Question

What are my legal options if I get assaulted on someone else’s property in Georgia?

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Shean D. Williams - Personal Injury - General - Super Lawyers

Answered by: Shean D. Williams

Located in Atlanta, GAThe Cochran Firm Atlanta

Phone: 888-984-6951
Fax: 404-222-0170

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Answer

Property owners and caretakers have a responsibility to ensure the safety of their guests.

If someone assaults you on someone else’s property in Georgia, it is possible you have legal standing for a claim against the property’s liable party. While it’s true that the assailant should have to answer for their crime, caretakers often create a false sense of security for their guests which can lead to these situations.

There are times, for example, when cameras can create that false sense of security. Some businesses cut corners and leave cameras disconnected or they do not record a full 24-hours of surveillance. Businesses like gyms, which are often open to guests around the clock, may advertise a secure environment for their members but then do not deliver on that secure environment. Apartment complexes may provide the same false sense of security for their residents. Without an onsite security guard, apartment management companies should find ways to make their tenants feel safe when they, in fact, are not.

In addition to adequate security cameras, there are other measures business owners must take to ensure the safety of their invitees. These properties should have:

  • Adequate lighting externally and throughout each floor
  • Trimmed hedges and bushes
  • Up-to-code locks on doors and windows
  • Active and regularly updated alarm systems

If owners fall short in any of these areas, it is possible they are liable for your assault.

Note also, that there are circumstances which may influence your right to make a premises liability claim.

For instance, if you were not an invitee or resident but you were a trespasser, you may not have a right to recover damages for your assault. And, while you are sure that you are not at fault for your assault, you should know that Georgia is a modified comparative negligence state. This means that if you are partially at fault for your injury, your recovery award amount could suffer.

An attorney can help you better understand your rights as a victim of assault. They can also help you claim maximum compensation, either through the liable party’s insurance company or a lawsuit. Such compensation can cover financial losses from medical bills and lost wages from missing work. It can also cover pain and suffering on emotional and physical levels. And, it may even cover punitive damages – which are demanded as a penalty for the liable party.

Disclaimer: The answer is intended to be for informational purposes only. It should not be relied on as legal advice, nor construed as a form of attorney-client relationship.

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