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Negligent Security and Sexual Assault: Legal Considerations for Victims

Donald Singleton
June 21, 2023

The disturbing truth is that at least one out of every six women in the US has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape over the course of their lifetime. With statistics like those, it’s crucial to view sexual assault, or at least attempted sexual assault, as a foreseeable crime when conditions don’t provide adequate security for women.

Unfortunately, too many public spaces fail to provide reasonable safety measures for women, which can help facilitate sexual assaults.

If you or someone you know recently experienced a sexual assault, then it might be in your best interests to consider whether you think reasonable security measures were in place where the assault occurred. Depending on where you were and the level of security in place at the time, legal recourse may be available to you. Learn more about negligent security claims and how a sexual assault can lead to specific financial losses below.

Sexual Assault and Negligent Security

Negligent security happens when the owner of a business, parking lot, or property fails to take reasonable steps to secure their premises in a way that makes it as safe as possible for guests they invite onto their property. When it comes to sexual assault, negligent security claims can arise when someone is sexually assaulted on someone else’s property and a lack of security measures contributed to or caused the attack to occur.

Under the law, you’ll need to prove the following elements to show that your losses were the result of a negligent security incident:

  • The property owner had a duty to provide for your safety
  • The property owner failed to uphold their duty to provide for your safety
  • This failure directly caused or contributed to the criminal attack
  • The sexual assault resulted in specific losses

To prove each of these elements, you may need to rely on the laws in your area, evidence related to the lack of security measures, and documentation that proves the extent of your losses.

Is Sexual Assault a Foreseeable Crime?

One of the most difficult elements to prove in a negligent security claim is that the property owner failed to uphold their duty to provide for your safety. While an attack clearly occurred, it might be difficult to prove that the security measures on the property were insufficient. In general, courtrooms will attempt to determine what security measures would’ve been considered reasonable. To do so, they’ll often consider what a different property owner would reasonably do in a similar situation. If a different reasonable property owner would’ve taken different steps to secure the person’s safety, then it’s often determined that there was a lack of security. If another reasonable property owner would’ve acted in the same way as the defendant, then it’s usually determined that adequate security was in place.

Determining what’s reasonable often depends on whether the crime was foreseeable or not. Considering sexual assault is a very common crime, it should be considered foreseeable when security measures are not in place to protect potential victims.

Common Injuries and Losses Resulting from a Sexual Assault

Unfortunately, the injuries, scars, and trauma associated with a sexual assault often last a lifetime. Here are just a few of the common types of injuries sustained in these types of criminal attacks:

  • Bruises
  • Broken bones
  • Cuts
  • Injuries to the genitals
  • Pregnancy
  • Sexually transmitted diseases and infections
  • PTSD and severe emotional distress

Some losses associated with the attack are quantifiable, but others aren’t so easy to place a value on. Below, we’ll go over some of the most common damages experienced after an assault.

Current and Future Medical Expenses

The most obvious loss associated with a sexual assault attack is the medical expenses associated with seeking out care after the incident. Depending on the severity of the injury, the victim may have needed to return to the hospital more than once, or they could even suffer from a long-term injury that will require more medical care in the future.

Lost Wages

Another type of compensation that can be collected in a negligent security claim is damages in the form of lost wages. After the incident, there’s a great chance that you missed time off of work. You can seek out compensation for all the work you lost as well as any costs associated with switching careers if your injury prevents you from returning to work.

Emotional Distress

Another common type of compensation comes in the form of damages from emotional distress. Whether you develop PTSD symptoms or not, a sexual assault can leave horrific mental scars. It’s not easy to put a monetary value on emotional distress, so it’s important to discuss your situation with a lawyer if you plan on seeking out compensation for emotional distress.

Who Pays for Expenses After a Sexual Assault Attack?

Clearly, the financial and psychological damages associated with a sexual assault attack are steep for the victim. Unfortunately, seeking out justice after these attacks isn’t always so easy. For one, the culprit who committed the attack could be unable to pay any financial compensation to the victim depending on if criminal charges were levied against them. For another, it could be difficult for the victim to even identify the perpetrator and for the police to arrest them.

