more challenging. However, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible at all. Working with a trusted lawyer can make all the difference.
Suing the Attacker for Your Assault
Your lawyer can also determine if you have grounds for a case against the attacker. Sexual assault falls under civil tort cases. If someone’s wrongful behavior caused your harm, that person is liable for the damages.
Damages you might be able to recover include:
- Medical bills
- Mental health counseling
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
Sexual assault cases can impact a victim for years, if not a lifetime. We strive to fight for justice so that you can recover what you deserve after this terrible experience.
Get a Free Consultation with a Sexual Assault Lawyer Today
If you were the victim of a sexual assault on someone’s property, call John Foy & Associates today. We’ll discuss your situation and how we can help. To get a free consultation with one of our compassionate and knowledgeable lawyers, call (404) 400-4000 or contact us online.