Having your home or vehicle broken into can be a terrifying experience, particularly if you are within the dwelling at the time of the criminal’s entrance. If you are a victim of breaking and entering, the criminal system is not the only way to seek justice; our Georgia personal injury attorneys can help you learn more about filing a civil suit for breaking and entering-related damages.
What is Breaking and Entering?
Breaking and entering and burglary are synonymous in Georgia, and are defined by Georgia statute as entering or remaining within a dwelling of a house or car (or other property type) with the intent to commit a felony or theft. In other words, someone doesn’t actually have to steal anything or actually damage property in order to be breaking and entering, they just have to have the intent to do so. Of course, most breaking and entering crimes end with the offender actually taking something or committing some other crime.
What Damages Does a Victim of Breaking and Entering Suffer?
When a home or vehicle is burglarized, the owner of the property may suffer myriad damages, especially because burglary often goes-hand-in hand with other crimes. For example, the breaking and entering may result in:
- Property losses;
- Assault or assault with a weapon;
- Sex crimes; and
- Psychological damages.
Assault and sex crimes can cause physical injuries, ranging from internal injuries and bleeding to broken bones, STDs, gunshot or stab wounds, and more.
Who Is Liable for Damages?
Because breaking and entering is a crime, you need to report the incident to the police as soon as possible. From there, the police will open an investigation to track down the perpetrator, and will press criminal charges against them as such. But criminal charges, while effective at punishing criminals, do not help you recoup what you’ve lost. In order to recover compensation for the full extent of your losses, you will need to file a civil suit against the at-fault party.
The person who committed the criminal act is one party against whom you may file suit. But in the event that the crime would have been prevented but for negligent security of the property where the crime occurred, the property owner may be liable, too.
For example, consider an apartment building in Georgia that is in a neighborhood with crime rates that are higher than other areas of the state. In fact, in this exact apartment building, three breaking and entering crimes have been reported in the last two years. Despite the risk of burglary, however, the property owner/manager has failed to install motion sensor lighting, hire a security guard, or install security cameras.
From a reasonable point of view, this failure is arguably negligent, as the chance of a subsequent breaking and entering occurring is both foreseeable and likely. If you can prove that your damages would not have been sustained had the property been more reasonably secured, you may be able to hold the owner liable for damages.
Why You Should Contact a Georgia Negligent Security Attorney Today
At our law offices, our Georgia negligent security attorneys will work hard on your behalf to help you prove negligence and liability, as well as prove that you have suffered losses for which you deserve to be compensated. We have the experience and legal knowledge that it takes to pursue a successful claim. To learn more, please contact our law offices today for a free consultation with our experienced legal team.
For a free consultation, contact us today. We offer appointments at times that are convenient for you. The foregoing answer is not legal advice and is merely a general overview. You are advised to consult a lawyer to address your specific situation. Feel free to send comments or questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org of Apolinsky & Associates, LLC, or call (404) 377-9191.
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