Sexual abuse could happen to anyone and takes on many forms. Florida residents who have suffered sexual abuse may wish to learn more about filing a sexual abuse claim in West Palm Beach.
No matter if the perpetrator was brought to justice in a criminal court or not, an abuse survivor still deserves a chance to seek monetary compensation for all the damages they endured and may endure for a lifetime. Learning more about your civil legal rights and options from a steadfast sexual abuse attorney could help give you back control of your life and seek some measure of justice for the harm done to you.
The Statute of Limitations for Civil Sexual Abuse Claims
One of the most important legal concepts for anyone who is considering filing a West Palm Beach sexual abuse claim is the statute of limitations. This is a specific amount of time given by the law in which a plaintiff could file a lawsuit in a civil case.
Under Florida Statutes §95.11(3)(a), victims of sexual abuse have four years to file a civil claim. If they do not file a claim or hire an attorney to file a claim for them within this statutory period, their right to seek legal compensation may be lost, and they would likely never be able to recoup their damages.
Could a Defendant Face Both Criminal and Civil Charges?
Another important factor for sexual abuse survivors in West Palm Beach to note is that criminal and civil cases are separate from each other. The perpetrator of such abuse could face both simultaneously, but each court has different procedures, potential consequences, and statutes of limitations.
If convicted of criminal charges, a sexual abuser could face jail time, fines, community service, and other criminal penalties. Regardless of this criminal verdict, a person who incurred damages from sexual abuse has the right to file a separate civil claim seeking monetary compensation.
Although separate, these cases could share some of the same evidence and testimonies. While a guilty verdict in a criminal case might help a plaintiff win their civil case, though, the reverse is not necessarily true, since criminal cases have a higher burden of proof than civil ones.
West Palm Beach Sexual Abuse Damages
Although pursuing and filing a sexual abuse case in West Palm Beach is often quite hard emotionally on those impacted, it could lead to compensation for the victim’s injuries and losses, which are known collectively in legal terms as damages. In a sexual abuse case, a plaintiff might be able to seek damages for:
- Medical expenses
- Loss of society
- Loss of consortium
- Emotional trauma
- Lost income
- Loss of enjoyment of life
See Professional Help Filing a West Palm Beach Sexual Abuse Claim
The first step to filing a successful sexual abuse claim in West Palm Beach may be to connect with an experienced personal injury lawyer. You could receive a case evaluation to determine if both you and your prospective legal counsel want to move forward with the claim. If so, your attorney could file the lawsuit on your behalf and attempt to either settle your case privately or take your case before a civil court.
Even if the person who hurt you faces a criminal conviction and penalties, the only way you could pursue financial compensation for your damages is through a civil lawsuit. You only have a specific window of time to file a sexual abuse claim, though, so call today to get started on yours.