Victims of sexual assault typically turn to the criminal courts for justice. However, sometimes the criminal courts aren’t successful or they don’t hold everyone who contributed to the incident accountable.
Those who endured an assault in a public space, like a dark hallway outside of the bathroom at a popular bar or an unlit parking lot, may potentially have grounds to bring a civil claim against the business where the crime occurred. Negligent security practices can lead to premises liability lawsuits from the victims of crimes that occur at a business.
When does poor security become negligence?
Just because a crime occurred on someone else’s property, that doesn’t necessarily mean you have grounds to hold the business financially or legally responsible. However, if you can show that they were negligent, that could lead to an insurance claim or a lawsuit.
Crime is a known issue wherever people gather, so businesses can reasonably foresee some risk of criminal activity. Alcohol and sexual assaults have a strong association, so bars and other businesses that serve alcohol should invest in good lighting and security cameras to deter sexual assaults. Having bouncers at a bar can also help prevent an assault from occurring there.
Criminals frequently target businesses that they know have inadequate security or locations where they are unlikely to encounter other people or be subject to video recordings. If cameras, security professionals or lights would likely have prevented your assault, you may have the basis for a negligence claim against the business where it happened.
Exploring all of your avenues for justice after a sexual assault will help you and potentially protect other people.