Shooting victims are the victims of a crime, but might also be able to seek damages in a civil case as well. A criminal case seeks to prove that the defendant broke state or federal laws, while the civil case will seek to prove that the victim was impacted economically, emotionally, or both. After you have been victimized by a horrible crime like a shooting — which is unfortunately common in Atlanta — you may not immediately consider that you should explore your civil lawsuit options. Even though the main priority in these unfortunate events is to be sure that the shooter receives the punishment that they deserve, their victims can often be left with crippling financial issues as a result of their injuries.
If you or a loved one are the victims of a shooting, contact the team at Seay & Felton today for a free case evaluation. We will go through the details of your situation, discuss your injuries and the impact they have had on your life, and determine an appropriate course of action to seek economic, non-economic, and punitive damages after this terrible incident.
What Civil Actions Can A Shooting Victim Take?
There are a variety of actions that you can take, and they all depend on the situation you were in. If you were on someone else’s property, they are legally obligated to keep you safe under the Georgia Code, Section 51-3-1. This means that if you were shot in an apartment complex, a private business, or a semi-public area like a supermarket or a shopping center, there may be an avenue to pursue against the owner of the property, or the party legally responsible for keeping a safe environment on the property.
In addition, you may be able to seek punitive damages against the perpetrator and any accomplices in the shooting. Punitive damages are not common in civil cases, but may be applicable in your situation. However, it is important to remember that the financial situation of the defendant is an important aspect of your case — you may be awarded any amount of money, but if they do not have the ability to pay it, you will not receive it.
If you were shot by a police officer who was acting either negligently or illegally, you may be able to file a suit against the municipal, state, or Federal Government, depending on the branch of law enforcement that the officer works in. These situations can become complicated, and it is important that you speak with us as soon as possible to determine your rights in this situation.
Should I Seek Civil Damages After a Shooting?
As you can see from the issues above, no two shootings are alike, and therefore it depends on your situation. This is why we offer a free case evaluation for all potential clients — we will use the opportunity to get an overall picture of your injuries, the incident that caused them, and the parties involved that may be liable for damages. In addition, you will be able to gain greater insight into your options while speaking to a personal injury lawyer in Atlanta. These processes can be complicated, stressful, and confusing for people who are not familiar with civil law, especially while they are trying to recover from extensive injuries after a traumatic event such as a shooting. When you are working with Seay & Felton, you can focus on recovering and getting your life back in order while we are fighting to get the compensation that you deserve.