Statute of Limitations to File Sexual Abuse Lawsuits in Alaska

Fighting For Important Causes In State And Federal Courts

People who have experienced sexual abuse often live with the physical and mental repercussions for the rest of their lives. Coming forward with such claims is incredibly difficult, but plaintiffs must speak with attorneys quickly, as time is of the essence.

Your time to file a lawsuit for sexual abuse in Alaska is governed by the statute of limitations. This law makes distinctions between instances of abuse that constitute felonies versus misdemeanors. Essentially, abuse that is more serious and might constitute a felony offense is not restricted by any time limit. Other types of abuse might be subject to a very strict 3-year deadline. This is why you must meet with a lawyer as soon as possible if you have been the victim of sexual abuse. Your attorney can help you begin a civil lawsuit before the deadline expires. Compensation for sexual abuse victims might be substantial. Your pain, suffering, and distress deserve fair compensation, and defendants might be made to pay punitive damages in some cases.

Call our Alaska sexual abuse lawyers at The Law Office of Andrew Shubin at (814) 826-3586 for a free, private review of your claims.

How Much Time You Have to File a Lawsuit for Sexual Abuse in Alaska

How much time you have to file a civil lawsuit for sexual abuse varies based on the nature of the abuse. The statute of limitations for civil sexual abuse claims can be found under A.S. § 09.10.065. The law makes a distinction between more serious instances of sexual abuse that would be considered felonies and instances of abuse that are considered misdemeanors. If you are not sure where your case falls, our Alaska sexual abuse attorneys can review your case and determine the correct deadline.

If the abuse you experienced would be considered any of the following offenses at the time it happened, you are not restricted by a time limit:

  • Felony sexual assault
  • Felony human trafficking
  • Felony sex trafficking
  • Felony sexual abuse of a minor
  • Unlawful exploitation of a minor

Talk to your attorney about your claims as soon as possible. If any of the above criminal offenses accurately describe the abuse you experienced, you are not bound by a statute of limitations and may file a case at any time, even decades after you were first hurt.

Civil actions for sexual abuse might instead be restricted by a 3-year time limit for relatively less severe cases. If the abuse constituted any of the below offenses at the time it occurred, you might have only 3 years to submit your case:

  • Incest
  • Misdemeanor sexual assault
  • Felony indecent exposure
  • Misdemeanor sexual abuse of a minor

If these offenses describe the abuse you experienced, it is imperative that you contact a lawyer as quickly as possible.

When You Should Meet with an Attorney About Your Sexual Abuse Case in Alaska

As you can see, the timing of your lawsuit is a critical element in your case. While some plaintiffs are unrestricted by a statute of limitations, many others are bound by a very tight 3-year limitation. Knowing which rule applies to your case is crucial, and you should meet with an attorney as soon as possible after experiencing abuse.

This can be difficult for those whose cases must be filed within 3 years. You typically have 3 years from the most recent incident of abuse or 3 years from the date you turn 18, whichever is later. While it might be very difficult to come forward with your claims so soon, you might need to do so in order to get justice.

Even if your case has no time limit, talking to an attorney sooner rather than later is best. The sooner you speak to an attorney, the more likely you will get important evidence before it disappears. On top of that, there might be more witnesses around that we can interview. Over time, witnesses might relocate or pass away, and other evidence might vanish if not collected soon enough.

Potential Damages You Can Recover in a Civil Lawsuit for Sexual Abuse in Alaska

Damages in sexual abuse cases can be quite significant. Survivors often live with psychological scars from the abuse for years, and juries may be keen to award large damages awards for such pain and suffering. In some cases, punitive damages meant to punish abusers might be on the table.

Economic Damages

A major component of a plaintiff’s damages and compensation is the economic costs of their injuries. In some cases, the cost of injuries is immediate and clear. For example, a person injured in a car accident might have significant hospital bills and vehicle repair costs. In sexual abuse cases, economic losses are often harder to track because plaintiffs often do not come forward for a long time.

Any records of costs of hospital treatments for injuries from the abuse might be lost. For many, these costs are not what is important. Even so, our team can help you evaluate the economic costs of the abuse.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are not based on the costs of your injuries but rather the mental and emotional toll. As such, these damages tend to be very subjective, and juries may base an award of damages on numerous factors based on your personal experiences.

Some examples of non-economic damages in sexual abuse cases include deep emotional and psychological distress. Many survivors live with diagnosed psychological conditions like PTSD. For many, the pain and suffering can be so overwhelming that their personality is altered, and their personal and professional relationships are affected.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are not meant to compensate plaintiffs for their pain and losses, although plaintiffs are awarded these damages. Instead, punitive damages are designed to punish defendants for extremely outrageous or shocking behavior.

According to A.K. § 09.17.020, a plaintiff must prove by clear and convincing evidence that the defendant acted with actual malice or reckless indifference to the plaintiff’s interests and safety. Since sexual abuse is often perceived as a very shocking and malicious offense, punitive damages might play a major role in your compensation.

Call Our Alaska Sexual Abuse Attorneys for Help with Your Case

Call our Alaska sexual abuse lawyers at The Law Office of Andrew Shubin at (814) 826-3586 for a free, private review of your claims.


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