Sexual Assault and Third Party Liability

June 22, 2015 | Attorney, Matthew Dolman
Sexual Assault and Third Party Liability A sexual assault is a crime of violence that can cause great harm, both physically and emotionally, to the victim. The pain and suffering can be equal to, or greater than, trauma caused by other personal injuries. The only way to be compensated for this heinous crime is through filing a civil lawsuit with the aid of a personal injury attorney with the required experience handling these sensitive cases. The perpetrator of a sexual assault may be held legally responsible for damages, but there may also be third party negligence involved. Often the perpetrator does not have substantial assets and any insurance coverage will exclude intentional acts. In many other cases the perpetrator will never be identified or charged with a crime. In these cases the only recourse for compensatory recovery is from a third party. It is possible to use negligent supervision as basis for a claim or the failure to provide adequate security. It is the responsibility of the administrators of public institutions such as schools, prisons and psychiatric facilities to properly maintain supervision, especially if there is an elevated risk for an assault to occur. It is also the responsibility of the owners of public buildings and other facilities to provide adequate security. When a failure is evident and a violent or non-violent sexual assault occurs the administrative parties can be held accountable. If a psychiatric facility is known to have potentially dangerous patients and an employee, such as a nurse or maintenance worker, or another patient, is assaulted, a civil case may be developed against the facility principals. This may be due to the perpetrator being able to roam about the building unsupervised. If an assault occurs in the parking garage of a mall or office building, the lighting may have been inadequate or there were no security cameras being monitored. These are just two of many scenarios that were aided by the negligence of a third party. If a Victim of Sexual Assault It is unfortunately too common that victims of sexual assault do not report the incident to the police or seek medical attention. Sometimes this is due to a fear of the blame being placed on them for being in the wrong place at the wrong time; inviting the assault. Or the victim may fear retaliation from the perpetrator. There is no such thing as invited rape. Rapists are cowards who prefer to commit their violent crimes, remaining hidden, until moving on to their next victim. If you are the victim of a sexual assault, always report the matter to the police and do not fear embarrassment. Police have special crimes units that are sensitive to these matters. Do not go home first to clean up, although the temptation to do so may be strong. Call 911 from the scene. You do not want to remove any evidence of the crime. Reporting it may also prevent future assaults. Following the police report and any medical examination, call the offices of Dolman Law immediately. Even if there was no arrest made in connection with the crime, you may still have a case against a third party for the physical and emotional suffering that always results from these horrific crimes of violence. Substantial Settlements are Possible Due to the egregious nature of these crimes, juries are sympathetic towards the victims and large settlements are often awarded. A civil court finding the third party liable for damages means that the third party owes the victim an obligation. This may include compensation for economic costs such as medical expenses, lost wages and future mental health counseling. The court may also order payment for non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, damage to intimate relationships, psychological injury and additional punitive damages. If you, or a loved one, are the victim of a sexual assault, contact the personal injury attorneys that understand your ordeal and the resulting anguish. Reach out to Dolman Law for a free evaluation of your case. You may be entitled to a substantial cash award. Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA 800 North Belcher Road Clearwater, FL 33765 727-451-6900


Matthew Dolman

Personal Injury Lawyer

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has successfully fought for more than 11,000 injured clients and acted as lead counsel in more than 1,000 lawsuits. Always on the cutting edge of personal injury law, Matt is actively engaged in complex legal matters, including Suboxone, AFFF, and Ozempic lawsuits.  Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess of $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

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