Sexual Assault Lawsuits
Suing a Rapist in Civil Court
Sexual molestation and abuse is a disturbing problem that spans the globe, and California is no exception. Going through something as personal and traumatic as sexual assault is something people find difficult to tell their loved ones about, let alone report to a police officer and speak about in the courtroom.
Adding to the trauma of the situation is the fact that many rapists do not face jail time; in fact, RAINN reports that only 6 in 1,000 rapes result in incarceration, leaving the victims to live in fear that they will one day run into their rapist again.
Since criminal court repeatedly fails survivors of sexual assault, many have found another way to receive justice for themselves. You can hire a personal injury attorney in Newport Beach to sue a rapist in civil court for financial compensation; while it’s not jail time, civil lawsuits produce favorable results much more often than criminal suits.
Filing a Civil Suit for Sexual Assault
A civil lawsuit is really the only way a sexual assault survivor can get financial compensation, which can then be used to pay for therapy and to move to a home in a safer area with a security system. While jail time is preferred, it seems financial compensation is the closest thing a survivor can get as reparations.
Just like with any California personal injury lawsuit, the amount of compensation that the plaintiff (the sexual assault survivor) receives from the defendant (the perpetrator) depends on specific details of the case, the damages claimed, and the cause of action. The cause of action that your sexual assault attorney in California will choose will likely be either:
- Civil assault/battery
- Intentional infliction of emotional distress
In every personal injury case, the best injury attorneys will claim as many damages as possible because this results in their client receiving more compensation. With the compensation they receive, our clients can get their lives back on track. These damages that are claimed is Typically damages that lawyers for sexual assault survivors claim include:
- Medical costs: If you visited the hospital and/or started seeing a therapist after the event, then your perpetrator can be forced to cover your out-of-pocket costs.
- Emotional distress: Depression, anxiety, and PTSD are extremely common for sexual assault survivors.
- Pain and suffering: Depending on the brutality of the attack and your injuries, you can receive additional compensation. If you experience a loss of enjoyment of life and find yourself unable to enjoy your old activities, like going to parties or jogging, then you can also mention this in your claim.
Your sexual abuse lawyer will help you gather evidence and eyewitness accounts to further prove the damages that you claim. Having an attorney on your side is immensely helpful because they don’t just provide legal advice; they provide emotional support and security by facilitating communication between you and your abuser.
Statute of Limitations
Survivors can take decades to even admit to themselves that they were raped, so it’s normal for someone to wait a long time to report their abuse. However, each state has a statute of limitations in which the assault must be reported before a deadline.
Each state’s laws vary on the statute of limitations, and in California, sexual assault claims must be filed within 10 years of the day of the event if the person was an adult when it happened. The statute of limitations is 3 years from the date that the survivor discovers an illness or injury that resulted from the attack if they’re an adult and the event occurred prior to 2019.
If the sexual assault survivor was a child at the time of their attack, they will have until their 40th birthday to file a civil action or 5 years from their discovery of the abuse.
The Subject of Your Sexual Assault Lawsuit
While you may assume that you will be suing your rapist for their abuse, other parties can also be held liable. Other parties that a lawyer for sexual abuse may sue include:
- Childcare workers (including schools and daycare facilities)
- Nursing home workers
A good example of this is how the Roman Catholic Dioceses and Archdioceses has paid out hundreds of millions of dollars worldwide due to sexual misconduct committed by their clergy members. Another example is how sexual assault attorneys have begun suing Uber and Lyft for failure to protect their passengers from sexual assault.
Dealing with your traumatic sexual event is difficult, and speaking about it repeatedly can feel like putting salt in a wound. If you’d like to receive financial support for what happened, you can contact a Newport Beach personal injury lawyer to file a claim.