Can I Sue the Person Who Stabbed Me And Others?
Of course, if the person who stabbed you is caught, he or she will face a criminal investigation and penalties if a conviction is made. However, the criminal law justice system is not the only avenue that crime victims have for seeking justice. In some cases, these people and their families may also have grounds for a civil premises liability lawsuit.
Lawsuits Against Property Owners For Being Stabbed
While it is possible to directly sue the person who stabbed you in a civil stabbing case, most lawsuits are filed against property owners or third parties.
If you were stabbed on commercial property, the property owner could be held liable if their negligence played a role in enabling the incident to happen. Property owners have a legal duty to keep their premises safe from preventable hazards. This legal duty is known as premises liability.
Property Owner Negligence
Property owners have a legal obligation to make sure their premises are secure and not vulnerable to preventable violent crimes. Some stabbing cases may not have happened if the property owner had met this legal obligation.
While not all stabbings happen due to property owner negligence, there are preventative measures that can reduce the risk of violent crime. For example:
- Security guards who can search guests for weapons at bars and nightclubs
- Metal detectors
- Security cameras
- Adequate lighting
During the investigation of a stabbing case, it’s important to investigate all of the circumstances surrounding the crime, including whether the incident was enabled by property owner negligence.
Obtaining a police report about the incident and investigating all reporting on the incident are key to the investigation of the case.
Key Points in Proving Property Owner Negligence
In order to have grounds for a successful personal injury lawsuit against a property owner, you and your personal injury lawyer must prove five key points:
- The property owner owed you a duty of care (such as keeping their property secure against preventable violent crime)
- The property owner failed to meet this duty of care (by failing to keep their property safe from violent crime)
- A reasonable property owner in a similar situation would have acted differently to keep their property secure and prevent the crime
- The property owner’s failure to meet their duty of care allowed the crime to happen
- You or a loved one suffered damages because of this failure to meet a duty of care
Was the crime foreseeable?
Asking whether the crime was foreseeable is an important question to consider when determining whether you have grounds for a lawsuit against a business owner when that person is not the person who stabbed you.
For example, if the crime happened at a nightclub, had there been previous patterns of violent crime at that nightclub or in the neighborhood where the nightclub is located? If the answer is yes, then the stabbing could be considered foreseeable.
We must then determine if the property owner had adequately made efforts to improve security at their nightclub. Hiring security guards, requiring patrons to be patted down for weapons, and installing metal detectors could all reduce the risk of patrons bringing weapons into the nightclub and committing violent crimes.
Property owners can only be held liable if there is clear evidence that the event was foreseeable and happened due to negligence. Establishing foreseeability and negligence is a complicated legal process that requires assistance from an experienced injury lawyer.
How Stabbing Injury Lawsuits Can Help
If you or a loved one has suffered serious injuries or been killed in a stabbing at a business or commercial property, it’s important to be aware of your legal rights. An experienced injury attorney can help you determine if you have grounds for a lawsuit against the property owner for negligence.
Civil lawsuits help provide the injury compensation victims need and also demand accountability from business owners who have failed to protect their customers due to negligence. These lawsuits can help encourage safety improvements that prevent others from becoming victims of crime at the same property in the future and suffering catastrophic injuries.
You can learn more about your legal rights as a person who was stabbed by contacting an experienced law firm for a free consultation. We here at The Legal Herald can help refer you to a local lawyer.