Sexual assaults occur much too often in the Atlanta area, and for a wide variety of reasons, sexual assaults often go unreported. According to a report in The Washington Post, only “about 0.7 percent of rapes and attempted rapes end with a felony conviction for the perpetrator,” and “at least 89 percent of victims report some level of distress, including high rates of physical injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, and substance abuse.”
Given the low rate of convictions for many cases of sexual assault, victims frequently do not come forward, and research suggests that only about 30 percent of all sexual assaults are ever reported to the police. Our Atlanta sexual assault attorneys want to be clear that, while the statistics concerning criminal arrests and prosecutions are grim, it is entirely possible to seek accountability through a civil lawsuit.
We know how difficult it can be to think about filing a civil lawsuit after a sexual assault, but this is a way that you can hold one or more parties accountable while also seeking financial compensation for your losses. You may be able to file a civil claim against the perpetrator of the assault, and you also may be able to hold a third-party accountable for damages. Who can you sue civilly for sexual assault? Consider the following information.
File a Civil Lawsuit Against the Perpetrator of the Sexual Assault
You may be able to file a civil lawsuit against the person who perpetrated the sexual assault. While this type of lawsuit will not result in criminal charges or jail time, the perpetrator may be required to pay you monetary damages for the harm they have caused.
File a Lawsuit Against a Third Party Who is Liable for the Sexual Assault
In various circumstances, a third party may be civilly liable for a sexual assault. To be clear, you may be able to sue someone who did not perpetrate the assault but may be liable due to negligent security, negligent hiring, or other reasons.
Negligent security claims are common in sexual assault cases. It may be possible to file a civil lawsuit against a property owner or renter that failed to make the property reasonably safe for guests due to an issue of negligent security. How can the owner or renter of property be liable for sexual assault?
For example, a hotel or motel has a duty to ensure that the property is reasonably safe for guests staying in its rooms. They must also have functional locks on doors and windows and ensure any broken locks are repaired. When a hotel or motel fails to take these steps and a person breaks into a hotel room and sexually assaults a guest, the hotel or motel can be liable.
Similarly, if a nightclub or shopping center owner knows that sexual assaults have occurred in the dark parking lot where guests park their cars and no steps are taken to prevent assaults in the parking lot, the property owner or commercial renter could be liable for the assault due to negligent security.
Employers can also be liable for the actions of employees who commit sexual assault when they fail to conduct adequate background checks. The owner of a hotel could be liable if an employee sexually assaults a guest and has a history of sexual assault on their record.
Contact a Sexual Assault Attorney in Atlanta
If you were sexually assaulted, you may be eligible to file a civil lawsuit. One of our experienced Atlanta sexual assault attorneys can speak with you today about your case. Contact Stewart Miller Simmons Trial Attorneys online or call us at (404) 529-3476 for assistance.