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How a Personal Injury Claim Can Help Survivors of Sexual Abuse or Sexual Assault

Posted on in Personal Injury

Palatine sex crime injury attorneysThe Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) reports that one individual is sexually assaulted every 73 seconds in the United States. The effect that sexual violence has on the victim cannot be overstated. Sexual abuse victims often bear physical and psychological scars for the rest of their lives. If you or a loved one were the victim of sexual abuse, you should know that you may be able to hold the perpetrator accountable and recover damages through a personal injury lawsuit.

How a Personal Injury Case Differs From a Criminal Case

Sadly, many sexual abuse victims are abused by someone that they trusted. The perpetrator may be a family member, teacher, religious authority, community member, or another respected figure. This can often make it even harder for the victim to report the abuse. Some sexual abuse survivors can hold their abuser accountable through criminal proceedings. However, there is sometimes not enough evidence for the prosecution to secure a conviction against the perpetrator. Even if the criminal case is successful, a criminal conviction against an abuser does not offer the victim restitution.

A personal injury lawsuit is a civil case that may be brought in the absence of a conviction or in addition to a criminal case. The perpetrator does not need to be convicted of sexual abuse or another sex crime for the victim to bring a civil claim against him or her. In fact, it is possible to bring a successful civil case against the perpetrator even if the perpetrator was acquitted of criminal charges. This is because the standard of proof in a personal injury case is lower than that of a criminal case. Prosecutors must prove guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt” to get a criminal conviction. To hold a perpetrator civilly liable for the abuse, his or her actions must be proven "by a preponderance of the evidence,”—which means that the judge or jury must be convinced that the perpetrator was more likely than not to have caused the injuries alleged in the lawsuit. 

Financial Compensation in a Sexual Abuse Personal Injury Claim

Money cannot erase or make up for sexual abuse. However, compensation from a personal injury lawsuit may ease the victim’s financial burden. Through a personal injury lawsuit, the victim may be able to recover compensation for the financial costs incurred by the abuse or attack. The victim may receive compensation for medical treatments, medication, mental health treatment such as counseling, and past and future lost wages. Financial compensation may also be available for non-monetary damages including the victim’s physical pain, mental and emotional anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life.

Contact a Rolling Meadows Personal Injury Lawyer

If you or a loved one were the victim of child sexual abuse, sexual assault, rape, or another form of sexual violence, you may be able to hold the perpetrator accountable through a civil personal injury case. You may also be entitled to monetary damages. Speak with a compassionate Arlington Heights sexual abuse injury lawyer from Newland & Newland, LLP to learn more. Call 847-797-8000 for a confidential, free consultation.




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