A sexual assault leaves far more mental scars than physical ones. Sexual attacks are almost always traumatic for the victim who has to mourn the loss of their identity and normality after the incident.
The criminal justice system offers some form of recourse because it punishes the perpetrator. What it doesn’t help resolve, however, is the financial and emotional toll of the attack. If you’ve recently experienced a sexual assault, then it’s important for you to know your rights and options. You’ll want to consider where the attack happened and whether or not a lack of security measures may have contributed to your incident.
When negligent security is a factor, it could be possible to file a claim for compensation against the property owner.
An Atlanta sexual assault attorney is equipped to help you determine if the right factors exist in your situation that could give rise to a legal claim. Learn more about sexual assault in Atlanta, negligent security lawsuits, and how our legal team can help you below.
Overview of Sexual Assault in Atlanta
Statistics released by the Atlanta Police Department reveal a disturbing trend emerged in 2022. Rapes rose an alarming 236% compared to 2021 levels.
In Georgia, the law defines sexual assault as any type of sexual act committed to another person against that person’s will. Rape is one form of sexual assault, but it is far from the only type.
This crime is taken very seriously in Georgia. A conviction carries a sentence of up to 25 years in prison and fines of up to $100,000. If the victim is a minor, then that sentence could increase to up to 50 years. Even once the perpetrator gets out of jail, the consequences of their actions will follow them forever. The person will need to be on a sex offenders registry for the remainder of their life.
Types of Sexual Assault
As mentioned above, sexual assault under Georgia law is very broad. It encompasses any form of unwanted sexual activity. As such, there are several different categories of sexual assault under the law. Below, we’ll go over a few of them.
Under the law, rape is defined as the forcible penetration of a woman’s sexual organs against her will. Rape is also defined as any type of penetration on any female that is under 10 years of age. Sodomy is also a type of rape situation in which a person penetrates or performs any type of action on a person’s sex organs, mouth, or anus without consent.
2. Statutory Rape
Statutory rape happens when someone engages in sexual intercourse with any person who is under the age of 16. In Georgia, anyone who is under the age of 16 is considered under the age of consent. That means they are not legally able to provide consent to any sexual activity, even if they say otherwise. It’s always against the law to engage in any form of sexual activity with any minor for that reason.
Typically, the penalties associated with this type of sexual assault are more substantial due to the victim’s age and vulnerability.
3. Unlawful Sexual Intercourse
There are other situations in which sexual intercourse is considered unlawful. For instance, mental incapacity can make a person unable to consent to sex. That means that some vulnerable adults, such as those who have been ruled mentally incapacitated by a court, cannot legally have sex. Various factors could contribute to a person’s inability to consent including being intoxicated, having certain mental conditions, having certain medical conditions like Dementia, having a learning disability, or suffering from a brain injury.
4. Other Sex Crimes
Sexual intercourse or penetration is not a necessary element for someone to be convicted of a sex crime. Laws in Georgia outline a number of other types of sex crimes including:
- Attempted rape
- Sexual battery
- Sexual harassment
- Sex trafficking
If you’ve experienced any form of unwanted, non-consensual sexual activity, then your best bet is to consult with an attorney in confidentiality about what happened. A skilled Atlanta rape lawyer will be able to determine if any laws were broken.
Negligent Security and Civil Claims
When you’ve experienced any form of sexual assault, the aftermath is difficult to cope with. Not only will you have to deal with physical injuries you sustained during the attack, but you’ll also have to deal with the emotional distress, too. As time goes on, your losses might start really stacking up. You could even find yourself in a financially distressing situation.
When you’re facing these circumstances, it’s necessary to consider your legal options.
For instance, do you believe your attack could’ve been prevented if proper security measures were in place? Were you on someone else’s property when the incident happened?
An Atlanta sexual assault attorney will ask you these types of questions to determine if premises liability laws could provide you with any recourse.
