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Who Do I Sue if I'm a Crime Victim?

Who Do I Sue if I'm a Crime Victim?

Violent crimes are horrible events. In many cases, they are drug or alcohol-related. Meaning, the perpetrator was under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time they committed the crime, or they committed the crime while trying to get cash to buy drugs. While this is not absolute, there is a strong link between substance abuse and violent crime, which brings us to the topic of “crime victims.”

What if you become a crime victim? What if you were robbed in a dark parking lot or your car was carjacked? What if you were violently assaulted at a bar, a nightclub, a hotel, or even at your work? What would you be able to do? After all, suing the perpetrator may be out of the question, especially if he or she hasn’t been caught, or worse, the police don’t have any hot leads or in some cases, DNA hits.

You May Have Legal Recourse

What is your legal recourse? It depends on the facts of the case, such as when it happened, where it happened, if there’s a suspect, and if the suspect ends up being convicted. If the suspect is convicted, another question is, “Does the suspect have any assets?”

In the majority of cases, suspects don’t have enough assets to be sued, so the injured party (plaintiff) will look elsewhere to collect damages, but in some situations the perpetrator can be sued, specifically when he or she has assets.

Generally, crime victims sue the owner of the property where the attack occurred. In such cases, the property owner’s insurance company usually reimburses the crime victim for their damages. Lawsuits for crime victims are often filed against hotels and motels, retail stores, office buildings, amusement parks, movie theatres, and a number of other businesses where crimes take place.

Essentially, civil courts try to determine if an offender or a third party is liable for the crime victim’s injuries. If a third party, such as a business where the attack occurred is found liable, the court could order them to pay financial damages to the victim.

“While money awarded in civil lawsuits can never fully compensate a victim for the trauma of victimization or the loss of a loved one, it can be a valuable resource to help crime victims rebuild their lives,” according to The National Center for Victims of Crime.

Related: Can I Sue if I’m Assaulted?

Are you a crime victim in the Greater Columbia Area? If so, contact our firm at once to discuss filing a claim for compensation.


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