Understanding Civil Sexual Assault Claims In New York
If you have been the victim of sexual assault, you may want to pursue justice against your perpetrators. But it can be challenging to file a claim against those who wronged you, especially if you are not sure how to move forward. If you are considering opening a sexual assault case, you likely have questions about the process. This article will address some common concerns about sexual assault cases and help you understand:
- The difference between a civil and a criminal sexual assault case.
- Whether you need to file criminal charges or obtain a criminal conviction of the perpetrator before filing your civil suit.
- What types of damages you can receive in a sexual assault case.
At What Point In A Civil Case Does Your Firm Typically Step In, And When Should I Hire An Attorney For My Sexual Assault Claim?
Our firm has stepped in to assist at different phases of a case. This is often because, just after a sexual assault, the victim may be reluctant to bring a case.
Although we have experience getting involved at various stages, the best time to hire an attorney is always earlier. Directly after an incident, it is easier to gather evidence and track down witnesses. However, if you are considering working with an attorney on a sexual assault case, you should know that this is always a good step to take, regardless of the timing.
Who Do You Represent In A Civil Case Involving Sexual Assault Or Rape, And How Common Are These Cases?
Unfortunately, sexual assault cases are quite common. One of the problems is that many of these cases are not reported, and many more are not pursued. Our firm represents the victims of sexual assault, whether they are children, teenagers, or adults.
If you have been the victim of sexual assault, we understand how difficult it may be for you to bring your case to a lawyer. Rest assured that we will do everything in our power to seek justice against those who harmed you.
What Is The Difference Between A Civil And A Criminal Sexual Abuse Case?
There are several differences between a civil and criminal sexual abuse case. One aspect that sets these two types of cases apart is the difference in burden of proof. In a civil case, you, as the victim or plaintiff, must provide evidence of your right to payment. In a criminal case, it is up to the state to prove that the defendant was responsible for the crime.
Another difference between the two types of cases lies in the punishments. In a civil case, the remedy is monetary damages, whereas in a criminal case, the remedy is jail.
Can A Civil Suit Be Pursued Without Filing Criminal Charges Or Obtaining A Conviction Of The Perpetrator?
It is, of course, very helpful for your case if there has been a criminal conviction of the perpetrator. However, that is not the common circumstance in these cases, so criminal charges are not necessary for you to pursue a civil suit.
For instance, I represent many children who have been sexually abused by other children who are either the same age or older. Usually, these cases come down to a failure of supervision by the child’s school, camp, daycare center, or afterschool program. Since young children cannot be criminally convicted, criminal charges do not play a role in these cases.
What Is The Statute Of Limitation For A Victim To File A Civil Suit Against The Perpetrator?
Normally, a civil suit for sexual assault involves a specific statute of limitations, which can vary depending on the details of your case. For claims involving children, the statute is until the child is 21 years of age, but it is best to file before this whenever possible.
There was an Adult Survivors Act in New York where the statute was extended, but this extension ended on November 23, 2023. To ensure that you are meeting any deadline requirements for your cause, it is best to work with an experienced attorney who can guide you through the process.
Could A Third Party Be Liable In A Sexual Assault Or Rape Case?
In some cases, a third party could be liable in a sexual assault case. For example, this could apply in cases where the victim was a student, and the school could be held liable for failure to properly supervise.
Our firm has represented women in these types of cases who have been raped on college campuses. We have also handled cases where children were sexually abused or sodomized on school buses or in bathrooms on school premises. We have also represented victims in cases where the landlord has not provided proper security, which resulted in their sexual assault or rape.
If you believe a third party could be held liable in your case, it is best to speak with an experienced sexual assault attorney. Your lawyer can help you determine who might be at fault in addition to the perpetrator.
What Damages Are Available In My Civil Suit Sexual Assault Or Abuse Case?
The damages you could receive in a sexual assault civil suit generally include medical expenses and pain and suffering. However, you could also receive additional payment if there was a loss of earnings resulting from the sexual assault, as well as compensation for your future medical treatment, future medication, and in some cases, punitive damages.
Where Should I Begin The Civil Claim Process For A Sexual Assault Incident?
If you have been the victim of sexual assault, you would need to bring a lawsuit against the perpetrator or other at-fault parties. To do so, your first step would be to contact an experienced sexual assault attorney for your case.
For more information on Civil Sexual Assault Claims In New York, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (212) 563-2010 today.