Explaining a Property Owner’s Duty to Provide Adequate Security
According to Georgia’s premises liability laws, a property owner has legal duty to provide for the safety and care of guests on their property. Property owners must take reasonable steps to protect guests by making sure that reasonable security measures are in place on their properties.
A failure to install reasonable security measures leaves a property owner legally liable for any safety incidents that happen, including sexual assaults. If you think your situation may fit into this category, then it’s important to contact an Atlanta assault attorney
Civil Compensation for Victims of Negligent Security
Negligent security claims help provide financial recourse to individuals who get harmed in safety incidents due to a lack of security on someone else’s property. When a property owner is found negligent, an injured guest could collect compensation for the following types of losses:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium
- Scarring or disfigurement
Are you wondering what your potential claim might be worth? A sexual assault attorney in Atlanta can help you go through what happened and determine the extent of your losses. From there, you can make a decision on whether or not to pursue a claim.
Establishing Liability of Property Owners in the Courtroom
For your claim to be successful, you’ll need to prove that:
- The property owner had a legal duty to provide for your safety
- The property owner failed to uphold that duty of care
- The failure to take reasonable steps to ensure your safety contributed to your sexual assault
- Your sexual assault led to specific losses
In general, it isn’t difficult to establish a legal duty of care, since all property owners have a legal duty to provide for the safety of guests under Georgia’s laws. It will be more of a challenge, though, to prove that the security measures in place were insufficient and unreasonable.
Professional Legal Assistance is Essential
As you’d expect, the property owner will likely fight back against your claims. They may attempt to argue that they did have enough security measures in place or that they aren’t responsible for what happened. Considering that you’ve already been through a very trying ordeal, it’s best to have a lawyer field all of this pushback. On top of that, the property owner could be a big business with a solid legal team. In these situations, it’s absolutely essential for you to hire a comparable lawyer to level the playing field.
What to Look for When Hiring an Attorney
Not every Atlanta sexual assault lawyer offers the same level of experience, expertise, or passion. For that reason, it’s important to do your due diligence and make sure you hire the best possible representative for your claim. Here are a few factors to look out for:
Qualification and Experience of Attorneys
Always check an attorney’s qualifications and experience before hiring them. For this type of situation, you only want to hire an attorney who has already handled sexual assault negligent security claims in the past. A comparable lawyer with different experience just won’t be as effective or prepared to handle the complexities of your situation.
Areas of Expertise that an Atalanta Sexual Assault Lawyer Should Possess
The right Atlanta sexual assault injury attorney should also have past case results that prove they have handled similar cases in the past. You should look for an attorney who has positive reviews from past clients. Most of all, look for an attorney who has the time to take on your claim and is passionate about helping you get justice.
How Singleton Law Firm Can Help With a Sexual Assault Claim in Atlanta
A sexual assault is one of the most invasive types of attacks you can endure. It’s normal to feel defenseless after this type of crime, but it’s equally as important for you to recognize that there are people who will fight for you. You deserve justice, and you don’t have to be alone.
The right Atlanta sexual assault attorney will do everything they can to make sure you have all the facts regarding your legal rights and options. Then, they’ll help guide you towards making an informed choice on whether seeking out a claim is the right choice for you. If you do seek out a claim, then the right lawyer should shield you from the worst aspects of your claim while you focus on what’s most important – healing.
If you’re in Atlanta or a nearby area, then our Atlanta premises liability attorney can help. Schedule a consultation with our firm by leaving your contact details on our online form now.
Unsafe Situations Create Premises Liability
Any property owner, from food establishments to apartment complexes, must follow the premises liability law. However, the laws are often complex, and there are factors that need to be examined before a person files a premises liability complaint against a landowner. We can help.
What Can an Atlanta Premises Liability Lawyer Do for Me?
At Singleton Law Firm, our attorneys will guide you through the process. Many people are intimidated by big businesses and insurance companies. We will make sure that you are awarded the financial compensation you deserve.