As a sexual abuse lawyer, I have seen firsthand the devastating impact that these crimes can have on victims. Not only do they suffer physical and emotional trauma, but they may also face financial losses due to missed work and other consequences of the abuse. That's why it's important for survivors to know their rights and seek compensation for their losses. If you have had to miss work due to physical injuries resulting from mental health crises or other results of your sexual assault, you may be entitled to compensation for lost wages. This is just one of the many rights that survivors of sexual abuse have under the law.
However, many people are not aware of these rights, which is why it's crucial to speak with an attorney who specializes in sexual abuse cases. The criminal justice system often fails victims of sexual abuse. In these situations, holding the abuser accountable through a civil lawsuit may be the best course of action. As the largest anti-sexual violence organization in the country, RAINN has created and operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline in partnership with over 1,000 local sexual assault service providers across the country. According to RAINN, every 73 seconds, another American is sexually assaulted. These shocking statistics may only represent a fraction of the overall problem, as the vast majority of sexual assaults are never reported to the police.
If you have been a victim of sexual abuse, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the person who harmed you or against the institution that turned a blind eye when the abuse occurred. An experienced sexual abuse lawyer can help you understand your rights and bring those responsible for your injuries to justice. Many victims of sexual abuse feel isolated and alone because it's so difficult to talk openly about what happened to them. That's why it's important to have a skilled attorney fighting for justice on your behalf. For example, if a youth pastor at your church sexually abused you as a child, you may want to file a lawsuit against the church for its role in your abuse. This could include holding the church accountable for knowing about the abuse and failing to take action, such as simply moving the abuser to another location to cover it up.
To be successful, your lawyer will have to prove that the church owed you a duty of care, that they breached that duty of care, and that you suffered harm as a direct result of their actions or omissions. These claims can be complicated and are best handled with the skill and specialized knowledge of an attorney who represents victims of sexual abuse. Institutions that allowed sexual abuse to occur or protected the abuser from consequences will often fight these lawsuits. Your attorney will use both state laws and regulations and case law to advocate for a full recovery of monetary damages. Many people use the word “aggression” for what the law calls “aggression”, which is to touch another person without authorization. However, both assault and intentional infliction of emotional distress are different from negligence cases and use a different legal theory.
A skilled attorney can help you determine if you can file a lawsuit for intentional conduct. Based on previous court cases related to intentional infliction of emotional distress, known as case law or case law, your attorney will analyze your options for filing this type of claim. Compensation in a personal injury lawsuit can include lost wages, present and future medical treatment, and even loss of potential income if your post-traumatic stress disorder caused by sexual abuse has left you unable to work. In addition, you can recover from intangible injuries such as pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of partnership. Your lawyer can evaluate your economic and non-economic losses to determine if they are compensable as part of a sexual abuse lawsuit. Civil lawsuits have an advantage over criminal cases when it comes to protecting victims of sexual abuse.
The standard of legal proof in a civil case is called the preponderance of evidence, also known as the 51 percent rule or the “more odds than not” rule or the “more weight” rule of the evidence. This means that the plaintiff, the injured person acting through their attorneys, doesn't have to prove the case “beyond a reasonable doubt,” which is the standard for criminal cases. Instead, the plaintiff has to tip the balance of justice just a little bit in their favor to be entitled to a verdict. In both civil and criminal cases, there is a deadline for filing legal action, known as the statute of limitations. If you file a claim after the statute of limitations has passed, the judge is likely to dismiss the case. Each state has its own time limits for filing a lawsuit, so it's important to consult with an attorney as soon as possible.
Over time, memories fade and evidence may be lost. Additionally, people should be able to move on with their lives without the threat of a lawsuit or criminal prosecution hanging over their heads indefinitely. However, these deadlines can also be a barrier for victims who may delay reporting abuse due to fear or other reasons. An attorney can help you determine if you can file a lawsuit within the statute of limitations. One of the most important elements of these claims is determining when you knew or should have reasonably known about the abuse. Your lawyer can use both this law and decisions in similar cases to argue that your claim is valid.
They can also obtain testimony from expert witnesses to show that repressed or incomplete memories of abuse are common and do not mean that your memories are not real. This can help overcome arguments that you should have known about the abuse earlier or that you are fabricating your claim. The extended statute of limitations for sexual abuse cases is an important step for victims' rights. It allows more people to seek justice against their abusers and the institutions that enabled them. If you have been a victim of sexual abuse, don't hesitate to reach out to a skilled attorney who can help you understand your rights and fight for the compensation you deserve.