Sexual Abuse - Plaintiff Law

Benefits and Risks of Filing a Sexual Abuse Lawsuit

This content contains sensitive subject matter related to sexual abuse.

Lawsuits can help victims of sexual abuse hold their abusers accountable. In many cases, the abusers are never found guilty of their crimes or even charged for them. A civil lawsuit for sexual misconduct may be the only option for sexual abuse survivors.

Going through a sex abuse lawsuit can be difficult. You should know about some of the risks involved in filing a lawsuit in civil court. Personal injury laws can vary by state. To help you decide if you should file a sexual abuse claim, talk to an experienced sexual abuse attorney in your area.

Should I File a Sexual Abuse Lawsuit?

Filing a sexual abuse lawsuit is a very personal decision. It is important to understand what the civil court process is like in a sex abuse claim. Before filing a lawsuit, talk to an experienced sexual abuse lawyer for legal advice. They will be able to tell you more about what you can expect.

Your lawyer can discuss your concerns and see if there are ways to avoid some of the risks. You may also want to talk to family members and loved ones to decide if it’s right for you. Here are some things to consider if you are thinking about filing a sexual harassment or sexual violence case.

Benefits of Filing a Sexual Abuse Lawsuit

There are personal benefits and benefits to society if you go forward with a civil lawsuit. There can be personal benefits that help you heal after suffering abuse. You can also hold the abuser accountable for their actions. With child sexual abuse, the abuser may have died, but you may be able to file a claim against the organizations that allowed child molestation to occur.

How a Sexual Abuse Lawsuit Can Help You

It can be a difficult decision to file a lawsuit but in the end, you may be glad you decided to move forward. There are many personal benefits to suing your abuser in court, including:

  • Gaining a sense of empowerment
  • Having a chance to tell your side of the story
  • Getting understanding and support from the community
  • Helping your mental health and recovery
  • Confronting the abuser
  • Earning the financial compensation that you deserve

A personal injury case will allow you to seek damages for your losses. Damages for survivors of abusive sexual acts can be significant. Lawsuit damages can include paying you for:

  • Medical expenses for physical injuries
  • Mental health care
  • Emotional distress
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Punitive damages

How a Sexual Abuse Lawsuit Can Help Others

There are broader benefits to taking a sexual abuse case to court. A lawsuit can put a public eye on the abuser and the widespread reality of sexual assault cases. When other survivors of sexual assault see you going forward with a lawsuit, it can encourage them to speak up about their own experiences. A sexual abuse lawsuit exposes the abuser and puts the community on notice of what this person has done.

Risks of a Sexual Abuse Lawsuit

There are downsides to taking your case to court. A sexual abuse lawsuit will involve recounting your experience, which can be difficult and traumatic. Some victims of sexual assault may feel alienated from their friends, family, or the community.

Civil cases are generally part of the public record. The trial and court records could be available to the public. There may be media exposure for high-profile cases. Evidence that could become part of the court record might include:

  • Medical records
  • Mental health records
  • Police reports
  • Past sexual history
  • Criminal record

Like any lawsuit, there are time and money factors involved. A civil lawsuit can take a lot of time, especially if the defendant wants to mount a vigorous defense instead of negotiating a settlement. However, most civil lawsuits are settled before going through trial. The defendant could file a countersuit to try and hold you responsible for their legal fees. Even if you win your case, the defendant may not have enough money to pay your damages.

Can a Sexual Abuse Lawyer Help?

Take the time you need to decide which option is right for you. However, there may be time limits to file a lawsuit under your state’s statute of limitations. Talk to a sex abuse injury attorney about your legal rights and the risks and benefits of filing a lawsuit.

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