Bethesda Assault Injury Attorneys Help Assault Victims Seek Justice
Many of the crimes that victimize Virginia and Maryland residents might be avoided if all property owners provided adequate security. If you’re injured by an assault on private property, a Bethesda assault injury attorney can help you seek justice – and monetary compensation.
Security cameras are now common. Some say this is a sign of the “surveillance state,” but there’s really a much more practical reason why hotels, retailers, and garages have so many security cameras today. Property owners are deterring crime to shield themselves from liability.
If you have been the victim of a crime on private property in Virginia or Maryland, and if you were injured in that incident, keep reading to learn more about your legal options and your right to financial compensation.
What Are an Assault Victim’s Rights?
If you are injured by someone else on private property in Virginia or Maryland, either intentionally or accidentally, you’re entitled under the laws of both states to full monetary compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, personal pain and suffering, and more.
Don’t be intimidated or panicked into taking the first settlement offer. That amount will probably be a “low-ball” offer, and if you take it, you waive your right to acquire additional compensation or take further legal action. Your attorney can negotiate a more generous settlement.
A Bethesda Assault Injury Attorney Can Explain Your Rights
The civil and criminal court systems usually operate separately. When someone is injured by slipping on a damp floor at a supermarket, or if someone trips on cracked pavement in a parking lot or on a sidewalk, it is usually not the result of a crime but rather the result of negligence.
But if you are injured by an intoxicated driver, or if you are injured during an armed robbery in a poorly-lit parking area, you can file a claim for your personal injury or injuries, and the person who injured you will probably also be criminally prosecuted.
Can a Criminal Trial Affect a Civil Personal Injury Trial?
Yes. If you’re injured by a driver who is convicted of DUI, that conviction strengthens your injury claim. If a defendant’s negligence has been proven in a criminal trial, your civil injury lawsuit against that defendant will likely prevail.
Property owners are required by law to take practical steps to protect visitors from injuries – including the injuries that crimes like battery and robbery often entail. A property owner who neglects this obligation may be deemed liable if someone is injured because of that negligence.
If you’re injured as the result of a crime on someone else’s property because the property owner did not provide security cameras, adequate lighting, or security guards, discuss your options and rights at once with a Bethesda assault injury attorney.
If you assaulted and injured on someone else’s property, you may file an injury claim against the assailant, and you may also file a claim to pursue compensation from the owner of the property. To file those claims, you’ll need the help of a good Maryland assault injury attorney.
How Can Property Owners Protect Visitors?
Security matters. Condominium communities stress security in their marketing materials; retailers advertise good lighting in their parking areas; and fans want security personnel at concerts and sports events.
You don’t need guards at your residence to protect visitors, but some measure of security is necessary at parking garages, shopping malls, and other spots where crime is likely to occur. What constitutes inadequate security? It may include:
- an absence of security cameras or guards
- defective or broken locks
- failing to put in and maintain railings, sprinklers, extinguishers, and similar items
- poor visibility and lighting in garages, stairwells, parking lots, and hallways
Security can be an issue wherever the public gathers: arenas, theaters, shopping malls, hotels, restaurants, apartment complexes, parking lots, and parking garages. When property owners fail to maintain their premises in a reasonably safe condition, crimes and injuries can happen.
A Bethesda Assault Injury Attorney Can Hold Property Owners Accountable
Baseball fan Brian Stow was assaulted in 2011 in the inadequate lighting of the Dodger Stadium parking lot. Mr. Stow sustained a traumatic brain injury and is disabled permanently. A civil jury ordered the Dodgers organization to pay $13.9 million in damages to Mr. Stow.
If someone is injured during a crime on private property, even if no arrest is made, the owner of the property may be liable for not taking reasonable and appropriate security measures. If you are the injury victim, these factors determine if you may pursue a negligent security claim:
- The owner had a legal responsibility to keep the property reasonably safe. If there were no warnings or inadequate warnings of a hazard, and you were injured because there were no warnings or inadequate warnings, you may pursue a negligent security claim.
- You suffered injuries or damages, and you can prove it.
- The owner’s negligence is a direct cause of your personal injury. If a property owner doesn’t install adequate lighting in a parking garage or lot, and you are injured because you could not see your assailant, you can probably file an injury claim.
What Are the Defenses Against Negligent Security Claims?
A property owner may assert that the fault for your personal injury is yours and offer one or more of these claims as a defense:
- You weren’t watching where you were going.
- You were injured while you were in a restricted area or trespassing.
- Someone “reasonable” would have stayed away from a clearly hazardous area.
How Will a Bethesda Assault Injury Attorney Resolve a Negligent Security Claim?
Negligent security cases can quickly become complicated legal disputes. The right Bethesda negligent security attorney can review the case and advise you regarding the most constructive way to proceed.
Most negligent security claims are settled privately in out-of-court negotiations before a trial can begin. But if a reasonable settlement amount isn’t offered, your attorney may take your case to court and ask jurors to decide if the owner of the property is liable for your injuries and damages.
If you’re assaulted on private property in Virginia or Maryland, seek medical attention as quickly as possible. Once you’ve been treated by a healthcare professional, contact a Bethesda assault injury attorney promptly.
Do Not Wait to Contact a Bethesda Assault Injury Attorney
The statute of limitations in Maryland is three years for negligent security claims. In Virginia, it’s two years. The statute of limitations period usually begins the day you are injured, but if you suffered a latent or hard-to-detect injury, the clock may not start until the injury is discovered.
You can’t wait two or three years to seek the right lawyer’s help. Over time, the memories of witnesses begin to fade, and evidence deteriorates. If you’re assaulted and injured, the sooner you act, the more likely it is that your claim will prevail and you will be compensated.
If you have been injured by an assault because of a property owner’s failure to provide security, get treatment first, and then promptly meet with a Bethesda assault injury attorney to discuss your legal options and rights.