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Sexual Assault and Premises Liability

Could a Property Owner be Liabile for Your Sexual Assault Injuries?

When premises liability comes to mind, we think of slip and fall accidents, broken structures, or even chemical hazards, such as toxic mold and asbestos. While all of these scenarios are covered under premises liability law, most people forget that the law, in certain castled on someone else’s property, contact the premises liability attorneys at West Coast Trial Lawyers today.

Common Places Where Sexual Assault Happens

Premises Liability and Sexual Assault

According to a study, 81 percent of women have reported getting sexually assaulted in their lifetime, while 43 percent of men claim the same. Those numbers certainly increase when considering the amount of sexual attacks that are not reported. The shame of becoming a sexual assault victim has forced many people to change jobs, positions, and daily routines.

While most people are sexually assaulted in public places, the horrendous act can happen anywhere. Listed below is a list of common areas where victims are assaulted.

Places Where Sexual Assault Commonly Occurs Amount of Cases Reported in the Area
Private Home 19%
Public Space 35%
Mass Transit 4%
Online 5%
School 12%
College 3%
The Workplace 14%
Church or House of Worship 1%
Healthcare Facility 1%
Other 8%

Broad Responsibility

As a property owner or landlord, you have the duty to provide a safe environment for guests. A victim may receive compensation if they can prove that the business owner was negligent and did not take the proper precautions to prevent foreseeable harm, such  as sexual assault. For instance, places such as banks, bars, and schools are required to have some type of security.

Sexual Assault Liability Examples

Generally, humans are unpredictable so it is impossible for a property or business owner to prepare for every circumstance. Therefore, proving negligence in California is not always easy.

College Campus. College campuses are common grounds for sexual assault, not only from outsiders but from people within the school. For example, two students from the University of Illinois successfully filed a premises liability suit against the school for not firing a professor who assaulted them. The students proved the school’s negligence by showing that the professor had been repeatedly reported and the school had done nothing about it.

Poor Lighting. In New York City, a 21 year old victim filed a premises liability lawsuit against Eagle Scaffolding Services because the company failed to properly light the area which gave her attacker an advantage at making his presence unknown.

Negligent Security. California schools have come under scrutiny as bullying and sexual assault cases have become more prevalent. Parents took action against a school, claiming that the school provided negligent supervision and inadequate protection. Settlement amounts ran into the millions.

Gym. Equinox Gym had been found liable for the alleged sexual attack of a gym member. The victim claims that because the gym failed to take action against an already accused member, they were responsible for the crime.

Apartment. In certain cases, apartment owners may be held liable for the safety of their tenants. This includes increasing security after a sexual assault.

Available Damages

Accidents happen. If you were injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. Below is a brief explanation of damages. Damages are a type of monetary award that is determined by a court of law to help compensate an aggrieved individual for any losses or injuries sustained as a result of someone’s negligence.

Economic Damages

Economic damages are intended to compensate a plaintiff for losses that a dollar amount can readily be attached to. Economic damages are calculated by determining the amount of out-of-pocket losses an aggrieved individual has or will expect to incur as a result of their injuries.

A few examples of economic losses include:

  • Loss of Earning Capacity
  • Medical Bills
  • Lost Wages

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are essentially intended to cover losses that are thought of as subjective and will not necessarily cover out-of-pocket losses. Non-economic damages may include compensation for:

  • Emotional Distress
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Loss of Enjoyment of Life

Punitive Damages

The third type of damages a California court may award are known as punitive damages. Punitive damages are intended as punishment and are only awarded when a defendant’s behavior is especially harmful. Punitive damages are relatively rare and in fact were only incorporated in 5 percent of all verdicts.

Furthermore, there is no real set standard for calculating and awarding punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded at the court’s discretion and will vary depending on the specific circumstances of a case.

West Coast Trial Lawyers Is Here to Help

West Coast Trial Lawyers will not charge you for a consultation. Our clients are represented on a contingency fee basis. If we do not win, you owe us nothing. There is no financial risk to prevent you from reaching out. Our qualified personal injury lawyers are highly-trained and have extensive experience with cases that are similar to yours. We are committed to helping you resolve your legal issues as quickly as possible while receiving the best results.

If you or someone you know has been injured in a premises liability accident, reach out to our legal team 24/7 by calling us at (213) 927-3700 or emailing [email protected].


If you have been injured in an accident, you can count on the legal team at West Coast Trial Lawyers to fight for your rights every step of the way. Contact us today to schedule your free case evaluation with a personal injury attorney.
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