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Crime Victims Lawyer
- Victims of crimes such as sexual assault, gun violence and shooting, and child sexual abuse may undergo long-term trauma and fear as a result of the crime.
- You may file a civil lawsuit against the perpetrators of the crime for justice and financial compensation, independent of any separate criminal action.
- The person or third-party business or institution being sued can usually expect to pay a settlement to the victim.
Helping Victims of Crimes Obtain Civil Compensation
Being a victim of a crime can change your life in an instant. You may be left with long-term trauma and fears. Your mental health can suffer, along with your physical and emotional health. Often, closure can feel desperately out of reach.
Crime victims should know that there is hope for them. Healing from your experiences and finding closure are possible, and getting justice can be an important step in that process. Edwards Henderson is a powerhouse litigation firm that has helped countless people regain their power and their voice after a violent crime takes it away. To learn how our crime victim lawyers can help you, schedule a free and confidential consultation.
Violent Crime Statistics
Every year since 2017, 1-3% of Americans report that they have been the victim of a violent crime. Upon first reading those numbers, it might sound like a relatively small number. However, the 2020 census reported a population of 331.8 million people, meaning that the number of violent crime victims has been between 3.3 million and 9.9 million for at least 5 years.
Sexual assault is devastating and can happen to anyone. It is also massively under-reported, with only 37% of assaults being reported to law enforcement. This horrific crime often leaves survivors feeling violated and traumatized, leading to 81% of female survivors and 35% of male survivors developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after an assault.
Though the blame for rape and sexual assault ultimately lies with the perpetrator, the fact remains that there are things businesses can do to prevent it from happening. Conducting a thorough background check on all employees is one such preventative measure. If a spa hires a masseuse with a record of sexual assault, and that masseuse then assaults a patron, the spa could be open to a lawsuit for negligence in their hiring practices.
Unfortunately, there are also numerous cases of assault by ride-share drivers. Despite the fact that these drivers are independent contractors, the ride-share company is still responsible for conducting a background check before hiring them. They also have a responsibility to take appropriate action after reports of an assault. If a ride-share company allows a driver to continue transporting passengers after an accusation of assault by a passenger, that passenger may be able to sue the company for their improper handling of the incident.
Child Sexual Abuse
Child sexual abuse is widely regarded as one of the most heinous crimes that can be committed due to the innocence of the victims and the lifelong impacts sexual abuse can have on them. Many places that are supposed to be safe and welcoming for children, such as churches or the Boy Scouts, are hotspots for sexual assault and grooming.
Though the damage can never be undone, survivors of childhood sexual abuse can pursue justice through a civil lawsuit. When an organization fails to protect children, it must be held accountable. They have a responsibility to take care of those survivors and assist them in getting therapy and moving on with their lives. Edwards Henderson has worked with childhood sexual abuse survivors for years, fighting alongside them for justice and healing.
Assault and Attacks
Attacks may be provoked or unprovoked, leaving a victim blindsided. Especially in situations where there is alcohol involved, such as a bar or club, tensions and disagreements tend to escalate quickly and can result in violence before you know it. A large portion of bar and club security workers’ jobs is to keep the peace and diffuse fights in the establishment, so if they fail to do this, the bar may be held responsible. Staffing issues, irresponsible employees, or ineffective hiring practices (failing to do background checks or check references) can contribute to violence rising in a bar or club.
Shootings and Gun Violence
Gun violence affects people’s lives every day. Particularly in open-carry states, businesses should make an effort to prevent patrons from bringing firearms into their establishments. Many places, such as bars and nightclubs, do this by hiring a bouncer to check people before allowing them inside. The bouncer may have a metal detector in order to tell if someone is carrying a weapon.
If an establishment fails to take reasonable security measures and someone shoots someone else or even several people, the business could be on the hook for negligence. They failed to take reasonable action to prevent a violent act, possibly resulting in injuries or death to patrons and/or staff. The injured patrons or those who lost loved ones in the event could then sue for damages, including funeral expenses, medical bills, and pain and suffering or loss of companionship.
What Can You Do? Civil Lawsuits After a Crime
The aftermath of a crime, whether it was days, months, or years ago, can be very difficult for a victim. There may be police reports to deal with, along with physical and mental recovery. When the dust clears and you are still looking for justice, what can be done? Depending on the circumstances of the crime, a civil lawsuit may be an appropriate next step.
Civil lawsuits are not always filed against the perpetrator of a crime. Justice is typically brought against the perpetrator via criminal charges. A civil lawsuit is often filed against other entities that played a role in allowing the crime to happen. For example, if you are attacked at a bar, security should step in to ensure your safety and remove the aggressor. If security failed to take action or there was inadequate security available on the day of the attack, you could file a civil lawsuit against the bar for their negligence.
How Do Civil Cases Differ From Criminal Cases?
Pursuing a civil lawsuit against a third party will follow a different process and lead to different results than pursuing criminal charges against the perpetrator of a crime. For one thing, most civil cases end in a settlement rather than a ruling. Before going to court, the two parties (in the case of a crime, the victim and the negligent establishment) will often sit down for mediation. Each party and their lawyers will attempt to reach an agreement on how the case should be handled: what financial compensation a victim should receive, any action necessary from the business, et cetera. If a settlement cannot be reached, then the parties involved will proceed with a trial.
Perhaps the biggest difference between a criminal case and a civil case is the end result. In a criminal case, there is a possibility that the perpetrator or offender will be sentenced to jail time. In civil cases, however, the person or business being sued can usually expect to pay a settlement to the victim if the case is successful. Civil cases are more about the victim’s recovery than taking punitive action.
Call Our Crime Victim Lawyers
Have you been the victim of a crime that was caused by a third party’s negligence? You deserve justice and assistance. Edwards Henderson has helped countless people regain their voice after being the victim of a crime. Though crime can change your life, it does not have to define you. Contact Edwards Henderson for more information today.
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Edwards Henderson is a nationally-recognized powerhouse litigation firm, dedicated to providing its clients with the highest quality legal services and, at the same time, making substantial, positive changes for the common good.
We are skilled litigators and experienced trial attorneys who have effectively pursued civil lawsuits against some of the most powerful individuals, organizations and big businesses on behalf of people, victims and small businesses. In fact, we specialize in handling cases where the power differential is greatest and we can use our experience and resources to even the playing field. Our recent trial results speak for themselves.
Your voice matters.
“Brad Edwards handled my tort claim aggressively, attentively, and most importantly, he seemed to take what was maliciously done to me to heart. He handled my case as if it was his own. I cannot recommend him or his expertise enough.”
“I’m so thankful to Ms. Henderson. She went above and beyond for me on multiple cases. Her hard work and dedication to my cases changed my life. She won a lawsuit on my behalf against a high-profile and powerful defendant. Never once did she settle—she fought to the end for me and won, thus giving me my quality of life back.”