Unsafe Premises

Did You Know 55% of All Sexual Assault Occurs Near the Victim’s House?

If you’ve been a victim of sexual assault in Atlanta, let us help bring you justice.

Unsafe Premises & Negligent Security Lawyers

Last month, a woman became the victim of sexual assault at her apartment building. Law enforcement officers responded to reports of a sexual assault happening in an apartment complex. When they arrived, they found a 25-year-old man sexually assaulting a female and arrested him for first-degree criminal sexual conduct, kidnapping, assault with a dangerous weapon, and assault with intent to do severe bodily harm. 

The victim went to the hospital for treatment of her injuries. Unfortunately, sexual assault on unsafe premises is far too common in the United States. When property owners fail to keep their premises reasonably safe, the risk of a sexual assault due to bad or negligent occurring becomes more serious.

When property owners fail to keep their premises reasonably safe, they are liable for the injuries of victims of sexual assault on their property. Being the victim of a sexual assault is life-changing and can cause serious, permanent injuries. Knowing what steps to take after a sexual assault can be difficult. If you have been the victim of a sexual assault on an unsafe premises, you may have a right to compensation for your injuries through a personal injury lawsuit. 

Understanding Premises Liability Laws

Premises liability in an area of personal injury law that protects victims who suffer injuries on another person’s property. When someone becomes injured due to unreasonably unsafe conditions on another person’s property, the injured victim can sue the property owner for damages. Property owners have a legal obligation to keep their properties reasonably safe for all of their guests. 

Under premises liability law, potential victims are categorized by either invitees, licensees, or trespassers. The legal duty of care owed by the property owner depends on the classification of the visitor’s classification. Guests who are invited on the property by the property owner are considered invitees. Property owners owe invitees the highest duty of care. Property owners must inform invitees of any known hazards on their property and proactively inspect and discover any unknown dangers. In most cases, a tenant or guest invited to an apartment complex is considered an invitee.

Licensees are people who are allowed onto the property but have not been invited on the property. Licensees include salespeople, delivery people, and anyone else who has not been invited on the property but who was not trespassing. Property owners owe licensees a more limited duty of care. Property owners have a duty to protect licensees from any known hazards on their property, but not to inspect and discover unknown dangers. Trespassers are those who do not have a right to be on the property. Landowners owe trespassers the least significant duty of care, and they cannot intentionally cause injuries to trespassers.

Property Owners Have a Duty to Provide Invitees with Safe and Secure Premises

Property managers, property owners, and landlords do customers, residents, guests, and visitors a duty to ensure that their property is secure and safe. Suppose you experienced a sexual assault on someone else’s property, and you were a guest, resident, or visitor. In that case, you may have a right to file a premises liability lawsuit against the property owner. 

Residents and visitors to apartment complexes are considered invitees. Likewise, customers are also considered invitees. Premises liability lawsuits that involve sexual assault can happen anywhere. Still, they frequently occur in retail stores, apartment buildings, shopping centers, casinos, hotels and motels, bars, college campuses, gyms, and any other property that is open during the night time.

Negligent Security Practices

If you fall into the invitee category, the property owner must maintain a reasonably safe premise and inspect for any dangerous conditions. In many cases, sexual assault cases that involve premises liability occur due to negligent security practices. When a property owner provides bad or inadequate security on his or her premises and has a reason to believe that customers, residents, or VIP visitors are at risk, the owner can be held liable for negligence. The following conditions can contribute to violent sexual assaults on a property owner’s premises:

  • Overgrown landscaping
  • Inadequate lighting
  • Poor quality or faulty locks on doors and windows
  • No security monitoring of secluded and/or dark areas of the property
  • A lack of security fencing
  • A lack of security cameras

Property owners owe their guests and customers a duty to protect them from foreseeable harm.  Suppose a victim is sexually assaulted in a parking lot that lacks adequate lighting, does not have any security personnel, and does not have a video monitoring system. In that case, the victim would likely be able to prove that the property owner failed to protect him or her from the foreseeable harm of sexual assault. Without any type of security in the parking lot, it is foreseeable that a sexual assault could occur there.

Proving a Sexual Assault Premises Liability Claim

There are four main elements in a premises liability lawsuit. The victim will need to prove these elements by a preponderance of the evidence to secure a verdict of compensation. The first element is that the property owner owed the victim of duty of care. If you were a customer, guest, resident, or invited visitor to the property, you would fall into the category of an invitee. As such, the property owner would owe you the most stringent duty of care. You will need to prove that the landlord breached his or her duty of care by failing to provide reasonably safe premises. Next, you will need to prove that the breach of duty caused your sexual assault and that you suffered damages in the form of some type of physical injury.

Contact a Premises Liability & Negligent Security Lawyer

If you have been the victim of a sexual assault on someone else’s property, it is wise to discuss your case with a premises liability lawyer. Your lawyer will be able to advise you as to whether you may be entitled to damages. Contact the experienced premises liability lawyer James A. Rice, PC, today to schedule your free case evaluation.

Mr. Rice, treated me and my case as if he was dealing with a “colleague” from the moment we met until the end of my case. I’m not a lawyer, nor in anyway, connected professionally to the law field. By “Colleague” I mean “Man, Husband, and Father” with all the responsibilities which correspond to the profession. He told me exactly what to expect with my case. His strategy and timeline to meet those expectations and what he would require of me to bring it all together in my best interest. Straight shooter, who got me back to the profession I love most in this world! Great lawyer who I’m proud to recommend to anyone needing his services.

R. C., Naval Submarine Veteran


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