Can a Rape Victim Sue the Attacker?

Sexual assaults occur at a much too frequent rate.  Frequently, victims have to consider whether to sue the attacker.  And, absolutely, a victim has the right to sue the attacker.  Unfortunately, most attackers do not have the funds to pay a judgment or verdict.

Sadly, it is not just the attacker who is responsible for the assault.  If the rape or sexual assault occurred on business property, then the business may also be responsible for failure to adequately protect you as a guest.

A renter in an apartment complex may have a claim if the assault occurred at the apartment complex. The guest of a renter at an apartment complex may also have a claim if assaulted.  If you go to a restaurant and you’re assaulted in the parking lot or inside the restaurant, you may have a claim. Even guests or visitors at a hotel may have claims against the hotel if a criminal victimizes them while on (or near) the hotel’s property.

You may have a claim if the assault occurs at a concert venue, school, church and any other place of business.  If you are abducted or kidnapped from any of these types of places and sexually assaulted or raped somewhere else, you may have a claim against the business from where you were abducted as well as the business where you were assaulted.

Who Brings The Claim?

If you are an adult, you bring the claim for yourself.  Further, if your minor child is a rape victim, the parent can bring a claim on behalf of the child.

In the unfortunate case of death, Georgia law also allows a loved one to bring a claim.  The claim can include the victim’s conscious pain and suffering and also a wrongful death claim for the full value of the life of the victim.

Case Example

At The Dixon Firm, we once represented a mother on behalf of her 14-year-old daughter who was sexually assaulted at an apartment complex.  The management at the apartment complex knew that there was a criminal peaking into resident’s windows under cover of darkness.  This creep had even broken into one apartment days earlier.

The apartment complex did not warn any of the residents about the criminal or his behavior.  It could have done that simply by putting a flier or a mailer on the doors or sent text alerts or emails. They did nothing.  One night, this peeping tom broke into the apartment where our 14-year-old client was asleep on the couch.  He violated her in ways that I won’t discuss here.  Had her parents known about the impending danger, they could have done more to protect their child.

As is often the case, the police did not capture the assailant.  But just because the assailant is on the run does not mean you cannot pursue your claim.  As a matter of fact, you can pursue your claim with the assailant in jail or free.

A Rape Victim Can Fight Back

It is often complicated to determine who may bring a claim for sexual assault.  Also, we have to identify the right corporate defendant to sue. But one thing is for sure: We’re all better off when the victims come forward and pursue their claims. The civil justice fight can compel businesses to do more to keep people safe.  A sexual assault lawyer in Atlanta can help you win your case in Georgia or across the United States. We will pursue civil money damages.  States also often have victim compensation funds.  We can help you through that process as well.