Apartment Attack and Sexual Assault Laws

Georgia Apartment Rape and Assault Cases

As a former insurance defense lawyer for commercial properties, I spent years  defending properties in rape and shooting cases and they are disturbing. All too frequently you hear of people getting raped, stabbed, shot and beaten in their apartments. The real shame is that many of the instances could have been avoided.

Although these rapes and assaults can occur on almost any type of property, apartments tend to have the highest incidence.

There are two primary fact patterns we see with apartments:

1) the attacker is a tenant or guest of a tenant at the apartment

2) the attacker is a trespasser

We will break down the key differences but first let me explain the legal duties involved with negligent security cases.

Landlords by law cannot guarantee you to be safe from a criminal attack, but the law says that once the property owner is on notice of a crime problem that they take reasonable security precautions to prevent attacks.

In most of the cases we have handled, a thorough investigation of the reported crime at the property will reveal a disturbing trend. The managers of the apartment typically turn a blind eye crime and do not put in place reasonable security measures like improved lighting, cameras and security patrols.

For example, in a case I handled, a 50 year old Atlanta woman was shot while in bed when a bullet from an AK-47 came through the wall. The bullet came from the rifle of a drug dealer outside errantly shooting at his rival. In discovery it became apparent that the apartment complex (next door to the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary) was overrun with drug dealers and yet they had no nighttime security patrols at all. The owner just left the property wide open to criminals at night.

In another case, my client was on the premises of an apartment in Stone Mountain Georgia in Dekalb County. He was carjacked and shot in the stomach and left to die. In discovery, we were able to show that the complex had knowledge of over 15 assaults in the area over the last two years and still left the main security gates wide open at night. 

Sturbridge Partners, Ltd. v. Walker 267 Ga. 785, 482 SE2d 339 (1997) is one of the key appellate court cases in Georgia negligent security assault cases and lays out the analysis for prior similar crimes.

They key here is showing that there were crimes against people occurring on the property prior to the one you are bringing the claim for. If there is no history of crime on the property, the case will likely be thrown out of court, as it should be.

Attacker was a Tenant or Guest

In cases where the rapist or assailant was a tenant or a guest, it is difficult to argue that increased security would have prevented the assault in most cases. There the focus shifts to whether the apartment complex could have screened the tenant for a criminal background and excluded them. To succeed you would need to show that the tenant had a criminal background and that the apartment knew of their presence and failed to run their standard criminal background check on them.

Attacker is a Third Party Stranger

This is the more common variety and here you need to prove that there was prior crime against people's bodies and that after being on notice of the crime, the apartment failed to take sufficient security measures to protect the victim.

In summary it should be obvious that premises security cases are some of the most complex and motion vulnerable cases in the world of personal injury. If you want to ask questions about your case, please feel free to contact me.
Client Reviews
My wife and I were hit by a tractor trailer in 2014. After extensive research online, we were deeply impressed with the various reviews we read on Google and Avvo and chose Chris to represent us. We could not have a made a better decision. Chris and his firm treated us like we were their only clients, soothed our worries, and instantly gained our trust. Chris settled both of our cases for more than we expected.
★★★★★
A co-worker of my wife recommended Chris to us. At the very beginning Chris showed that he cared and his knowledge is priceless. Going through this process can be aggravating but Chris did a great job guiding me through this and was always available to answer my questions. Chris fought to get what I deserved even though at times I wanted to give up. Tracy
★★★★★
I want to express my deepest sense of gratitude and appreciation to Attorney Chris Simon & Attorney Chris Carsten, for all the hard work that they put forth into my case (car accident filed after being hit by drunk driver). Their attention to detail and professionalism far surpasses their firm's reputation. Because of their diligence and dedication to their craft, they were able to bring my case to a successful close, one that I could live with. You will not find a better team for your case. Should I have a need for their services again in the future, or know of anyone looking for a top notch Auto Accident Law Firm, I would not hesitate to recommend them!!!! Elle
★★★★★
Wow...Chris is a very good attorney. Me and my son was in a very bad car accident an I was clueless on how to handle the situation. It's very hard to find an attorney who allows you to contact them personally instead of you contacting their asst. I was told that I didn't have a case because the hosiptal put a lien on my acct. Chris prove different and I was able to file my case with the insurance company. The process was very quickly and Im glad I selected the right attorney..Thanks Chris A Car Accident client
★★★★★
Chris is a great lawyer and the most people friendly attorney I have ever delt with. He handled my case with great attention to detail and did so in a very short period of time. He is very consice, efficient, patient and understanding. He has a strong passion for what he does and he does it well. I recommend Chris Simon as legal representation for anyone who has suffreed damages or a loss at the negligence of others. He really cares about you and your case. A Car Accident client
★★★★★