Maryland Assault Victims: Understand Your Legal Remedies

Maryland Assault Victims

Though there has been a general downward trend in violent crime in Maryland over the last few years, statistics from law enforcement reveal that crimes still put assault victims at risk of serious injuries. Data from the Maryland State Police reveals almost 16,000 aggravated assaults and more than 56,000 simple assaults, for a total of around 72,500 attacks on victims every year. If convicted, these offenders face felony or misdemeanor charges, which could lead to lengthy prison terms, fines, and other penalties.

While victims may act as witnesses in the criminal case, they have separate rights through a civil claim for damages. You may qualify to recover compensation for your losses under two theories of liability, targeting different potential parties. The complexities of assault victims cases make it critical to retain a Baltimore County personal injury attorney for assistance with the following legal remedies:

Civil Claims Against Assailants

The most obvious individual to pursue is your attacker and proving the case for intentional injuries is straightforward. You need to show that the person purposefully attacked you, leading to physical injuries, financial losses, and emotional harm. If the person was convicted, you are more likely to prevail. With an intentional tort such as assault, you might even be entitled to recover punitive damages. If you can prove that the attacker acted with actual malice, you could obtain triple the amount of your compensation.

However, this individual is also likely to be serving time in jail, possibly several years or up to life in prison. An incarcerated defendant is essentially “judgment-proof,” in the sense that you could win your case and still not be able to recover compensation. Inmates do not earn income and may not have sufficient assets to pay a judgment, leaving you with considerable losses.

Claims Based on Negligence

The second legal option for assault victims involves pursuing a party you might not expect — a negligent business or property owner. Even when not present or even within miles of the scene of the attack, these entities have a legal duty to ensure the premises are reasonably safe from foreseeable hazards. When crime is rampant in the area, this could indicate that the property owner should protect against attacks. Examples of proper care to prevent you from becoming an assault victims might include:

  • Installing security cameras;
  • Making essential repairs to broken windows, doors, and locks;
  • Hiring a security guard;
  • Equipping all doors with self-locking mechanisms, alarms, and other safety technologies; and,
  • Ensuring proper lighting in corridors, parking lots, garages, exterior spaces, and other common areas.

Speak to a Baltimore County, MD Personal Injury Lawyer About Legal Options

In a successful claim against the assailant or a negligent party, you may be able to recover for your medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and many other damages. Our team at Michael A. Freedman, P.A. is dedicated to helping assault victims of violent crime get the compensation they deserve, so please contact us to schedule a free consultation. You can reach our Owings Mills, MD office by calling 410.363.6848 or visiting our website.

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