Understanding Loss of Consortium in Sexual Abuse Cases

As an experienced personal injury attorney, I have seen the devastating effects of sexual abuse on individuals and their loved ones. Not only does it cause physical and emotional harm, but it can also lead to the loss of companionship, affection, and quality of marriage for the victim's spouse. In such cases, the injured party's spouse may be able to file a lawsuit for loss of consortium damages. RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) is the largest anti-sexual violence organization in the country. They operate the National Sexual Assault Hotline in partnership with over 1,000 local sexual assault service providers.

However, Maryland is one of the few states that does not allow lawsuits for loss of consortium in common-law marriages or civil unions. In California, a criminal conviction or police report is not necessary to file a civil lawsuit for damages after a sexual assault. This is because civil lawsuits have a lower burden of proof than criminal trials. Therefore, even if the offender is acquitted in the criminal case, you may still win a sexual assault lawsuit. The spouse of the injured party may also suffer psychologically due to the stress caused by taking care of their loved one and becoming the primary financial provider for a household that relied on joint income. If you find yourself in such a situation, it is crucial to seek legal help from an experienced attorney who has dealt with loss of consortium cases before.

Whether it is a Maryland auto accident lawyer or a personal injury attorney, they can provide invaluable guidance and support during this difficult process. It is important to note that if the defendant went beyond what was consented to, such as not using a condom when asked to do so, it can be considered sexual assault. If you or your spouse have suffered a personal injury due to someone else's negligence, such as in an accident or medical malpractice, and it has resulted in the loss of companionship, affection, or quality of your marriage, you should speak to a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. It is also crucial to be cautious about posting details of an alleged sexual assault on social media, as it could potentially identify the perpetrator. In a civil sexual assault lawsuit, nine out of twelve jurors must determine, based on the “preponderance of evidence”, that the defendant sexually assaulted or abused the victim. If you were an adult at the time of the sexual assault, you have a two-year limit from the date of the assault to file a claim for damages in the civil court system. The National Rape and Incest Network (RAINN) offers advice on what to do if you suspect that illegal sexual contact is harming a minor.

Defense attorneys, in particular, may ask very specific questions about your sexual relationships before and after the injury. For instance, in a case where a student files a lawsuit against their school for allowing sexual assault to occur on campus, defense attorneys may ask about their sexual history. This is why it is crucial to have an experienced attorney by your side who can protect your rights and handle such sensitive matters with care. Unfortunately, there is no separate amount awarded for loss of consortium damages. If the full amount is awarded to the injured party for pain and suffering, very little or no compensation will be awarded for the spouse's claim for loss of consortium. It is also important to note that to file a claim for loss of consortium, the couple must have been married before the accident occurred.

Ernest Carsten
Ernest Carsten

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