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Are you wondering about your legal rights as a sexual assault victim? You may be struggling with questions like:

  • Who can be held liable for a sexual assault?
  • How can I get financial support for my suffering?
  • Can I file a civil lawsuit against a sexual predator?
  • Can third parties be held liable for negligence in a sexual assault?
  • What damages can I recover in a sexual assault lawsuit?

We can help you find the answers to those questions and many more. Contact our dedicated sexual assault attorneys for a free consultation today.

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Laurence Banville

Crimes of sexual violence are some of the most heinous acts one person can commit against another. Victims of sexual assault often suffer from trauma that can affect them for the rest of their lives. Reporting these crimes to law enforcement can lead to a criminal investigation and a possible prison sentence for the perpetrator. However, the criminal justice system often fails to directly address the needs of sexual assault survivors.

Can Sexual Assault Victims File Civil Lawsuits?

Fortunately, sexual assault victims often have grounds for further recourse outside of the criminal justice system in the form of civil sexual assault lawsuits. The road to recovery for survivors of sexual assault is long and challenging, but can be made easier with the right support system.

Depending on the circumstances of the crime, a sexual assault victim may have grounds for a civil lawsuit against the perpetrator, a negligent third party, or both. Determining the best course of legal action will require assistance from an experienced sexual assault victims lawyer.

The Legal Herald has a national network of sexual assault victims lawyers who specialize in helping victims find the answers, support, and justice they need and deserve. You can learn more about your legal rights as a survivor of sexual assault by contacting us for a free consultation.

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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 acquited in criminal courts if there is a preponderance of evidence – meaning it is more likely than not that the accused is guilty.

Contact Our National Trial Lawyers to Learn More About Your Legal Rights as a Sexual Assault Victim

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 specializes in helping people in your situation find justice and the support you need to move past your trauma.

Our attorneys have the resources, dedication, and experience needed to help victims. We 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 today for a free consultation.

About Laurence Banville

Attorney Contributor:

Laurence P. Banville, Esq. is the managing partner of Banville Law. He is a regular contributor on several topics including negligent security cases, child sexual abuse and Dram Shop and liquor liability cases.

This article was fact checked prior to publishing by this author to ensure compliance with our rigorous editorial standards. We will only use authoritative sources. Our values compel us to provide only trustworthy information. If you find an error, please contact us.

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