Representing Victims of Crime in Georgia
June 10, 2019
As of the end of March 2019, all school bus drivers in Georgia may need to be vetted twice per year by public safety officials. Georgia lawmakers recently passed a bus driver safety bill in the state Senate and House. The Georgia Senate passed the bill unanimously on March 26. The bill would... continue reading
When someone has been victimized, they want justice.Our legal system is built on the idea that people should be held accountable when they cause someone else harm, whether that harm be physical, mental, financial or all the above. People naturally associate crime with our criminal justice system. Someone commits a crime, gets caught by the police and is put through our court system before being given a penalty or fine. However, victims of crime can also file civil claims against their assaulters to make sure they get justice.
Factors Leading to Crime are Often More Than Meets the Eye
The victim should also ask:When we consider the nature or cause of a crime, it’s tempting for us to draw a straight line between the victim and the perpetrator. For example, if someone is assaulted in a bar, we might assume it is solely the fault of the assaulter. But the factors that lead to a crime aren’t always this straightforward. When a crime occurs on the property of a business, the business might also bear some responsibility for the outcome of that crime. This is one reason why businesses hire security or train employees to deal with violent crime on the premises. While businesses often want to keep their patrons safe, they understand that they might also be liable for injuries suffered on their premises.
- What role did the bar management or staff play in the scenario?
- Did they see the warning signs of a violent confrontation and fail to take the steps to stop it?
- Was the establishment adequately staffed with employees who are trained to intervene in the event of an assault?
Seeking Justice and Compensation for ClientsAt the Mann Law Firm, we understand that the factors that led to a crime are complex. We look at a client’s case at every angle, and we make sure that everyone who bears responsibility is held accountable. If you’ve been a victim of crime and want justice, you don’t have to know the complexities of civil and criminal law. Our attorneys are here to investigate, prepare and handle all aspects of your case.
How Injury Claims Help Victims of CrimeAs you’ll see, there are many ways attorneys can ensure their client gets the compensation they deserve. But first, let’s take step back and look at the difference between criminal and civil litigation. Our criminal justice system, which includes police officers, prosecutors and judges, holds someone accountable for a crime via prosecution, penalties, fines and imprisonment. Civil litigation, on the other hand, involves a legal action between two (or more) parties. In the context of a crime, the victim, or plaintiff, will file a claim against the perpetrator, or defendant. An assault can result in both charges from the state and a civil claim from the victim. A personal injury claim allows the victim to seek compensation for costs related to their injury, including:
- Medical bills
- Lost income
- Property damage
- Mental or physical pain and suffering.
Determining AccountabilityPerpetrator of the Crime – First and foremost, the person who committed the crime should be held accountable for their actions. These matters are generally handled by the authorities and our criminal justice system. However, civil courts can also be used to make sure the victim gets the compensation they deserve. This is where personal injury claims can also play a role in cases where a victim was injured and needs payment to cover the costs associated with that injury. The Owner or Manager of the Place Where the Crime Took Place – Property owners and managers have a responsibility to keep their premises safe for others. This is particularly true for businesses, which encourage patrons to come to their establishment for their goods or services. If the conditions of the property or the lack of security make an environment cause a patron harm, that business should also be liable for paying the costs of those injuries.
How Attorneys Approach These CasesA skilled plaintiff’s attorney, the attorney that represents the victim, looks at every angle of their client’s case to determine the best course of action. A lawyer uses every tool and method given to them by the law and the circumstances of a case. If a client is the victim of a crime, an attorney will not only look at the perpetrator, they’ll also look at the context of the crime to determine whether a business or other party should be held accountable for the damages their client is facing.
Let’s look at a hypothetical scenario to better understand the value of an experienced plaintiff’s attorney.John Doe is the victim of a crime at a restaurant and is filing a claim against the restaurant for failing to keep them safe. The claim is filed a little over two years after the assault was committed, which means the statute of limitations which applies to premises liability claims has lapsed. The attorney, however, files a motion to dismiss that time bar because John Doe was the victim of a crime, which impacts the statute of limitations requirement on the claim. This strategy allows the claim to remain active and further John Doe’s chances of a successful claim. This scenario highlights the benefit of hiring an attorney who thoroughly understands the law and has experience looking for every possible advantage in a case.