The first two weeks of March saw three violent home invasions in Atlanta that left one man dead and two other victims physically wounded. At around 2:30 a.m. on March 1, two masked gunmen entered a home in Merry Hills and tied up five Emory University students. Over the next three hours, the criminals stole laptops, cash, televisions, and other items from the home and struck one of the students in the head.
Last Friday night, two gunmen forced their way into a home on Claire Drive just before 9 p.m. They burglarized the home and shot a woman in the leg with her petrified son nearby.
Early Saturday morning, just before 2 a.m., a home intruder shot and killed a man in the bedroom of a Lawrenceville home. Three other people were in the home at the time of the shooting, and the gunman fled shortly afterward.
When the men responsible for these crimes are captured and brought to justice, Atlanta’s streets will be a little bit safer. Unfortunately, for their victims and their families, the pain and terror they inflicted that night could live on for a very long time.
What are these victims’ rights? The state of Georgia will prosecute the perpetrators for their actions in criminal trials, but the only things their victims stand to gain from those trials are the satisfaction of seeing these men brought to justice, and peace of mind if they spend some time behind bars.
But what about their medical bills? What if their injuries caused them to miss work? What if their injuries were life-altering, and they were unable to work the job they had been trained in – or any job – ever again? What if they were unable to cover their monthly expenses due to missed work and were forced into foreclosure, eviction or auto repossession? What if they now require long-term or life-long care because of their injuries? What about mental anguish, post-traumatic stress disorder and any counseling costs incurred as they try to piece their lives back together?
And what about the family members of the man who died? In addition to the emotional devastation of losing their loved one, they must deal with the medical bills resulting from his emergency treatment, as well as his funeral costs. If he had children or a spouse who relied on him for financial support, who will take care of them now, and how?
Like the victims of other crimes, these victims and their families should be compensated for their losses. They have every right to seek compensation via a wrongful death suit, both from the perpetrators and from insurance companies, who most likely will try to shirk their responsibilities.
Further, if the victims rented their homes, and if those homes were in areas known for violent crime, the victims might have a claim against the property owners if those owners did not take reasonable actions to provide for the safety and security of their tenants. Not every criminal act results in a civil cause of action, however, there are many instances when a criminal act is the foreseeable result of a property owner’s negligence and in these cases, the victims have a right to compensation.
Have you or someone you love been the victim of a crime? If so, it’s important that you know what you are entitled to, so that you don’t get lost and further victimized in a system that doesn’t have your best interests in mind. Learn your rights and get the compensation you justly deserve with the experienced and compassionate team at the law office of Bruce A. Hagen. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.