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Columbia Personal Injury Attorney > Blog > Personal Injury > Compensation for Sexual Assault Victims

Compensation for Sexual Assault Victims


On average, the economic costs of a sexual assault, such as medical bills and lost wages, exceed $120,000. The emotional distress these victims must endure is infinitely higher. Criminal courts punish sexual assault defendants. But in most cases, criminal courts don’t compensate victims for these losses. They must pay these bills themselves, even though the incident clearly wasn’t their fault.

Obviously, property owners aren’t individually responsible for such incidents. But they are financially responsible for them. A Columbia personal injury attorney obtains the compensation these victims need and deserve. Most of these claims settle out of court. So, there’s no need for an emotional courtroom showdown that’s almost as difficult for victims as a sexual assault. These settlements also end these cases sooner, so victims obtain compensation and move on with their lives sooner.

Duty of Care

If the sexual assault victim was an invitee, as is normally the case, property owners in South Carolina have a duty of care to provide adequate security. Almost all commercial and social guests are invitees. These individuals have permission to be on the property, and their presence provides an economic or noneconomic benefit to the owner.

The other two categories are licensee (permission but no benefit) and trespasser (no permission and no benefit). Limited or no duty applies in these situations.

Some victims are in a gray area. For example, if Michelle drives to Best Buy, she’s an invitee when she arrives in the parking lot. But if she shoplifts something, she’s a trespasser when she leaves the parking lot. The invitee/trespasser transition might have happened at almost any point.

Knowledge of Hazard

Additionally, a Columbia personal injury attorney must prove the owner knew about the injury-causing hazard. Examples of negligent security include:

  • Equipment Failure: All security implements, such as gates and cameras, must be in good working order. If the owner deployed the equipment, it was most likely reasonably necessary for proper security.
  • Inappropriate Level: Mostly depending on the type of business, as outlined below, some owners need live, armed security guards on premises 24/7/365. Others need passive security, like the measures discussed above. The law, not the owner’s preference, dictates the proper security level.
  • Dangerous Tenants: Often, property managers rent personal or business space to people with checkered pasts, to give them second chances. There’s nothing wrong with that, as long as the manager doesn’t unreasonably put other people at risk.

This evidence could be direct, like a security survey, or circumstantial, like a problem the owner knows about and doesn’t address.


Legal causation, or foreseeability (possibility) of injury, is an element in all personal injury cases. Usually, this element is just a formality. But if negligent security claims, it could make or break a case.

Third-party criminal acts, like sexual assaults, usually aren’t foreseeable. But owners cannot willfully ignore risks, such as the type of business. A bank needs tighter security than a flower shop. Other factors to consider include prior similar incidents in the area and the neighborhood’s crime rate.

Count on a Thorough Richland County Lawyer

Injury victims are entitled to significant compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Columbia, contact the Marc Brown Law Firm. Virtual, home, and hospital visits are available.


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Marc Brown

Marc Brown Law Firm

Meet Attorney Marc Brown

Marc Brown is an experienced personal injury and civil rights attorney serving clients throughout South Carolina and Georgia. Marc is motivated by the challenge of helping his clients solve their complex legal issues, and most importantly, he obtains favorable results. He is a caring and conscientious attorney who brings the experience and resources of a larger firm to his smaller, more personalized practices in Sumter and Columbia, SC.

A Personable & Dedicated South Carolina Attorney

As someone who has always had a keen sense of right and wrong and a desire to achieve excellence and fairness in all things, pursuing law was a natural career choice. After graduating with honors from the prestigious Emory University School of Law, Marc went on to become a dedicated litigator who focuses on personal injury, workers’ compensation, and criminal defense cases.

Why Choose Us?

Choosing an attorney is a very important decision, but it can be difficult. When you choose the Marc Brown Law Firm, we do everything we can to keep you informed, put your needs first, and to make sure justice is served. Here are just a few reasons to choose us:

The Right Experience

Attorney Marc Brown has experience that matters. Prior to opening this law firm, Marc spent nearly a half a decade defending big insurance companies and large corporations in personal injury and commercial litigation matters across the United States. Marc knows exactly how insurance companies and corporations evaluate claims and what they look at when deciding to increase the amount they are willing to pay. He thinks outside the box to find additional or hidden opportunities for favorable results.

We’ll Come To You

After being injured in a serious accident, you need to focus on getting better. Serious accidents can be hard on an individual, physically and emotionally. The Marc Brown Law Firm is dedicated to fight for you while you recover. If you are unable to travel to our office for any reason, we will personally visit you! Just give us a call to talk whenever you may be in need of assistance. We’re here to help.

Clients First

At the Marc Brown Law Firm, we choose to put our clients first. Our clients are more than just a case number. We think of each of our clients as extended members of the family. We make sure to inform our clients of all their legal options and provide timely updates throughout the life their case.

24/7 Availability

We are available around the clock for our clients. If at any point we are unavailable, we promise to promptly respond to all messages within hours.


We work hard so that our clients receive the justice they deserve! When necessary, Attorney Marc Brown retains investigators, engineers, and other experts to help prove your case. Insurance companies are big, but Marc is experienced and resourceful. We fight for each of our clients so that you can receive the maximum compensation available to you.

No Fees Unless We Win

We work on a contingency fee basis, which means there are no upfront cost to clients. You only pay lawyer fees when we win your case. This also means that your attorney is only paid a percentage of what is recovered for you. The Marc Brown Law Firm has a vested interest in ensuring that each of our clients receive the maximum recovery available to them. We are determined to fight tirelessly to recover for you.

Marc Brown and The National Trial Lawyers Top 40 Under 40 award