Apartment residents have a right to feel safe and secure in their own homes. Yet, while home owners can implement any security precaution they deem necessary to protect themselves and their families, apartment tenants are largely at the mercy of their property owner and management company to deter crime. Apartment complex security measures may include gated-entry, fencing, monitored surveillance cameras, visible security patrols, bright lighting, and background checks for tenants and employees. Sadly, such precautions are all too often neglected to limit financial exposure. This inaction and greed can have devastating consequences.
Survivors Fight Back
Apartment complex owners and management companies are required by law to provide a safe premises for all residents and guests legally on their property. They must prevent any foreseeable harm, such as rapes, sexual assaults, and shootings. For example, should an apartment complex owner have reason to anticipate a criminal act based on knowledge of a security lapse (such as broken fencing or lighting) or of previous crime on or near property (such as a prior sexual assault or break-in), he or she then has a duty to deter such crime and protect those legally on their premises from harm.
Should a property owner or management company fail in this legal responsibility, they may be held civilly liable for any injuries, sexual assaults or wrongful deaths, which occur as a consequence. Under such a claim, victims may be entitled to an award of damages that could include, among other items, substantial monetary compensation for: pain and suffering; past and future medical expenses; loss of wages and future earning capacity; and, emotional distress.
In May 2018, The AJC reports, a Clayton County jury awarded an apartment rape survivor $1 billion dollars in a civil suit. The survivor, who was only 14-years-old at the time of the unconscionable assault, told media the verdict “validates her struggles and emotional pain.” The case also serves as a grave warning to other Clayton County apartment complex owners, property managers and security companies to make resident safety their top priority.
Victims of Georgia Apartment Sexual Assault: What Are My Legal Options for Justice and Compensation?
As each case and property is unique, victims of apartment sexual assault should speak with an experienced security negligence firm as soon as possible to ensure all evidence, such as surveillance footage or broken lighting, is preserved and their best interests are protected.
Can I Afford an Attorney?
Our Clients frequently come in concerned that they won’t be able to afford legal help. We believe everyone has a right to exceptional legal service. We represent our Clients on a contingency agreement, which generally means that no fees or payments are owed until and unless we recover. This means our interests are always tied to that of our Clients. Be sure to ask any potential personal injury attorney about their fee schedule and whether they represent Clientele on a contingency basis before signing a contract.