Suing for Pain and Suffering in Sexual Abuse Cases: An Expert's Perspective

As an experienced sexual assault attorney in Atlanta, I have seen firsthand the devastating effects of sexual abuse and assault on survivors. Not only does it cause physical trauma, but it also inflicts emotional distress that can have long-lasting consequences. That's why it's important for survivors to know that they have the option to sue for damages in a civil lawsuit, separate from any criminal proceedings. RAINN, the largest anti-sexual violence organization in the country, reports that thousands of people in Georgia are affected by sexual abuse each year. This is a staggering number, and it's crucial for survivors to understand their rights and options for seeking justice and compensation. One of the main questions survivors often have is whether they can sue for pain and suffering in a sexual abuse case.

The answer is yes, but it's not always a straightforward process. That's where an experienced attorney can provide valuable guidance and support.

Suing for Emotional Distress

In cases of sexual abuse, the perpetrator's actions are intentional and often premeditated. This means that insurance policies typically do not cover these types of acts. As a result, survivors may struggle to find the financial resources to cover their damages. However, there are other avenues for seeking compensation.

For example, if an employer or organization hires or retains someone with a known history of abuse, they may be held responsible for any future acts committed by that person. This is especially true if a reasonable investigation would have revealed the perpetrator's tendencies. In cases where a third party had a duty to protect the victim or warn them of potential danger but failed to do so, the victim may also have grounds for a lawsuit. This could include claims for emotional distress and loss of enjoyment of life.

Shared Responsibility

In some cases, it may be necessary for the victim to show that others share responsibility for the abuse. For example, if a mother knew or should have known that her child was being abused and failed to take action, the victim may be able to seek compensation from the mother's home insurance policy for negligent supervision. It's important to note that the success of a claim for emotional distress in a sexual abuse case often depends on the dedication and experience of the attorney handling the case.

A skilled attorney will know how to navigate the complexities of these types of cases and build a strong argument for compensation.

Types of Damages

In general, there are two types of potential defendants in emotional distress lawsuits following a sexually motivated attack or abuse. The first is the perpetrator themselves, who may be held liable for damages such as medical expenses (both past and future), loss of income, and loss of future earning potential. The second type of defendant is a third party who may share responsibility for the abuse. This could include employers, organizations, or individuals who failed to take appropriate action to prevent or stop the abuse. In these cases, damages may include not only medical expenses and lost income, but also any other out-of-pocket expenses that are necessary to help the victim recover and return to their pre-abuse circumstances. This could include therapy, rehabilitation, and other forms of support.

Seeking Justice and Compensation

As an expert in sexual assault cases, I believe it's crucial for survivors to know that they have options for seeking justice and compensation.

While criminal proceedings can hold perpetrators accountable for their actions, a civil lawsuit can provide survivors with the financial resources they need to heal and move forward. If you or a loved one has been a victim of sexual abuse, I encourage you to seek the guidance of an experienced attorney who can help you understand your rights and options. Together, we can work towards holding those responsible accountable and seeking the justice and compensation you deserve.

Ernest Carsten
Ernest Carsten

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