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Home is synonymous with safety, comfort, and privacy. Yet, when the sanctity of this space is violated by something like a sexual assault, the psychological, emotional, and physical repercussions are profound. Victims may have the right to hold their apartment complexes accountable in apartment sexual assault cases. Here’s what you need to know about pursuing a lawsuit in Indiana and Kentucky.  

Apartment Complexes: The Duty of Safety

apartment sexual assault cases

The central tenet of an apartment complex’s responsibility is ensuring the safety and security of its residents. If a lapse in safety or security directly contributes to a resident’s sexual assault, the apartment complex may be liable. 

Every apartment complex is obligated to safeguard its residents from foreseeable dangers, which include acts of sexual assault. Failing to do so can pave the way for a lawsuit for negligent security. 

Establishing Negligence in Apartment Sexual Assault Lawsuits

The path to justice in apartment sexual assault cases revolves around establishing negligence on the part of the apartment complex. Some of the things to consider include the following: 

  • Prior incidents. Does the complex have a history of sexual assaults or suspicious activity? If so, it can strengthen your negligence claim.
  • The crime rate and safety metrics of the neighborhood. If an apartment is in a high-crime area, the onus on the complex to have more stringent security measures is heightened.
  • Vetting visitors. Does the complex vet visitors or allow just anyone to roam the premises?
  • State of security equipment. Functional locks, well-maintained fences, working cameras, and proper lighting can deter potential assailants and are essential for resident safety.

To determine whether you have a viable apartment sexual assault case, contact Gerling Law to schedule a consultation. 

Determining the Value of Apartment Sexual Assault Cases

It’s almost impossible to quantify the trauma of a sexual assault victim in monetary terms. Yet, for the sake of justice and restitution, courts attempt to put a value on it. Everyone’s trauma is unique, and your potential settlement value will differ from someone else’s. When you hire a lawyer at Gerling Law, we’ll conduct an investigation and try to preserve all relevant evidence that helps prove the apartment complex is liable. 

Understandably, many victims have questions about how a claim against an apartment complex differs from a criminal charge. Suing the apartment for its negligence is a civil lawsuit where financial compensation is the goal. This case won’t involve any loss of freedom, such as jail time, because it is not criminal in nature. Civil and criminal cases are very different. And both can happen at the same time. So if the state brings charges against your attacker, it does not prohibit you from pursuing a lawsuit against the apartment complex. 

Though no financial compensation can genuinely heal the scars of an assault, a significant verdict or settlement can spur the apartment complex into action, ensuring they institute better safety measures in the future.

Steps to Take Following an Apartment Sexual Assault 

Following a sexual assault, the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) suggests you take certain steps. 

  1. Prioritize your safety. Ensure you’re in a safe environment. If you feel threatened, seek help or move to a secure location.
  2. Avoid blaming yourself. The assault is not your fault. It’s essential to internalize this and avoid self-blame.
  3. Reach out for help. RAINN operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673), which connects you to trained staff from local sexual assault service providers. They can guide you to suitable health facilities and potentially provide an advocate for assistance.
  4. Consider legal action. If you suspect the sexual assault happened because your apartment complex failed to provide adequate security, you may have grounds for an apartment sexual assault lawsuit.

Victims deserve compassion, support, and the best legal representation after such a trauma. With dedicated lawyers experienced in apartment sexual assault cases, Gerling Law Injury Attorneys can help you seek justice.

Why Choose Gerling Law for Your Apartment Sexual Assault Case?

The aftermath of an apartment sexual assault can be an incredibly traumatic and overwhelming experience. You deserve a legal team that approaches your case with compassion, expertise, and dedication. 

At Gerling Law Injury Attorneys, we understand the profound impact such incidents have on victims. We approach each case sensitively, offering personalized care. We ensure your voice is heard and your concerns are addressed. Our lawyers have decades of experience, equipping us to handle the unique challenges that come with such a case. While we tirelessly work to ensure you receive the rightful compensation, we also advocate for safer communities. We aim to promote stronger safety measures in apartment complexes by holding negligent parties accountable. “Go with Experience. Go with Gerling®” isn’t just our catchphrase. It’s our commitment to you. Bringing experience, dedication, and a genuine desire to assist our clients, Gerling Law remains your strongest ally in the quest for justice. To learn more about how we can help you, please contact one of our conveniently located offices to schedule a consultation.

Author Photo

Gayle Gerling Pettinga

Born and raised in Evansville, Gayle is a respected, experienced lawyer and a valued community leader. She graduated near the top of her class at Indiana University’s prestigious Maurer School of Law. She’s practiced law with one of the largest firms in Indianapolis as well as one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. And that means she knows how big law firms and big companies think and how they operate – and she will put that knowledge to work for you.

Gayle has received numerous awards and honors including Martindale-Hubbell — Peer Review Rated: AV®, American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys 10 Best Attorneys in Indiana for Exceptional and Outstanding Client Service, and YWCA Evansville 100 Years, 100 Women Honoree, 2011.

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