Property owners and business owners have a duty of care to customers and visitors. Owners must provide a safe space for those who come onto the property legally. Sadly, that doesn’t always happen.
Injuries, attacks, and sexual assault can happen if a property owner isn’t careful enough. If you or a loved one were victims of sexual assault, someone could be liable for poor security. Here’s what you need to know.
How to Prove Liability for Negligent Security
After a sexual assault, you could have a case against the assaulter and a third party. If a business or property owner failed to provide proper security, they could be partly responsible. However, you’ll need to prove that the third-party was negligent in some way.
Negligence is a lack of reasonable care. Owners should keep their “premises and approaches safe,” according to the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) §51-3-1. If that doesn’t happen, the owner could be responsible for injuries or assaults on the property.
Negligent security falls under premises liability law. Sexual assault victims can seek compensation from a property owner for inadequate protection that contributed to the assault.
Building a premises liability case takes time. It’s best to contact a lawyer as soon as possible. Once you have a lawyer, here’s how they will begin proving liability.
Investigating the Assault
Your lawyer will start by investigating what happened. That includes steps like:
- Gathering evidence of the owner’s negligence
- Reviewing security and safety measures on the property
- Collecting medical records from your treatment
- Gathering proof of your other damages
An experienced lawyer can evaluate the strength of your case. They’ll begin building a claim against the at-fault party, and that usually starts with an insurance claim.
Before filing a claim, it’s important to know your total damages. Sexual assault can affect a survivor in many different ways. You might have both physical and emotional injuries from what’s occurred.
Your lawyer will wait for you to reach maximum medical improvement (MMI). This is the point at which you’ve recovered as fully as possible with treatment. From MMI, you can know your total treatment costs.
Sending the Demand Package
Your lawyer will prepare a demand package to send to the insurance company. The package will outline:
- The property owner’s or business’s negligence
- The injuries you’ve suffered
- A breakdown of your damages
- How much compensation you are seeking
You’ll then wait for the insurance company to respond. Most of the time, insurers will respond with a lowball settlement offer. The offer might feel discouraging, but it’s not the end.
Do not accept a settlement offer without speaking to a lawyer. Even if the offer seems fair, that’s rarely the case. Insurance companies are looking for any excuse to pay you less than you deserve.
If you get a low offer, your lawyer will work to negotiate. If negotiations are successful, you’ll agree to an amount that works for you. You’ll receive a settlement check from the insurance company.
Filing a Lawsuit
Most premises liability claims end with a settlement. However, there are cases where that’s not enough. If you cannot settle soon, your lawyer might consider a lawsuit.
According to the OCGA §9-3-33, you have two years to bring a personal injury case. If you cannot settle as the deadline approaches, you might need to sue. Your lawyer can discuss the pros and cons of filing a lawsuit.
At John Foy & Associates, we are not afraid to take your case as far as necessary. With a reputation as the “Strong Arm,” we do not back down from fighting for our clients. If you need to go to court, we’ll be there every step of the way.
Call us at (404) 400-4000 or contact us online for a free consultation.
Examples of Negligent Security
A premises liability claim for sexual assault is not just about poor security. The property owner must have known (or should have known) that there was a need for better security measures. For example, maybe there was a higher rate of sexual assaults or crimes in the area.
Your lawyer will compile evidence to back up your case. They might research past examples of assaults happening in the area. Your claim must also show that negligent security contributed to the assault.
Examples of negligence security include:
- Lack of security cameras
- Not providing sufficient security guards
- Having poorly-trained security personnel
- Not having secure window locks or door locks
- Failing to fix broken security measures, such as fences or gates
- Failing to warn visitors or customers about known dangers
- Lack of adequate lighting on the property
- Not responding to emergency calls or security alerts
- Letting landscaping become overgrown
If a property owner or business doesn’t take certain precautions, assaults or crimes may happen. The owner could be found liable for what occurred.
As a victim, you have the right to bring a legal case. You might deserve financial compensation for what you’ve suffered. Contact our attorneys today to understand your rights.
Understanding What Sexual Assault Actually Is
According to RAINN (Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network, sexual assault is any sexual contact or behavior that happens without the victim’s explicit consent. That can include:
- Unwanted sexual touching
- Rape or rape attempts
- Forcing a victim to perform sexual acts
Sexual assault is never okay in any context. If it occurs on someone’s property, the owner might be partially liable.
If you or a loved one have been victims of sexual assault on a property, take action today. Our lawyers can handle the legal details. We’ll approach your case with sensitivity and compassion at every turn.
Talk to Our Sexual Assault Lawyers for Free Today
If negligent security might have led to your sexual assault, contact John Foy & Associates. We know how to build strong cases and fight for your rights. We’ve been doing just in Georgia that for over 20 years. Call us at (404) 400-4000 or contact us online for a free consultation today. There is no fee unless we win your case.