Sexual assault is one of the most terrible experiences someone can suffer. Along with any physical injuries, the emotional effects of sexual assault can remain for many years.
If someone assaulted you, they should be held responsible. Besides bringing a case against the assailant, you might also have a third-party claim. If inadequate security contributed to the assault, a property owner or business could be liable. You can seek compensation for your damages through a personal injury claim. Here’s what to know about those damages.
Damages You Can Recover
Damages are the monetary compensation you can receive for an injury. You can seek compensation for your damages through a personal injury claim or lawsuit.
Before bringing a case, it’s best to know the full extent of your losses. Your claim will need to outline each damage and the total compensation you’re seeking.
According to the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) §51-12-2, there are two main types of damages:
- Special damages that directly result from a negligent act
- General damages that the law assumes result from the negligent act
A personal injury lawyer can help you account for each type of damage. Your losses will depend on the details of your case.
Special damages are also known as economic damages. These losses have set dollar amounts that you’ll need to prove.
Examples of economic damages include:
- Doctor and hospital bills
- Prescription medication costs
- Mental health counseling
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Property damage
After a sexual assault, it’s crucial to see a doctor immediately. Also, save all evidence you can, including the clothes you were wearing. The police and your lawyer will use evidence to look for the perpetrator if they fled.
Your lawyer will compile all bills, receipts, and other proof of your costs. They’ll use these documents to build your claim.
General damages are also known as non-economic damages. These losses are much harder to calculate. The law does not require them to have a set dollar amount, but you will still need to determine their worth.
Money is the only way the law has to compensate you for an injury. Even if you have “damages” that are mental or emotional, the law recovers those through financial compensation. Your lawyer will use a formula to determine the value of damages like:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Fear or embarrassment
Sexual assault can impact a survivor’s life in so many ways. You might not notice all of the effects immediately. However, victims can develop irrational fears or mental disorders in response to the trauma. The recovery road after sexual assault can be long and devastating.
For our team at John Foy & Associates, every case like this is personal. We are dedicated to holding negligent parties responsible. If the owner of the property where you were assaulted failed to provide adequate security, you might have a case.
Contact us today to learn your legal options. We’ll listen with empathy and compassion, and the consultation is free. Call us at (404) 400-4000 or contact us online for your free consultation.
Proving Non-Economic Damages
Lawyers will often use expert witnesses to back up non-economic damages. An expert on sexual assault cases can testify about how an assault affects a victim. They can help show how the situation impacts your life long-term, sometimes for life.
We maintain professional relationships with expert witnesses for these situations. Our goal is to show how the assault has impacted your daily living. The evidence can help improve your compensation options.
Punitive damages are also sometimes available in sexual assault cases. In Georgia, punitive damages are about punishing the wrongdoer and discouraging similar behavior again.
These damages are available when there has been wanton or reckless behavior. Of course, sexual assault is a disgusting act that may qualify for punitive damages. Contact us today to determine if this applies to your case.
How to Prove Negligent Security
Property owners in Georgia must maintain safe premises for visitors. Owners owe a duty of care to those who come onto their property legally. That includes making sure safety and security measures are in place.
If a property isn’t secure, criminal behavior like sexual assaults may happen. If you were the victim of a crime, you might have a case against the assailant and the property owner.
Negligent security is a common cause of assaults on other people’s property. However, proving that the owner was negligent is challenging. Your claim must show that:
- The property owner’s negligence led to or contributed to the sexual assault.
- The property owner knew or should have known about the risk of sexual assault on their property.
- Despite knowing the risks, the owner did not provide adequate protection.
Proving each of these points can be difficult. The property owner and their insurance company will probably look for ways to avoid liability. They might claim that they didn’t know the dangers or had no way of preventing an assault.
Working with an experienced lawyer will help. Our sexual assault lawyers know how to handle the defense and build a strong claim.
A Personal Injury Claim vs. a Lawsuit
Property owners and businesses should carry liability insurance. If someone suffers harm on their property, the insurance company should cover it. If you were a victim of an assault, you can seek compensation through an insurance claim.
Your lawyer can help negotiate a settlement to cover your damages. If you’re successful, you’ll receive a settlement for what you’ve lost. However, insurance companies will sometimes refuse to negotiate.
If you cannot settle, the next step might be a lawsuit. Your lawyer can help determine the best course of action for you.
Talk to Our Sexual Assault Lawyers for Free Today
At John Foy & Associates, we’ll guide you through each step of your sexual assault case. If negligent security might have caused you harm, contact us today for help. Call us at (404) 400-4000 or contact us online. We do not collect a fee unless we win you compensation.