Victims of sexual abuse may suffer for years, struggling with the lasting emotional and physical effects of the abuse. If you, or a loved one are the victim of sexual abuse, you may qualify to file a civil lawsuit.
Our legal team may be able to help you take civil action against your abuser. You may qualify to recover damages, including your medical care, pain and suffering, and other losses and expenses.
Recoverable Damages in a Sexual Abuse Civil Case
You may be eligible to seek recovery for the damages you suffered because of the sexual abuse. The recoverable damages of your case depend on the details of your case and many other variables.
Some of the damages that may be recoverable in a civil sexual abuse lawsuit include:
- Economic Damages: Financial expenses and losses related to the abuse, such as medical care, psychological counseling, lost wages, and out-of-pocket costs
- Non-Economic Damages: Pain and suffering, mental anguish, and other psychological damages
Understanding the Differences Between Criminal and Civil Cases
The criminal court system aims to identify the person who committed a crime and punish the defendant accordingly. Penalties may include:
- Community service
A civil case allows the victim to pursue recovery of damages related to the sexual abuse. You may even stay anonymous if you choose.
You may be able to recover damages in a civil case regardless of the outcome of the criminal case. Further, you may be able to recover damages even if the state never filed charges against the individual.
The burden of proof is higher in criminal cases than in civil cases. In a criminal case, prosecutors must prove the defendant’s guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt.” In a civil case, you must prove the defendant’s liability by a “preponderance of the evidence.”
Identifying All Liable Parties in Your Sexual Abuse Civil Case
Other parties may be liable in addition to the individual of the sexual abuse. We may be able to hold those parties responsible if we show they had a duty to prevent you from suffering harm and failed to do so.
Some examples of parties that may be liable for sexual abuse include:
- An employer
- A school
- A place of business
- A property owner
- Another institution or entity
With a compelling civil case, we may be able to hold other parties accountable for their negligence, failure to provide adequate security, or other careless or reckless acts that contributed to or failed to stop the abuse.
For example, there are hundreds of lawsuits pending against the University of Southern California (USC). The women filing these lawsuits accuse USC of ignoring numerous allegations of sexual assault and misconduct by gynecologist Dr. George Tyndall. Accusations date back to the 1980s, but USC allowed him to continue seeing female patients for 30 years.
Statute of Limitations
Each state sets time limits on how long you have to file a lawsuit against the abuser and any other negligent parties. Statutes of limitations vary by state, each of which has a different deadline to file civil sexual abuse cases.
Once the deadline passes, you may be unable to file a claim. We recommend acting as early as possible. Give us a call today for a complimentary case evaluation: 713-850-8600.
Talk to a Sexual Abuse Victim Lawyer Today
D. Miller & Associates, PLLC offers complimentary case reviews for victims of sexual abuse.
Our attorneys understand that it may be difficult to discuss sexual abuse, and so we handle these case evaluations with compassion and sympathy. We work to protect your rights and help you understand your options to hold the abuser and any other liable parties accountable.
Call us today at 713-850-8600 for your complimentary initial consultation.
We are listening and want to give you a voice!