In these situations, there may be another party that shares some responsibility for what happened.

If the property owner didn’t take reasonable steps to ensure your safety, then you may be able to request compensation from them by filing a negligent security claim.

Legal Remedies for Victims of Negligent Security and Sexual Assault

A negligent security claim is a civil lawsuit that will help victims of negligent security and sexual assault seek financial justice after the ordeal. This is only one legal remedy available to victims, though. It’s also possible to seek out justice by filing criminal charges against the perpetrator. It might also be possible for the victim to seek out additional compensation from the individual accused of sexual assault, too, but these parties often don’t have the money to pay out a claim.

Benefits of Hiring a Negligent Security Attorney

If you think you have the basis to seek out a claim, then you’ll want to hire a negligent security attorney. Here are a few of the biggest benefits of enlisting the help of a lawyer:

Making an Informed Decision on How to Handle Your Claim

One of the biggest advantages of hiring a negligent security attorney is that you’ll be able to make an informed decision on how to handle your claim. Instead of going blindly into the situation, you should consult with an attorney and discuss all the facts surrounding your attack, the existing security in the area, and the losses you’ve suffered. Based on that information, an attorney can help you determine your legal options and whether or not it’s worth your time, effort, and money to file a negligent security claim.

Ensures the Accuracy of Your Claim

Another major advantage of hiring a lawyer is that your attorney will help ensure the accuracy of your claim. Making a mistake when you file your claim or failing to account for certain losses you’ve suffered could wind up costing you big time in the long run. To avoid any missteps, it’s best to have an attorney help you throughout the process.

Helps Make Certain Your Claim is Comprehensive and Your Losses are Covered

When you make a claim for compensation, one of the worst things you could do is fail to consider all your losses. If you don’t account for a specific loss when you file, then you might forfeit the right to that compensation. Hiring an attorney can help you avoid this mistake because your lawyer will know what types of questions to ask and what types of losses you might have experienced based on the circumstances of your attack.

Allows You to Avoid the Stress of Filing Your Claim

In the days following a sexual assault, protecting a victim’s mental and emotional well being are paramount. Since a criminal investigation may be ongoing alongside a civil lawsuit, hiring a negligent security lawyer is a huge benefit for victims. Let your attorney handle the legal aspects of your claim while you focus on what’s most important – healing and recovering.

Are You Ready to Pursue a Claim?

Have you experienced significant losses after a recent sexual assault? Do you believe that your attack was made possible, in full or in part, due to a lack of reasonable security measures on the property? If so, then you should investigate your legal options. Depending on the circumstances, you may be eligible to seek out legal recourse through a negligent security claim. This type of claim will help you financially recover from your losses.

It will also help incentivize the property owner to install reasonable security measures to protect women in the future.

If you’re considering filing a legal claim, then you’ll want to do your due diligence and make sure you hire the right Atlanta negligence security lawyer to handle your situation. You want to search for an attorney who has extensive experience representing clients in negligent security claims. It might even be better to search for a lawyer with specific experience representing individuals who have experienced a sexual assault. Check the attorney’s past reviews by doing an online search and verify that the lawyer has the time to take on your claim by reaching out to their office.

If you live in Georgia, USA and you’re ready to get started, then we can help. Schedule a consultation with our office now to discuss your situation in more detail with one of our best lawyers. We understand the severity and sensitivity of the situation you’ve gone through, so we’ll be sure to respect your privacy throughout discussing your case.

If you are still unsure, don’t hesitate to reach out to our Sandy Springs negligent security lawyer. They can provide you with an estimate for your case.


Donald Singleton

Donald Singleton


A Georgia native, Don founded Singleton Law Firm in 1999 as a continuation of his lifetime commitment to serving his state and community. He has concentrated his trial practice to representing victims of serious injury and wrongful death arising out of trucking, car, bus and motorcycle accidents, premises liability and a wide variety of other causes.

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