Global data from UN Women shows that an overwhelming one in three women have been subject to some form of sexual or physical intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence.
With statistics like those, it makes sense that everyone should be doing more to reduce the possibility of violence against women.
If you’ve recently experienced sexual violence in the form of a rape, then we extend our sincerest empathy towards you. No one should have to go through what you’ve experienced. Unfortunately, your losses are likely stacking up and you may wonder where to turn for financial help.
Our legal office can help you determine if you have the option of seeking out financial compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. Depending on the circumstances of your incident, multiple parties may share legal liability including an apartment owner who failed to implement the proper security measures.
Get more details about negligent security, personal injury claims, and how an apartment rape Atlanta attorney can help you sort through what happened and how to move forward below.
Understanding and Defining a Criminal Atlanta Apartment Rape Incident
Under the law in Atlanta, rape is defined as the act of penetrating the female sex organ by the male sex organ forcibly and against the will of a female. Further, the law in Georgia outlines that no person who is under the age of 16 can legally consent to any sexual penetration, so any type of sexual activity with a minor is also considered rape.
It’s also important to note the gender roles under the law. It is only considered rape when the sexual act occurs between male sex organs and female sex organs. Other types of rape are classified under Georgia law as either sexual battery or aggravated sodomy.
Rape is considered a felony offense in Georgia. Depending on the specific circumstance of the crime and the injuries that result, it could result in a sentence ranging from 25 years in prison to life in prison without parole.
Civil Legal Issues Surrounding Apartment Rape in Atlanta
Surviving an apartment rape in Atlanta is often a traumatizing experience. On top of the mental and emotional toll, survivors often also experience a whole host of financial losses, too.
For one, survivors should seek out medical treatment, which comes at a cost. If injuries are present, then the survivor might experience significant medical bills, and they might not be able to return to work right away. On top of that, survivors might need to seek out additional support through therapy or other means. All these costs can add up quickly.
Depending on the circumstances, it might be in your best interests to consider the civil legal issues surrounding your apartment attack. If your apartment complex owner was negligent in providing adequate security measures to protect you, then they may have some legal responsibility to pay for some of your losses.
What’s Negligent Security?
Negligent security is a type of legal claim that arises when a property owner, like an apartment complex owner:
- Has a legal duty to take reasonable steps to secure your safety
- Fails to provide adequate security measures
- The lack of security measures contributes to your criminal attack
- You suffered financial losses as a result of the attack
When all these factors are present, a survivor can seek out a legal claim against the negligent property owner. The owner may have to pay all or a portion of your losses. Keep in mind, though, that apartment complex owners can’t reasonably prevent all criminal attacks. In order to have a valid legal claim, you will need to prove that the property owner’s security measures fell below a reasonable standard of care.
Potentially Negligent Parties in a Civil Lawsuit
In a civil lawsuit where negligent security is the basis for the claim, any property owner could be a potentially negligent party. That’s because all property owners, under the law in Atlanta, have a legal duty to provide for the care and safety of individuals that are invited onto their property. Property owners are obligated to take reasonable steps to prevent foreseeable crime.
Criminal Justice Versus Civil Justice for Rape Survivors
Civil justice is only one avenue of the law that survivors can explore after experiencing a violent criminal attack. Depending on the situation, survivors might also want to leverage the criminal justice system, too.
The criminal justice system is designed to stop criminals from committing further crimes and also to punish them for their behavior. The civil justice system, on the other hand, seeks to help right financial wrongs or losses incurred as a result of someone else’s behavior.
Do You Need an Apartment Rape Atlanta Attorney?
Are you considering seeking out civil justice and pursuing compensation for the losses you’ve suffered after a criminal attack at an apartment complex? If so, then it’s best to hire an Atlanta negligent security lawyer first.
Fighting for financial justice will be an uphill battle, especially if you’re attempting to file a claim against a major apartment complex. Often, these businesses have their own legal teams. What’s more, you need to expect some back and forth as well as pushback from the other side regardless of whether they know what you’ve gone through or not. Since this type of negotiation process can be triggering and emotionally trying, having a lawyer’s help will be invaluable.
Qualities to Look for in a Personal Injury Attorney
Not every personal injury attorney here in Atlanta will be equally equipped to handle the sensitive aspects of your claim. That being said, it’s paramount that you scope out the right attorney before you commit to hiring one specific lawyer. Here are some of the must-have qualities your personal injury attorney needs to exemplify in Atlanta:
- Experience handling rape claims
- Experience with negligent security cases
- Past case results that back up the lawyer’s claims
- Positive past reviews from clients
- The time to take on your case
- The right attitude in approaching your situation
The Process of Taking Legal Action Against Negligent Security Providers
Once you have the right lawyer by your side, you’ll initiate the process of taking legal action against the negligent apartment complex owner. This process will be time-consuming. First, you’ll need to prove the necessary legal elements of your claim. That means you need to demonstrate that the apartment duty had a legal duty to take reasonable steps to ensure your safety. You need to provide evidence that shows how the property owner was negligent. Then, you need to show evidence that highlights your financial losses.
Once you’ve collected everything, you can officially file your claim and start the negotiation process. Most claims are resolved at this stage, but some cases go to trial when a settlement can’t be reached.
Proving Negligence on the Part of the Property Owner
First, you will need to show that reasonable security measures were not put in place by the property owner, which would demonstrate their legal negligence. You could prove this by showing that the property owner didn’t have adequate lighting, failed to install video cameras, or otherwise failed to take steps to protect you from the criminal attack. In general, an apartment complex owner needs to take basic steps, like putting in lighting in common areas, to protect residents.
Proving Your Losses
Next, you will want to collect evidence that backs up the extent of your losses. This evidence could include things like:
- Medical bills
- A medical diagnosis outlining the severity of your injuries
- Statements from your employer regarding lost wages
- Bills from any therapy sessions
Filing Your Claim and Negotiating
Next, your lawyer can help you file all the necessary paperwork to officially file your legal claim. Once your claim gets reviewed by the other party, expect to get contacted about negotiating a settlement. For the most part, everyone has an incentive to come to an agreement outside of court because it will be faster, less public, and less expensive. Your lawyer will handle all the negotiations for you to ensure you get a fair deal.
Are You Searching for the Right Apartment Rape Atlanta Attorney?
After experiencing a violent crime, like rape, there is no ‘right’ way to cope with what happened. Some survivors feel withdrawn, while others feel empowered to fight back. Regardless of where you fall on the spectrum, you need to get informed about your legal options and your rights.
One of the first steps you should take is to look for a local Atlanta negligent security lawyer who can help you unpack what happened, learn more about your options, and advocate for you while you focus on recovering from what happened. The right attorney will offer you a consultation under complete confidentiality. What’s more, this initial meeting should be free, too.
If you’re currently looking for the right attorney to represent you after your violent criminal attack, then we know we can help. Contact us today to set up an initial meeting where we can go over everything you need to know to make an informed decision on how to move forward.