The Statute of Limitations for a Sexual Abuse Lawsuit Against a Public School
Fighting For Important Causes In State And Federal Courts
Learning that your child has been sexually abused at school is every parent’s worst nightmare. In the unfortunate circumstance that this happens to your family, it’s important to know the statute of limitations for filing a sexual abuse lawsuit against a public school in your state.
The filing deadline for bringing a civil lawsuit for sexual abuse against a public school varies from state to state. Generally, the statute of limitations is quite long for cases involving children. That being said, it’s not always possible for survivors to come forward during the allotted timeframe. Some states have exceptions to the statute of limitations under certain circumstances. To learn whether you qualify for an exception and to file before your state’s deadline, hire an experienced lawyer you can trust.
Our attorneys are dedicated to representing survivors in sexual abuse lawsuits against negligent public schools. For a free case evaluation with the sexual abuse victim attorneys at The Law Office of Andrew Shubin, call us today at (814) 826-3586.
How Long is the Statute of Limitations for Sexual Abuse Lawsuits Against Public Schools?
Parents who send their children to public schools trust that the administration and staff will care for and protect their children. When that trust is broken because a school allows for the sexual abuse of a minor, parents understandably want to learn their options. If you plan to sue a school for sexual abuse, you must do so within the statute of limitations.
Each state has its own statute of limitations for bringing a civil sexual abuse lawsuit against a public school. Generally, the statute of limitations for such lawsuits is relatively long, as it often takes children time to recognize abuse and feel comfortable coming forward. Unfortunately, some states have very short filing deadlines for sexual abuse lawsuits, even for cases involving children. To learn the statute of limitations in your state, speak with a sexual abuse victim attorney as soon as you can.
Generally, the filing deadlines for bringing a lawsuit against a public school and an individual teacher or school staff member are the same. That being said, some states have specific laws regarding suing an institution that differs from the guidelines for suing an individual. It’s important to learn how your state handles sexual abuse lawsuits against public schools so that you can get justice for your child.
Remember, children often have much longer to sue a school for sexual abuse than adult victims. Often, the statute of limitations is several decades. In recent years, many states have extended their statute of limitations for sexual abuse lawsuits against public schools to reflect the growing need for justice.
Are There Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations for Sexual Abuse Lawsuits Against Public Schools?
While it’s important to abide by your state’s statute of limitations for sexual abuse lawsuits against public schools, there are certain exceptions parents should be aware of. If your child’s case qualifies for an exception, they may be able to sue a public school for sexual abuse past the anticipated deadline.
Many states toll the statute of limitations for children to bring a sexual abuse lawsuit against a public school until a victim turns 18. The logic is that once a child reaches majority age, they can more easily come forward with their experience. That being said, sexual abuse can be incredibly traumatizing, especially for child victims. Because of that, some states have an exception to the statute of limitations for delayed discovery.
For example, suppose your child buried their memories of sexual abuse, only to unearth them during therapy or later in life. In some states, this qualifies as delayed discovery. The statute of limitations then begins once a survivor has discovered sexual abuse at their public school, often with help from a professional.
Survivors with an incapacitation or disability may have longer to file a lawsuit against a public school for sexual abuse in some states. Generally, all child victims are considered “incapacitated” until they reach majority age, just by virtue of being minors. However, some victims can have considerable incapacitations that impede their mental health or other abilities. In some states, the statute of limitations is tolled until a survivor’s incapacitation is removed, often through treatment.
Across the country, states have adopted lookback windows in response to the growing need for justice among child sexual abuse victims. Essentially, these set periods allow survivors of childhood sexual abuse to sue a negligent public school, regardless of when their abuse occurred. If your state has an upcoming or current lookback window, speak with a sexual abuse victim attorney. Your lawyer can help you hold a negligent public school responsible for the wrongs done to you, even if many years have passed.
How Can You Sue a Public School for Sexual Abuse within the Statute of Limitations?
Filing a sexual abuse lawsuit against a public school within the statute of limitations is crucial. Doing so allows survivors to hold negligent institutions responsible for their actions and get the compensatory damages they deserve. If you wait to sue, you could lose your ability to pursue justice.
While some states have exceptions to the statute of limitations for filing a sexual abuse lawsuit against a public school, victims shouldn’t rely on such exceptions. Not all states offer help to survivors, and there’s no guarantee that you will be eligible for an exception even if your state has them. That’s why it’s important to hire a sexual abuse victim attorney as soon as you feel comfortable.
When you are ready to speak out about the abuse you’ve experienced, turn to a lawyer you can trust. Our empathetic attorneys are dedicated to creating a safe, caring environment where victims feel protected and heard. Hiring a lawyer is the best way to ensure that you will file your lawsuit within your state’s statute of limitations. Unfortunately, that may mean coming forward sooner than you anticipated. To make that process easier, surround yourself with people you can trust and a legal team that makes you feel safe.
Call Our Attorneys to File a Sexual Abuse Lawsuit Against a Public School Today
We’re dedicated to fighting for survivors who suffered sexual abuse while at a public school. For a free case evaluation with the dedicated sexual abuse victim attorneys at The Law Office of Andrew Shubin, call us today at (814) 826-3586.