The most important thing you can do if you were a victim of sexual assault at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) is to take positive steps toward your healing. Sharing your story to a safe and confidential legal advocate is helpful. You also may be entitled to financial recovery for what you went through.
Understanding the Dr. Heaps and UCLA Sexual Assault Case
Dr. James Heaps was recently arrested on several charges of sexual battery. Dr Heaps was a staff physician at the UCLA health center for nearly three decades. Despite receiving many complaints about his behavior, his employer, UCLA, allowed him to continue seeing gynecological patients. Many women have come forward with allegations of sexual abuse and assault. Dr. Heaps denies liability or wrongdoing. The University and its affiliates have already settled several lawsuits and awarded compensatory damages to plaintiffs.
Recommended Actions for UCLA Sexual Assault Victims
There are certain things you do if you were a victim of sexual assault at UCLA. Our firm suggests the following:
- Secure all evidence that proves you were a patient of Dr. James Heaps at the UCLA student health center. This evidence may include an Explanation of Benefits (EOB) from your insurance company, appointment cards, paid bills, and canceled checks. While a lawyer can request the school’s records, it is helpful if you have your own.
- Keep copies of evidence that show damages because of the sexual assault, such as pay stubs and medical bills for physical and emotional injuries.
- Call a law firm whose practice area includes sexual assault cases.
- Act soon, because you may lose your opportunity if the statute of limitations runs out.
You Deserve to Be Heard and to Seek Financial Recovery
Something else you may be asked to do if you were a victim of sexual assault at UCLA is to tell your story. Dr. Heaps may have assaulted hundreds or even thousands of patients during his tenure at UCLA. As difficult as it may be to tell, it will be an important part of a lawsuit to seek financial recovery and justice.
Andy Rubenstein of D. Miller & Associates, PLLC represents other sexual assault victims, including those affected by Dr. George Tyndall at the University of Southern California (USC). Our lawyers and associates are here to help you through this legal process with compassion, understanding, and respect.
Your Testimony Is Part of Our Thorough Legal Process
Everything you say to your attorney is confidential. In addition to your testimony, a lawyer with our firm will secure other evidence in our process to get you the financial recovery you may deserve.
This process includes a careful evaluation of all the facts and circumstances of your case. It is important that we have accurate information. so that we can claim damages. These damages include:
- Medical expenses including mental health and trauma counseling
- Lost wages and reduced earning potential due to sexual assault injuries
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium
- Other related expenses
Proving Liability in a Sexual Assault Lawsuit
In addition to the charges against Dr. Heaps, there is evidence that officials at UCLA knew about Dr. Heaps’ alleged behavior but did not act. This means that the University shares the liability with their former employee and can be held accountable.
The basis for proving liability depends on several factors:
- Proving that you were a patient of Dr. Heaps at some point during his tenure at the school.
- Establishing that Dr. Heaps breached his duty of care to you as a medical provider with sexual abuse, assault, or harassment.
- Showing that this breach of care caused your injuries, such as mental anguish, which resulted in damages in the form of medical bills and other losses.
The defendant(s) in a sexual assault or abuse lawsuit may settle out of court. They may offer you a settlement in return for a signed confidentiality agreement. This means you cannot discuss the details of your case with anyone.
Act Now to Protect Your Rights
You should be aware that each state has a different statute of limitations for seeking recovery in a sexual abuse lawsuit. You will lose your legal right to pursue recovery if this deadline passes. That is why you should contact a UCLA sexual abuse lawsuit lawyer soon.
D. Miller & Associates, PLLC is evaluating cases from women who were patients of Dr. Heaps during his time at UCLA. We can help you pursue justice and recovery.
If you need help understanding what to do if you were a victim of sexual assault at UCLA, call (713) 850-8600 for a free case evaluation.
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