When a sexual assault occurs on another party’s premises, that property owner may be liable for injuries sustained in the sexual assault. To be clear, even though a third party committed the sexual assault—and it may be possible to file a civil lawsuit against that party for damages, as well—the owner of the premises where the sexual assault occurred may be responsible based on the idea of negligent security in premises liability law. Our Georgia sexual assault lawyers can evaluate your case for you today and help you to understand your options for filing a claim. In the meantime, the following are five things you should know about sexual assault and premises liability law in Georgia.
1. Property Owners Have a Duty to Keep Their Premises Reasonably Safe
Property owners have a duty to ensure that their premises are reasonably safe for others on the property. When it comes to premises liability and negligent security, property owners have a duty to ensure that they have repaired any damaged areas that could allow a third-party assault to occur, such as repairing a broken window or installing lighting in a parking lot where assaults have occurred in the past.
2. Negligent Security Claims Can Result in Property Owners Being Liable for Sexual Assault
When a property owner does not make the property reasonably safe due to negligent security, the property owner ultimately may be liable for a sexual assault that occurs on the property. For example, in situations where broken window or door locks, or lack of lighting, could enable an assault on the premises, the property owner may be responsible for damages.
3. Residential and Commercial Property Owners (or Business Owners) Alike Can Be Responsible in a Negligent Security Claim
Property owners (or managers) of residential and commercial property, including business owners, can be liable for third-party assaults in negligent security claims.
4. Filing a Negligent Security Claim Does Not Preclude You from Filing a Sexual Assault Civil Claim Against the Perpetrator
If you do file a negligent security claim, you should know that you are not precluded from filing a sexual assault civil claim against the perpetrator. A civil lawsuit for an intentional tort, or for sexual assault, is different from a premises liability lawsuit against a property owner who failed to maintain reasonably safe premises.
5. You Will Likely Have Two Years from the Date of the Sexual Assault to File a Negligent Security Claim
Under Georgia law, you will most likely have two years from the date of the sexual assault to file your negligent security lawsuit. Most premises liability lawsuits and other types of personal injury claims have a two-year statute of limitations, and the clock will begin ticking on the date of the injury. If you do not file a lawsuit within that time window, the claim can become time-barred.
Contact a Georgia Premises Liability Law Attorney Today
If you or someone you love suffered harm in a sexual assault, it may be possible to file a negligent security claim against the owner or manager of the premises where the sexual assault occurred. Do not hesitate to seek advice from one of our experienced Georgia premises liability attorneys about negligent security claims and seeking compensation after a devastating sexual assault. Contact Stewart Miller Simmons Trial Attorneys online or call us at (404) 529-3476 today to discuss your case.