Victims of crime in New Jersey are often misinformed about their legal rights to get compensated for their physical and emotional injuries. Oftentimes, the focus is on a criminal case. Many victims never learn that they have the ability to file a civil lawsuit and seek financial compensation. In many instances, victims of crime seek the legal advice of our crime victim injury lawyers many months, if not years, after the criminal act occurred. Unfortunately, for many victims, the New Jersey statute of limitations will bar their case. That’s why it’s critical to speak to a lawyer as soon as possible.
An experienced crime victim injury lawyer will review the facts to determine who may be held legally responsible under New Jersey law. In many cases, victims will be able to pursue legal action against both the criminal perpetrator and another person or business entity. Other parties can be held liable for negligence which allowed the criminal conduct to happen.
A well publicized shooting in Philadelphia serves as a good example to explain this concept. In 2010, a disgruntled employee at a bakery in Philadelphia returned to the bakery and shot 3 employees. A security company which maintained a security gate allowed the shooter in the gate after she pointed a gun at one of the security employees. Neither employee called the bakery company to order an immediate evacuation of all employees. Several minutes, up to 8 minutes, later the shooter entered the area where she shot and killed 2 employees and wounded a third. The security company was sued by the estates of two employees who were killed. A jury found in their favor, awarding $8 million.
Below are two common scenarios which explain a crime victim’s legal rights in New Jersey’s civil justice system.
Physical Assault Lawsuit – Bar Liable
A group of guys goes out to a bar in one of Jersey’s popular shore towns. The bar is notorious for being overcrowded and serving stiff drinks. It’s also known as a place where drunk fights break out, especially on Friday and Saturday nights. Despite the threat of violence, the bar does not hire any additional bouncers. One member of the group gets into a verbal altercation with another group. Members of both groups are visibly intoxicated. A large fight breaks out, and a bystander is pushed so hard that she falls backward and hits her head on a concrete barrier. She sustains a life-altering head injury.
Here, the bystander would have a valid negligent security lawsuit against the bar for failing to provide enough security and negligence in serving alcohol.
Sexual Abuse Lawsuit – Daycare School Liable
A school employee at a daycare center in New Jersey sexually abuses two young children. The abuse occurs at the daycare center over the course of several months. Before the abuse starts, another employee witnesses the employee at issue engaging in inappropriate conduct with a 5 year old girl, while the girl was undressed. The employee immediately reports the conduct to her supervisor. However, the supervisor does not want to call the police, so she conducts her own investigation. She questions the employee about the conduct, which the employee denies. The supervisor doesn’t question the girl or take any other action. Two weeks later, the employee begins abusing two other children.
Here, there is direct evidence that the supervisor failed to take appropriate, reasonable actions to protect the children at the daycare. The two children would have valid lawsuits against the school for failing to report/investigate the employee.
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New Jersey Crime Victim Injury Lawyers
Our lawyers handle a variety of crime victim injury lawsuits in New Jersey including shootings, assaults and sex abuse. The firm handles cases throughout New Jersey and has offices in Cherry Hill, Atlantic City and Iselin. Call for a free consultation. 609.223.8900
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