Sexual abuse happens more frequently than people believe. Millions of men and women have been sexually abused, either as children or adults. And few abusers are ever caught or held accountable.
Many institutions shelter and protect abusers and have been doing so for decades. For example, the rampant sexual abuse in the Catholic Church has only recently come to light. Abuse in the Boy Scouts of America has also been kept under wraps for decades until brave survivors stepped forward.
If you have been sexually assaulted, you need an advocate who believes you. The Noakes Law Group has helped many victims of assault and will do everything we can to bring your abuser to justice.
Why Bring A Lawsuit Against Your Abuser?
Civil lawsuits differ from criminal lawsuits in key ways. In a criminal case, the defendant can be sent to jail or prison if convicted. That is not possible in a civil suit. Instead, a civil suit seeks monetary compensation in the form of damages. If the defendant is found liable, then he must pay compensation to the victims.
We realize that no amount of money can ever make up for a sexual assault. However, civil cases are often about more than the person who abused you. Instead, you might try to hold accountable the institution that protected the abuser or allowed the abuse to happen. In a way, bringing a civil lawsuit is about protecting future victims as much as it is about getting justice for your case.
The following institutions often turn a blind eye to abuse:
- Hospitals which employ doctors who sexually abuse patients under the guise of providing medical treatment
- Schools that employ personnel who sexually assault students or other staff
- Universities that do not investigate allegations of sexual abuse or do not provide a safe environment for students who then end up getting assaulted
- Groups like the Boy Scouts that have adults mentoring children
If you have been assaulted, you can bring a civil suit against your assailant as well as against any institution that you believe is also culpable for the assault.
What Compensation Can You Receive?
Noakes can handle your sexual assault case.
At the Noakes Law Group, we focus on getting our clients the justice they deserve after sexual abuse or assault. The road to recovery can be long and complicated. Further, no two victims have the same experience.
As part of a civil suit, we can seek compensation for:
- Medical bills to cover the full costs of dealing with sexual assault, including mental health counseling
- Lost wages, if the repercussions from the assault prevented you from working
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
In some cases, we might also seek punitive damages. These damages are designed to punish a person or institution for reprehensible conduct. In many cases, you can get punitive damages against the abuser, since his conduct is clearly egregious. However, it is less clear whether an institution like a hospital or school would need to pay punitive damages. A lot depends on what the institution knew.
When seeking a settlement, we also need to be realistic about the defendant’s ability to pay. Some abusers might not have resources, which is why we always consider whether an institution is also responsible since they tend to have deeper pockets.
The goal of any sexual assault case is to do justice. By being forced to pay a large settlement, institutions like schools and hospitals might be encouraged to change their policies and to take complaints of sexual assault more seriously.
How Noakes Law Can Help
Noakes can handle your sexual assault case.
Challenges With Sexual Assault Cases
One hurdle is making sure you bring your claim in time. Every state has a statute of limitations, which sets out the maximum amount of time victims have to bring lawsuits. If you suffered abuse as a child, then it can be complicated to bring a case if many years have passed. It is best to meet with a lawyer as soon as possible to review your case.
Another problem with cases involving institutions is that they do not like to admit responsibility for contributing to sexual assault. You need a trusted attorney who can dig and find evidence to use in your case.
We also work to protect our clients’ privacy. Public attitudes around sexual assault are changing, and fewer people automatically discredit the accusations made by women and children. However, we realize that many clients want to maintain their privacy, and we will do everything possible to accomplish that.
Other Practice Areas
Our experienced attorneys are here to provide you with legal representation when your future depends upon it. Noakes Law Group has the experience and resources necessary to win cases and we are prepared to handle your unique case. Our practice areas include.
Contact Noakes Law Group Today
Our lawyers have the skill set and experience you’re looking for, and know how to bring forth successful claims. Call our legal team today for a free consultation for answers to your questions.