Survivors of sexual abuse can sue the perpetrator in civil court for damages related to the abuse. Even when an abuser is not convicted in criminal court, they can be held liable for the damage they cause.
Sexual abuse can cause serious physical and emotional injuries. Survivors often require both immediate medical care as well as long-term medical treatment. An experienced Oceanside sexual abuse lawyer can help an abuse survivor sue their abuser for compensation, including medical costs.
Further, sexual abuse lawyers can protect a survivor’s reputation as the case goes through the legal system. To discuss your case in a professional, discreet setting, contact an Oceanside personal injury lawyer now.
Differences in Civil and Criminal Cases
When someone is charged with a sex crime, including sexual abuse, they go to criminal court. State prosecutors attempt to hold abusers criminally liable for their actions. If convicted of a sex crime, the abuser faces jail time.
In civil court, an abuser can be held financially responsible for the damages they caused through the abuse. Survivors and their Oceanside sexual abuse lawyers can sue perpetrators for injuries and other damages resulting from:
- Sexual battery
- Attempted sexual assault
- Statutory rape
- Forced prostitution, or human trafficking
- Other sex crimes
Compensation in Sexual Abuse Lawsuits
Often, survivors of sexual abuse and assault need extensive medical treatment for their physical and mental injuries. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, sexual abuse and assault can cause severe injuries for a survivor, including:
- Posttraumatic stress disorder
- Chronic pelvic pain
- Rape-trauma syndrome
- Sexual dysfunction
- Sexually transmitted diseases
- Acute physical trauma, such as facial and head injuries
All of these injuries require expensive medical treatment. Even when a survivor has health insurance, such extensive care may surpass their insurance maximum limits.
This means that often survivors must pay high medical bills out of pocket. Sexual abuse survivors should not have to suffer financial harm because of an abuser’s actions. This is why state law allows survivors to sue abusers in civil court.
A survivor can sue for compensation for medical costs, lost wages due to missing work related to their injuries, and pain and suffering. These civil cases fall under California’s personal injury laws. Abuse and assault survivors should contact an Oceanside sexual abuse lawyer to discuss their options.
Statute of Limitations
State law limits the amount of time personal injury victims have to sue the person or entity responsible for their injuries. These laws apply to sexual abuse lawsuits. However, in California, there are numerous exceptions to the sexual abuse statute of limitations.
When a survivor sues for abuse that occurred when they were a child, they generally have until the age of 26 (eight years after reaching the age of majority) to file a lawsuit.
One exception to this particular time limit is based on when a survivor discovered the injuries caused by the abuse. This means that when a survivor discovers the impact of the abuse, they have three years to file their claim regardless of their age.
For example, if a 30-year sexual abuse survivor suffered abuse as a minor, but only recently discovered the psychological or physical impacts of the abuse, they have three years from the date of discovery to file.
Consult with an Oceanside Sexual Abuse Attorney Today
Sexual abuse lawsuits are complicated, due to statutes of limitations, collection of evidence, and other factors. It is important that survivors contact an Oceanside sexual abuse lawyer when considering filing a civil lawsuit. If you are ready to hold your abuser accountable in civil court, call a lawyer today.