Fighting For Important Causes In State And Federal Courts
As a victim of sexual abuse, you deserve justice, closure, and fair compensation. Achieving these things is not always simple, and you should speak to an attorney about filing a lawsuit.
Damages in sex abuse cases can be valuable. While economic damages are possible and should not be ruled out, your non-economic experiences might be more prominent. Your suffering and distress since the abuse should be highlighted, as these experiences likely took a significant toll on your life. The people responsible for the abuse should include those directly involved in the abuse. Additionally, depending on the circumstances, institutions like schools or care facilities might be held liable. Your deadline to file your lawsuit will vary based on when the abuse took place. Talk to a lawyer as soon as possible to determine when your case’s statute of limitations expires. Filing your claims requires a lot of work and preparation, and you should seek help from an experienced attorney.
Call The Law Office of Andrew Shubin at (814) 826-3586 and speak to our lawyers for victims of sexual abuse to arrange a free review of your potential claims.
Damages Available in Lawsuits for Sexual Abuse in Bensalem, PA
The damages you might claim and recover vary based on your experiences, losses, and injuries. Generally, compensatory damages include economic losses and emotional injuries. Economic damages might include medical bills from treatment for injuries sustained during the abuse. You might also claim the cost of psychiatric care to treat your psychological and emotional trauma.
Non-economic injuries tend to be more prominent in sex abuse cases, especially if the abuse occurred long ago. Often, plaintiffs have lost records of financial costs or no longer care about bills from many years ago. Instead, they care about getting compensation for the years of trauma, suffering, and distress they endured because of the abuse.
When cases are filed years after the abuse, plaintiffs sometimes have difficulty proving economic or non-economic damages. That does not mean you cannot get justice. You might instead fight for nominal damages. Nominal damages include a symbolic amount of money, sometimes only a single dollar, as compensation. Nominal damages are awarded not to compensate for any losses or injuries but to show that you proved your case, the defendant has been found liable, and justice has been served.
Liability for Sexual Abuse Injuries in Bensalem, PA
While many plaintiffs know who the abuser is, other parties might be implicated in the abuse. Often, others know about the abuse and say nothing, quietly allowing it to continue. Depending on their relationship with the plaintiff, they might be liable too.
Of course, the person or people who directly committed the acts of sexual abuse should be named and held liable. For many, these are people who hold positions of power and authority. For example, a child might face abuse from a teacher, church leader, or even an older relative. Adults who experience abuse also tend to be abused by people in positions of power. A caregiver might take advantage of someone who cannot defend themselves. Perhaps an employer or supervisor abused you, knowing you could not report it without losing your job.
Institutions such as schools, care facilities, and even places of business can be held liable for the abuse. When it comes to children, places like schools or care facilities have a duty to protect them. Often, abused children grow up and learn that the school or care facility knew about the abuse and did nothing or even covered it up to avoid liability. These places should be held accountable for knowingly allowing the abuse to continue.
When You Should File Your Sexual Abuse Claims in Bensalem, PA
While many injury cases adhere to deadlines of only a few years, sex abuse cases are a bit different. Plaintiffs who were young when sexually abused might have a much longer time to file. Check with a lawyer about your specific deadline to avoid missing important deadlines.
Plaintiffs who experienced sexual abuse as minors under 18 have the longest time to file. Typically, the statute of limitations for minors does not begin to run until they turn 18. In sexual abuse cases, child victims have up to 37 years from their 18th birthday to sue. This means they have until age 55 to get their claims into court.
Young adults no younger than 18 years of age but still under 24 when they were sexually abused have until they turn 30 to submit claims. Young victims are given more time because they often cannot advocate for themselves when the abuse initially occurs. Many young people and children cannot take legal action because the abuser holds some authority over them and prevents them from reporting the abuse.
Adults at least 24 years old when the abuse occurred must abide by the standard statute of limitations for injury claims in Pennsylvania, which is only 2 years. This is an incredibly short time, and if it applies to your case, you should speak to a lawyer as soon as possible.
How to File a Lawsuit for Sexual Abuse in Bensalem, PA
Your first step is to draft a complaint. The complaint is the legal document our lawyers for victims of sexual abuse submit to the court that jump-starts your lawsuit. It must contain specific details about the case, which might be challenging to put together if the abuse happened long ago.
We must identify all the defendants in the complaint. As discussed earlier, there might be one or several defendants, including institutions or care facilities. We must explain why these parties are responsible for the abuse and why they should be held liable.
Next, we should explain the abuse. This might be emotionally difficult, as you might need to thoroughly comb through the details of the abuse with your attorney. Essentially, we need to show how the abuse occurred and how it affected you.
One of the most difficult parts of drafting the complaint is providing evidence. We need some evidence to show that your cause of action is legally valid. We only need enough evidence to justify your claims, not definitive proof.
We also need to explain your damages and your demands for compensation. The court needs to know how you suffered from the abuse, how it impacted your life, and why you deserve compensation.
Contact Our Lawyers for Victims of Sexual Abuse in Bensalem, PA
Call The Law Office of Andrew Shubin at (814) 826-3586 and talk to our attorneys for victims of sexual abuse to schedule a free assessment of your potential lawsuit.