Fighting For Important Causes In State And Federal Courts
Sexual abuse is a serious criminal offense that often goes unreported for a variety of reasons. While criminal prosecution is possible, victims can also seek justice through a civil lawsuit.
One of the biggest problems in sexual abuse cases is that victims are often reluctant to come forward. Many victims fear retribution from their abusers, family, or other people close to the abuser. You should file a lawsuit because you deserve justice and a sense of closure, and the defendant should not be allowed to get away with such a horrific crime. Damages may be significant, and you should meet with an attorney to review potential damages in your case. Although economic losses should be accounted for, non-economic losses might take center stage in your case. Another major concern is when you should file your lawsuit. There are several statutes of limitations at play based on how old you were when the abuse occurred, and new legislation is in the works that might extend filing deadlines.
For a private review of your case for no charge, call The Law Office of Andrew Shubin at (814) 826-3586 and speak with our attorneys for victims of sexual abuse.
Why File a Legal Claim for Sexual Abuse in Allentown, PA?
It is normal to be wary of initiating a lawsuit under any circumstance, but it is especially intimidating when beginning a sexual abuse claim. Plaintiffs often fear retribution from the defendant, ostracization from their community, or that they simply will not be believed. Even if you are unsure about suing, call an attorney and discuss your case, as there are many good reasons you should pursue legal action.
One big reason you should sue for the abuse you endured is to get fair compensation. A civil lawsuit is not like a criminal trial. If you win, the defendant does not go to jail or have criminal charges on their record. Instead, courts will deliver justice in the best way, if not the only way they can: financial compensation. Our lawyers for victims of sexual abuse can assess your damages and demand that the defendant pay up. Having this compensation can help you put your life back together.
Even if money is not your main concern, you should still consider filing a lawsuit to get justice and closure. It is not unusual for sexual abuse victims to care little about money when taking legal action. Even if you are awarded only nominal damages, getting a verdict in your favor can give you justice, closure, and vindication.
The most frightening thing about dealing with abusers is that they rarely stop hurting people. Even if you are no longer the victim, someone else might be. While you are under no obligation to be the hero and stop the bad guy, your lawsuit might prevent the defendant from hurting someone else in the future.
Damages Available to Sexual Abuse Victims in Allentown, PA
Various damages might be available in your lawsuit. Identifying and evaluating damages is often more complicated than people realize, as numerous losses, costs, and experiences can be claimed. Remember, even minor losses can add up to something significant, so nothing should be overlooked or excluded.
Financial costs directly related to the abuse you endured should be thoroughly reviewed. For example, if you went to the hospital after an incident of abuse, you may claim the cost of your medical bills. There might be very high bills for those who sustained serious or permanent injuries. Even future medical costs can be included in your damages.
Abuse situations are often complex and multi-layered, and there might be any number of financial losses implicated in your case. For example, your abuse might have intentionally destroyed or stolen personal belongings to inflict more pain and terror. A lawyer can help you account for everything you lost and claim it in your damages.
Emotional damages are huge in sex abuse cases. Many victims live with fear, shame, and anguish from the experience for the rest of their lives. While placing a monetary value on things like emotional pain is difficult, the court may award significant compensation.
The Statute of Limitations for Sexual Abuse Claims in Allentown, PA
Ideally, a person should report sexual abuse to the authorities and begin taking legal action as soon as possible. In reality, this is not always so. It is very common for abuse victims to resist coming forward with their claims for a long time. They are often intimidated into silence by their abusers. When victims come forward, they might deal with increasingly close legal deadlines.
The statute of limitations is a law that limits how much time plaintiffs have to file their claims. Once the filing deadline passes, plaintiffs might lose their ability to sue. For sexual abuse cases, there are separate statutes for adults and children.
The time limit for people who were the victims of sex abuse as adults is painfully short. If you were at least 18 when you were abused, you have only 2 years to file your claim. Considering that victims spend years in emotional trauma before coming forward with their claims, it is not uncommon for adult sexual abuse victims to miss their deadline to file.
For people who were children when the sexual abuse happened, the deadline is far more generous. A plaintiff younger than 18 when they were abused may sue their abuser until their 30th birthday. This much longer deadline exists because children cannot be expected to navigate a lawsuit, let alone fully understand the nature of the abuse, until they are adults.
If you believe the short deadlines to file sexual abuse claims in Pennsylvania are unfair, you are not alone. Lawmakers in recent years have pushed for an expansion of the time limit for sexual abuse claims, specifically for younger people.
Under proposed laws that have not yet passed, the deadline for children might be extended until the plaintiff turns 55. Another law proposes a 2-year window where adults whose claims have expired may have the opportunity to revive their claim and finally get justice.
Contact Our Allentown, PA Sexual Abuse Lawyers for Help Immediately
For a confidential assessment of your case for no cost, call The Law Office of Andrew Shubin at (814) 826-3586 and speak with our lawyers for victims of sexual abuse.