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Decatur Wrongful Death Lawyer

Decatur Shooting Victim Lawyer

Many become shooting victims because they were at the wrong place at the wrong time. They may have been at a school when an active shooter started a rampage, at a gas station or shopping center when rival gangs engaged in a gunfight and struck innocent bystanders, or at a nightclub when a drunk and drugged patron opened fire during a bar fight. With guns, violent criminals can victimize anyone without warning resulting in wrongful death.

Police work assault with a firearm, attempted murder, and homicide cases hard, usually identifying the shooter, and that criminal faces many years or life in prison. While punishing the offender provides justice and removes dangerous felons from the streets, shooting victims remain stuck with the aftermath: physical pain, emotional trauma, disabilities, medical bills, lost income, ended careers, inability to support family, interrupted relationships, and forever altered lives.

Georgia personal injury law entitles gunshot victims and their families to pursue damages in civil court. They can file a case against the shooter; unfortunately, many perpetrators are indigent, lack liability insurance, and face long sentences in a penitentiary where making license plates pays pennies per hour.

A better chance of collecting damages comes from lawsuits against property owners whose negligence led to a shooting on their premises. These lawsuits fall under Georgia's premises liability statutes. According to these laws, property owners are liable for violent crimes committed on their property when the event was foreseeable and they failed to take preventative measures.

Our Decatur Shooting Victim Lawyer Team

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Do I Need a Lawyer for a Shooting Victim Claim?

Hiring a skilled and tenacious litigator is essential to winning all the compensation shooting victims deserve. In most cases, the property owner carries liability insurance that covers the claim. The insurance company always hires crack legal teams to defend it in high-stakes litigation. The defense has numerous arguments against liability that it will assert to get the case dismissed. Insurers seek ways to reduce liability by disputing the plaintiff's damages if found liable.

Your Decatur shooting lawyer has the skills and expertise to overcome the defense.

Success in court starts outside the halls of justice through a meticulous investigation. Gathering evidence, including witness statements, information about crime in the area and on the property, and surveillance recordings, provide your litigation team with the building blocks of an unassailable case.

With evidence in hand, your shooting lawyer in Decatur files a lawsuit backed up by the fact pattern and case law. They then use the discovery process to develop additional evidence and depose defense witnesses, eliciting the answers needed to undermine defense arguments.

As the lawsuit progresses, your legal team negotiates with the insurer. Personal injury lawyers know what juries have awarded for similar cases and use this knowledge to establish a reasonable settlement figure.

Convincing the defense to pay all damages takes persuasion and persistence. In most cases, they capitulate when the trial date nears and fear losing. However, if the defendant refuses to come to terms, your shooting victim's lawyer can take your case to trial and show a jury how the defendant was negligent

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What Is Georgia Law on Shooting Crimes?

Georgia law requires property owners to provide adequate security against violent crimes, including shootings. For a premises liability claim to succeed, the plaintiff must prove that the owner was negligent either through some action or failure to perform some action. The fact that a shooting took place on the property is not enough for a plaintiff to win. There must be a specific instance of negligence attributable to the owner.

For instance, if a shooting occurs at a well-secured apartment complex, no premises liability claim will likely exist, provided the property management company took all reasonable security precautions. A claim requires the event to have been foreseeable due to inadequate security.

However, imagine if the shooter had a history of threatening violence against neighbors that someone reported to the management, and then that person shot another tenant over a noise dispute. If management failed to act appropriately after the threats were reported, a negligence case might exist.

In another scenario, a shooting may happen at a normally peaceful motel with adequate security, making a negligence claim less likely. However, a negligence claim would likely succeed if an investigation revealed that the owner accepted money for letting the shooter deal drugs on the property.

Stats & Facts

Decatur, GA Shooting Stats & Facts

  • Unfortunately, shootings in Decatur are on the rise. Surprisingly, the chances of an individual being shot on a per capita basis are higher in Decatur than in Chicago.
  • Decatur’s downtown area is plagued most by shootings, with 23 in 2021. Castleberry Hill was the next most dangerous, with 11 victims, while Midtown reports four people hit by gunfire.
  • Residential shootings accounted for the most at 38 percent, while roadway shootings equaled 20 percent. Seven percent of shootings occurred in bars and nightclubs.
  • Saturdays and Sundays are the most violent, and over 50 percent of victims range between 18 and 32. Seven percent of those shot were under 17.
  • When violence increases in the vicinity of a business, such as a bar, motel, or apartment complex, owners of these establishments must consider whether their security is sufficient. If they neglect to take adequate precautions against violent crime, they may have liability.

How Does the Investigation Process Work?

Brooks Injury Law reviews shooting cases to determine if a premises liability claim exists. To decide, our investigators discover what security was in place at the scene, the level of crime in the area, and whether violent incidents have occurred on the property previously. Gathering these facts provides the information needed to establish if the shooting was foreseeable to a reasonable owner and if security measures were negligent.

Many avenues of inquiry exist to evaluate the strength of a claim, including interviewing victims, witnesses, and former employees. In addition, we review police reports and other official documents, view relevant photos, videos, and security camera footage, and map the fact patterns of related incidents.

How Much Is Death and Shooting Cases Worth / Compensation for Shooting Victims?

Georgia personal injury law entitles shooting victims to recover economic, non-economic, and punitive damages.

Typical economic damages include the following:

Medical bills
Ambulance charges
Medications
Physical therapy 
Occupational therapy
Assistive devices
Lost income

Non-economic damages include the following:

Pain and suffering
Emotional distress
Loss of enjoyment of life
Loss of consortium
Courts award punitive damages to punish atrocious behavior and set an example. While the case for punitive damages against a shooter is obvious, they are not typical in premises liability claims against those uninvolved in the crime. However, egregious actions by the property owner can expose them to punitive damages.

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Decatur Death and Shooting FAQs

Is There a Time Limit to File the Case?

Georgia law requires premises liability litigants to file a lawsuit within two years of the incident.

How Long Will It Take To Resolve the Case?

Most cases settle out of court in one to two years. Complex cases may take longer to settle; trial cases can take several years when factoring in appeals.

How Much Does a Decatur, GA Shooting Attorney Cost?

Decatur, GA, personal injury attorneys take shooting cases on a contingency basis. Under this fee agreement, all costs related to the case are paid as a percentage of any settlement or award. There are no fees unless the plaintiff collects and never any out-of-pocket costs.