Seattle Assault Lawyer
Crime can occur anywhere. Public places such as shopping malls, restaurants, bars, and even amusement parks are especially attractive to individuals looking to hurt someone. And while the police can arrest a person for committing a crime like robbery or assault, that still leaves the victim facing out-of-pocket losses and possible long-term physical and emotional injuries.
If you have been the victim of a crime and believe a property owner’s negligence was to blame, you may have the right to seek legal compensation. An experienced Seattle assault lawyer can help. At the Emerald Law Group, we represent crime victims in a wide variety of civil proceedings against third parties whose acts or omissions may have contributed to a preventable injury.
Have You Been Injured in a Crime Committed on Someone Else’s Property?
Washington law recognizes personal injury claims based on “negligent security.” But it is important to understand the extent of a property owner’s potential liability. When you are in a public place, the property owner is not required to protect you against all potential risks, including criminal activity. However, the owner may be responsible if they failed to take reasonable steps to protect the public from foreseeable criminal threats.
What those “reasonable steps” are will depend on the type of business involved as well as the overall profile of the neighborhood. Generally speaking, if a property owner knows there is a history of a particular crime in their neighborhood, such as theft or assault, they are more likely to be liable for civil damages if they fail to take some measures to protect their customers against this known threat.
Some types of businesses should also know they have a heightened duty when it comes to security. For example, a busy nightclub should employ bouncers and other appropriate security personnel to prevent fights from breaking out or a drunken patron attempting to commit sexual assault against another customer. Similarly, a hotel should know they need to have adequate security personnel on-duty during overnight hours or take steps to limit access to the property to paying guests and staff. Even something as simple as failing to change the light bulbs in a stairwell can create liability for the owner if it contributes to a violent crime against a guest.
In short, if you can prove that a property owner had a legal duty to provide certain safety measures and failed to do so, you may be entitled to compensation for injuries sustained as the result of a third party’s criminal act. Such compensation can include damages to cover your medical bills, rehabilitation, emotional stress, and pain and suffering. And in addition to a property owner you may have a viable claim against other parties as well, such as third-party security companies and of course the person who actually assaulted or robbed you.
Contact Emerald Law Today
You do not have to rely on the criminal justice system alone to vindicate your rights following a criminal act on someone else’s property. A skilled Seattle assault and negligent security lawyer can advise you further of your rights under civil tort law. Contact the Emerald Law Group today to schedule an initial consultation.