Premises Liability Claims and Sexual Assault Survivors: What You Need to Know
Posted in Premises Liability on September 26, 2019
Sexual assault can be one of the most life-changing experiences an individual can deal with. Sexual assault survivors are often left with physical and emotional pain that can take years to only partially heal – if ever.
While justice against the offender can come from prosecution through both criminal and civil courts, many survivors do not know that they can seek out further rectitude by filing a premises liability claim against the property owner whose negligence failed to prevent the attack.
The McAllen personal injury attorney at De La Garza Law Firm has the experience you need to accurately represent you in your premises liability case.
How Can Property Owners Be Held Liable for a Sexual Assault?
In general, property owners have an obligation to keep guests on their premises safe; however, there are instances where they could be held liable for an assault should they fail to do so. Many incidents of sexual assault occur at restaurants, apartment complexes, bars, motels, and hotels more often than any other type of business establishment because of security negligence.
By its definition, incidents of individuals who fall victim to criminal acts such as sexual assault or rape within the premises of a business or a party’s private property due to a lack of adequate security are examples of security negligence.
For instance, if a victim is attacked and sexually assaulted while walking to their apartment complex in the evening, the property owner may be held liable for not providing proper lighting outside, leading to an assault that could’ve been prevented if the area was well lit.
How Property Owners Should Take Precautions to Prevent Sexual Assault on Their Premises
A property owner has several different methods that they can take to properly ensure that visitors are protected from sexual assault. These methods include:
- Security Cameras – Installing security cameras and making them visible to the public may deter an offender from committing a crime, and the recordings can be used as evidence against the perpetrator should one happen.
- Security Officers – Having a second pair of eyes maintaining order in the establishment is crucial to ensuring the safety of visitors. A well-trained security guard provides just that.
- Background Checks – In order to ensure security is at its best, property owners that lease out apartments or houses must run background checks on their tenants and must make sure sex offenders are registered. For employers, background checks also protect employees from problematic new hirees that could harm them.
- Sexual Harassment Policy – Having a sexual harassment policy lets visitors know that it is an important issue that is not taken lightly. The policy should assert that no type of unwanted sexual attention suffered by a visitor is to be tolerated. For employees, a sexual harassment policy outlines what kind of behavior is acceptable within the work environment while protecting them from unwanted sexual advances and assault.
Start Your Premises Liability Claim Today
It is important to evaluate how you or a loved one’s sexual assault could have been prevented by the establishment where it occurred.
One of the best actions you can take after such a serious assault has happened — after you’ve visited sought out medical treatment – is to take your case to an experienced premises liability attorney that will help to fight for the financial recovery that you deserve.
Victims of sexual assault — whether it occurs on private or commercial property — are eligible to fight for compensation that covers:
- Medical Costs
- Loss of Wages/Earning Capacity
- Pain and Suffering
- Punitive Damages
If you or a loved one have suffered from a sexual assault that could have been avoided with proper safety protocols by the property owner, reach out to the McAllen premises liability attorney of De La Garza Law Firm now.