Sexual Assault and Battery Lawsuit In 2024 - A Survivor’s Guide
Understanding sexual assault in details
Sexual assault can take various forms and be defined in different ways, but one thing that remains common is, it is never the victim’s fault. Sexual assault is the act of sexual contact that occurs without the clear consent of the victim. Here are some examples of sexual assault.
- Attempted rape.
- Fondling or unwanted sexual touching.
- Forcing the victim to perform sexual activities, including oral sex.
- Penetration of the victim’s body is also known as rape.
- Approximately 8 out of 10 sexual assaults are committed by someone known to the victim, such as in the case of intimate partner sexual violence or acquaintance rape. In other cases, the victims may not know the perpetrator at all. These types of sexual acts are also referred to as stranger rape. It occurs in several different ways, such as:
It is when a perpetrator immediately and brutally assaults the victim with no prior contact, usually in a public place at night.
It is when a perpetrator contacts the victim and tries to gain their trust by flirting or luring the victim to their vehicle, or trying to force the victim into sexual activities.
It is when a stranger breaks into the victim’s home to commit the assault.
The survivors of stranger rape and acquaintance rape often blame themselves to behave in a way that encouraged the perpetrator. However, it’s important to remember that the victim should not blame the actions of a perpetrator.
Steps to take after sexual assault and battery
- Receive medical attention.
- Report the whole situation.
- Get a rape kit done.
Compensation for sexual assault and battery
The victims of sexual assault and battery injuries are entitled to both compensatory damages and punitive damages. They can recover a large amount of money in damages for:
- Emotional distress or trauma.
- Loss of enjoyment of life.
- Lost wages.
- Lost earning capacity.
- Medical bills.
- Pain and suffering (including traumatic stress).
- Psychological counseling.
Moreover, spouses and registered domestic partners of sexual assault victims can also file sexual assault and battery lawsuit claims. The reasons include loss of consortium; if they have suffered from moral support, a loss of companionship, or intimacy due to the perpetrator’s actions.
Can I sue for sexual assault, abuse, or battery?
Anyone who has gone through unwanted touching or sexual act can sue for damages. In addition, the families of victims can also sue:
If they witnessed the assault and have an action for negligent infliction of emotional distress.
If the assault or abuse resulted in the victim’s death, the family of the victim brings a suit for wrongful death or a survivor’s action on behalf of the victim’s estate.
If the assault suffers from loss of companionship, moral support, and or intimacy to a spouse or registered domestic partner.
Statute of limitations for sexual assault – For adult
The adults at the time of a sexual assault have a 2-year time limit from the date of the assault to sue for an assault and battery in the civil court system. It’s shorter than the statute of limitations for prosecuting the defendant’s actions as a crime. Therefore, people who don’t file the claim within 2 years will lose their right to sue, even if the defendant is prosecuted.
However, if felony criminal charges are brought and the defendant is convicted, the victim has 1 year from the date on which the judgment is pronounced to file suit (even if the sexual assault and battery Lawsuit would otherwise be time-barred).
Statute of limitations sexual abuse or assault – For children
A victim of childhood sexual assault or abuse can file a sexual assault and battery lawsuit until the later of the victim’s 40th birthday, or 5 years from when the victim discovers. Moreover, he should have been diagnosed with psychological injury after turning 18 due to sexual assault or abuse.
However, if the victim’s age is over the age of 40, he needs to obtain certificates of merits from:
- A mental health professional who hasn’t treated the plaintiff stated that there is a valid reason why the victim could not have discovered the harm sooner.
- The plaintiff’s attorney stated that the lawyer has reviewed the case and the findings of the mental health professional and determined that a claim is meritorious.
As the mental health professional should examine the plaintiff and the lawyer must review that person’s findings and the factual basis for the suit, it may take some time to get the required certification.
The five-year “delayed discovery” is not suspended during this period.
Therefore, potential plaintiffs who are, or will be, 40 soon should contact a sexual assault and battery personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to prevent their claim from becoming time-barred.
Some common defenses to civil charges of sexual assault and battery
- No sexual act took place.
- The defendant didn’t do it, the plaintiff is lying or mistaken.
- The encounter was consensual.
- The victim has filed the claim too late and is thus barred by the statute of limitations.
EthenOstroff Law Firm
If you or your loved one has been a victim of sexual abuse, we invite you to contact our knowledgeable, qualified, and experienced sexual and battery lawyers in Philadelphia. We offer a free consultation for your sexual assault and battery lawsuit and will fight for the largest amount of monetary compensation. Nevertheless, we create an attorney-client relationship and bring legal actions throughout the state with a hassle-free procedure.
- We will go over your questions and concerns, offer sound legal advice, and determine the best legal options to pursue.
- We will investigate your case to prepare the strongest legal claim on your behalf.
- We know how to hold all the at-fault parties accountable for your harm.
We will fight for the maximum Sexual Assault and Battery Lawsuit compensation you deserve.