If you or a loved one are a sexual abuse survivor, an Arlington sexual abuse lawyer can help you take civil action against those who harmed you and the individuals and institutions that harbored them. If you decide to reach out to an attorney, D. Miller & Associates, PLLC® is here for you.
Allow us to be your legal advocates so that you can focus on healing. We will serve you with compassion and dignity as we guide you through the legal process. Our attorneys will fight to make all those involved in your abuse financially liable. This may include the individuals who hurt you as well as any businesses, schools, churches, institutions, or people in power who allowed the abuse to happen or turned a blind eye to its occurrence.
Sexual Abuse Includes Any Unwanted Sexual Activity
According to the American Psychological Association, sexual abuse is any non-consensual sexual activity taken by force, coercion, or threat. Examples of sexual abuse include:
- Unwanted touching
- Engaging in sex acts with an incapacitated person or someone who cannot consent
- Rape and attempted rape
- Sexual assault
- Sexual violence
- Forcing or manipulating someone into painful or humiliating activity during sex
- Denying contraception and measures to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases
- Sex trafficking
The Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN) stress that sexual abuse also includes any sexual activity involving a child. You can contact RAINN for support and services if you or your loved one has experienced sexual violence.
Sexual Abuse Has Lasting Consequences
Sexual abuse can cause a range of physical and mental health complications that affect survivors long after the abuse has stopped. In addition to physical injuries caused by sexual violence, survivors may experience:
- Unplanned pregnancy
- Sexually transmitted infections
- Substance abuse problems
- Dissociative disorders
- Panic attacks
- Sleep disturbances
- Eating disorders
- Suicidal thoughts and actions
Sexual abuse can also cause significant financial losses. According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC), those subjected to abuse often face out-of-pocket medical expenses, time lost at work due to physical and psychological injury, and employment and housing issues. Overall, the estimated lifetime economic impact of sexual assault and rape is more than $120,000 per survivor.
Texas’s Statute of Limitations for Sexual Abuse
Texas law establishes the statute of limitations for certain sexual offenses. Under the law, adult survivors of sexual assault, trafficking, and forced prostitution have up to five years to file a civil lawsuit.
The law allows a longer window of time for those who experience sexual abuse during childhood. Child sexual abuse survivors often do not come forward about their abuse until years into adulthood. Delays in the disclosure are due to various factors, including feelings of confusion, guilt, shame, dissociation from trauma, and denial.
Texas updated the statute of limitations in 2019 to reflect the increasing knowledge of child sexual abuse survivors’ challenges in speaking out. The law currently allows up to 30 years from the incident to pursue a lawsuit for child sexual abuse, assault, and trafficking.
How Can an Arlington Lawyer Help Sexual Abuse Victims Seek Justice
An Arlington sexual abuse lawyer can help you pursue:
- Past and future medical costs – The cost of medical care you have already received and awards for future, necessary treatment, including:
- Emergency department services
- Doctor’s appointments
- Medical procedures
- Medical devices
- Physical therapy
- Mental health care
- Lost earnings – If you lost income because of sexual abuse or sexual violence, you can recover back pay and lost tips, benefits, bonuses, and other earnings. You can also recover wages lost due to being forced to reduce your hours, leave your job, or enter into unpaid sexual labor.
- Pain and suffering – Damages for pain and suffering provide monetary awards for physical pain, emotional suffering, mental anguish, and quality of life reductions. You may be able to recover awards for:
- Chronic pain
- Mental health conditions, including depression, PTSD, and anxiety
- Permanent or disabling injuries
- Loss of career and educational opportunities
- Loss of enjoyment of life
A Sexual Abuse lawyer can let you know what your legal options are so that you can identify other losses caused by sexual abuse. This may include awards for the cost of emergency relocation and housing, transportation, household services, damaged property, and more.
How Can a Sexual Abuse Lawyer Fight for You?
You have been through enough. The last thing you need is insurance companies and opposing attorneys hounding you with questions about your abuse or forcing you to give multiple statements. An Arlington sexual abuse lawyer can be your voice and assist you with the legal process that, depending on your case, may include the following:
- Filing your claims or lawsuits and handling all related paperwork and deadlines
- Communicating with opposing parties on your behalf
- Collecting evidence, including medical records, witness statements, expert testimony, photographs, video, and police reports
- Negotiating on your behalf to secure the most advantageous settlement possible for your case
- Representing you at trial if necessary
Reach Out to D. Miller & Associates, PLLC®
Since 2002, D. Miller & Associates, PLLC® has helped injured Texans pursue economic recovery for injuries and damages caused by the negligent, reckless, or wrongful actions of others. We understand that financial awards will not undo the harm done, but holding your abuser accountable can give you a measure of justice. Awards can also ease the unfair financial burden abuse has placed on you and your family.
Our sexual abuse lawyers serving Arlington can assist you with an insurance claim or lawsuit to recover medical expenses, lost wages, and damages for your pain and suffering. We will serve you with compassion and do our best to shield you from further trauma. Contact us today for a free case review and learn more about how our team can stand up for you.