What Damages Can Be Recovered in a Sexual Assault Lawsuit?
Filing a civil sexual assault lawsuit can provide financial compensation for both economic and personal damages suffered by victims. A sexual assault lawsuit settlement or verdict can provide monetary compensation for damages like:
- Medical bills and therapy costs
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Lost wages and loss of earning potential
While a lawsuit may not erase the trauma suffered by survivors of sexual assault, it can help provide the financial support needed to eventually recover. In this sense, sexual assault lawsuits can help survivors in ways that the criminal justice system fails to do so.
Who Can Be Held Liable in a Sexual Assault Lawsuit?
Both sexual predators and negligent third parties can be held liable in sexual assault victims’ lawsuits, depending on the circumstances surrounding the crime. It’s common for sexual predators in positions of trust to be sued by their victims – such as doctors who sexually assault their patients.
Additionally, there are many cases in which a third party had a legal duty to prevent a sexual assault, but failed to do so through negligence. Third parties that are commonly named in sexual assault lawsuits include, but are not limited to:
- Schools that have failed to protect their students from sexual predators
- Massage therapy businesses that failed to prevent sexual assaults of clients by massage therapists
- Hospitals and other medical facilities that failed to protect their patients
- Youth organizations that failed to have adequate safeguards for preventing sexual abuse – such as the Boy Scouts of America and youth sports leagues
- Religious organizations that failed to protect their followers from sexual abuse by clergy members
- Nursing homes that have failed to protect their residents from nursing home abuse
How Do Civil Sexual Assault Lawsuits Help Victims?
Criminal investigations seek to hold sexual predators accountable for their crimes, but in cases involving negligent third parties, the perpetrators are not the only ones who deserve to be held accountable. Civil lawsuits help demand accountability from these negligent third parties for allowing an otherwise preventable sexual assault to occur and playing a role in the suffering and trauma of innocent victims.
Additionally, taking legal action against these negligent third parties not only provides financial support for the victims, but can spark changes that may prevent others from being sexually assaulted in the future.
For example, a youth organization that previously failed to adequately protect children from their program from sexual predators may make changes after being sued which can help prevent other participants from suffering abuse.
Furthermore, there are some situations in which filing a lawsuit for sexual assault can help provide justice when the criminal justice system fails to convict a sexual predator. Because the burden of proof is less strict in civil cases, sexual predators can be held accountable through lawsuits after being acquitted in criminal courts if there is a preponderance of evidence – meaning it is more likely than not that the accused is guilty.
Contact Us For A Referral To An Experienced Child Sexual Abuse Lawyer Near You
If you or a loved one is a survivor of sexual assault or child sexual abuse, we understand the difficulties you’re facing. Our national network of sexual assault victims lawyers can help people in your situation find justice and the support you need to move past your trauma.
These attorneys have the resources, dedication, and experience needed to help victims. They know how to hold sexual predators accountable for their crimes, how to recover the full financial compensation victims deserve, and how to win a sexual assault case.
You can learn more about your legal rights by contacting the Legal Herald and asking for a referral today.