When we think of personal injury lawsuits, we normally think of injuries resulting from unintentional accidents. However, victims of violent crimes are also often left with severe and debilitating injuries. Just as the responsible person might be criminally prosecuted for the wrongs they committed against society, crime victims can also seek compensation in civil court for the harms and losses they suffer.
If you were injured by a violent crime, the attorneys at the Butler Kahn are here to help you pursue the justice and financial recovery you deserve. You may be entitled to compensation for your physical injuries, mental anguish, and more. While you focus on your physical and emotional recovery, let us put our experience to work seeking compensation on your behalf. Contact our office for a free, confidential case evaluation with an Atlanta crime victim lawyer.
What Are Some Examples of Violent Crimes in Atlanta?
News headlines report on violent crime every day. Even so, we do not generally think about these occurrences until they happen to us. Some of the most common violent crimes in Atlanta include:
- Assault and battery
- Auto theft or carjacking
- Kidnapping and criminal restraint
- Rape and sexual assault
- Domestic violence
- Reckless endangerment, including recklessly discharging firearms
What Sort of Compensation Is Available for Victims of Violent Crimes in Atlanta?
If you were injured in a violent crime, you may seek compensation from the at-fault party by filing a civil case in court. Depending on your case, you may be compensated for:
- Medical Expenses. Medical care is expensive. You are likely entitled to compensation for expenses incurred in treatment and rehabilitation of your physical injuries and mental distress.
- Long-term Care. Long-term care is also costly. You may be compensated for post-treatment care of ongoing mental health issues or permanently disabling conditions associated with your injuries.
- Pain and Suffering. Depending on the nature of your injuries, you may be entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering.
- Past and Future Lost Wages. If you cannot work due to your injuries or emotional distress, you may be entitled to compensation for your lost wages or income.
- Property Damage. If your property was damaged or lost as a result of the crime, you may be compensated for the repair or replacement cost.
In addition to filing a civil case, the Georgia Crime Victims Compensation Program provides additional resources to victims of violent crime. Eligible crime victims may receive assistance to cover medical and counseling expenses. They may also receive aid to supplement lost income, as well as funeral expenses if the crime victim was killed. Maximum compensation is set at $25,000 per victim.
Can Property Stolen in a Violent Crime Be Replaced?
Yes, if you are the victim of theft, law enforcement may be able to recover your stolen property. If your property was damaged, destroyed, or lost, you may also be entitled to seek compensation for the value of your property.
If convicted of a crime resulting in the loss of your property, a court may order the perpetrator to reimburse you for the full value of your property. Even if the perpetrator is not ordered to pay restitution for your losses in criminal court, you can still pursue compensation by filing civil claim to recover the value of your property.
What Compensation Is Available If Someone Is Killed During the Crime?
If a victim is killed during a crime, surviving family members may pursue a wrongful death claim against the perpetrator. A wrongful death suit can compensate the victim’s family members for their losses. Among other things, this may include:
- Medical bills incurred prior to death
- Lost earnings and financial contributions to their family
- Lost benefits (for example, retirement or pension funds)
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of companionship (“loss of consortium”)
What Can Be Done If the Person Who Committed the Crime Cannot Be Caught?
In some cases, police cannot identify or apprehend the perpetrator of a crime. Depending on the case, victims in the situations may still seek compensation through other avenues. At the Butler Kahn, an experienced crime victim attorney can evaluate your case and identify parties other than the perpetrator who may be liable for your injuries. Other legal avenues toward compensation may include:
- Premises Liability – Certain property owners may be liable for injuries caused by crime on their property if they do not provide adequate security for the premises (for example, surveillance cameras and security guards).
- Dram Shop Laws – These are laws governing the liability of businesses for the acts of intoxicated persons. In some cases, businesses that sell alcohol to visibly intoxicated patrons may be held liable for resulting injuries (for example, assault or vehicular homicide).
- Insurance – Depending on the circumstances of your injury, you may be covered by an insurance policy. For example, if you were injured in a crime involving a vehicle, you may be covered by the perpetrator’s auto insurance. Further, if you have purchased personal injury protection coverage, you may be covered by your own auto policy.
Is There a Time Limit to File a Crime Victim Lawsuit in Atlanta?
Georgia’s gives only two years from the date of the crime to file a lawsuit seeking compensation for personal injuries. If you seek compensation for property damage or loss, you have four years from the date of the crime to file suit.
If you miss these deadlines, your case will likely be dismissed, thereby eliminating your chance to seek compensation in civil court. Avoid finding yourself in this situation by speaking to a crime victim attorney as soon as possible. The attorneys are the Butler Kahn are ready to review your case and help you pursue maximum compensation.
Contact an Atlanta Crime Victim Lawyer Today
The criminal justice system seeks to hold violent criminals accountable to society for their actions. Even so, crime victims are often left with the short end of the stick. If you are the victim of a violent crime, the Butler Kahn can help you explore other avenues toward the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our Atlanta crime victim lawyers.