Victims of sexual abuse have been through something no one should ever have to experience. The criminal justice system often fails survivors, leaving them feeling discouraged that those responsible for the abuse haven’t been punished to the fullest extent of the law. 

Fortunately, there are other options that sexual abuse survivors can use to get justice and hold the liable parties accountable for their reprehenisble actions. Pursuing a civil claim may be an excellent option whether your abuser was convicted in criminal court or escaped criminal penalties. But, in some cases, other parties other than you abuser can be compelled to compensate you.

Continue reading to learn more about who can be sued for sexual abuse through a Chicago personal injury claim and how to ensure that you are awarded maximum restitution for the abuse you endured. 

Filing a Lawsuit for Sexual Abuse

Civil court is much different from criminal court in a number of ways. For example, in civil court, it’s up to you to pursue the claim, whereas criminal charges are brought forward by the state, represented by a prosecuting attorney.

The burden of proof also differs in civil vs. criminal court cases for sexual abuse. In civil court proceedings, your sexual abuse lawyer will need to prove only based on a preponderance of the evidenced that the named parties are liable. But in criminal court, the burden of proof is much higher, and the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused are guilty. 

Your sexual abuse lawyer must thoroughly review the details of your case, as there are other parties that may be held accountable for the abuse as well. For example, if your child was abused in a school setting, your civil claim may also name school staff and even the school itself as partially liable as they had an obligation to protect your child and failed to do so. 

Compensation for the Suffering You Endured

No amount of money will change what happened to you, but it can help you to cover the financial losses you may be struggling to cope with and serve as a form of justice for the emotional trauma you’ve experienced. Some of the most commonly sought-after damages in a Chicago sexual abuse lawsuit include:

  • Costs of mental health counseling
  • Lost wages and earning capacity
  • Medical expenses, copays, and prescription medications
  • Diminished quality of life
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of consortium

Meet with a Chicago Sexual Abuse Lawyer

If you have been sexually abused, get in touch with a compassionate Chicago sexual abuse lawyer at Lane & Lane, LLC for help filing a civil claim

Our firm offers complimentary consultations to survivors of sexual abuse across the state. Take advantage of this opportunity and give our office a call at 312-332-1400 or fill out the brief contact form below. 

If you were sexually abused as a child in Illinois, you may not feel comfortable coming forward about the abuse until much later in life. Thankfully, the state of Illinois has a twenty-year statute of limitations for child sexual abuse. This statute of limitations doesn’t begin until you turn eighteen and can also begin later if you don’t realize the abuse occurred until later in life.

Once you’re aware of the abuse, however, you should speak up so you can prevent further abuse from occurring. Even if you can’t press criminal charges against your abuser, a Chicago sexual abuse lawyer from Lane & Lane, LLC can help you press civil charges and seek justice. 

Where Child Sexual Abuse Occurs

Child sexual abuse can occur anywhere—at home, at school, in daycare, or at church. Depending on where the abuse occurs, there may be more than one liable party. For example, if you were sexually abused as a child in church, it’s possible to sue both the church and your abuser.

Children are often sexually abused by people close to them, which is why it can be difficult to know when abuse is occurring. Your abuser may have taught you that what was happening to you was okay but later on in life, you may have developed a deep sense of shame and guilt.

Suing the Abuser in Civil Court

Suing your abuser in civil court will get you the justice you deserve for your mistreatment. Not only can you receive a settlement for the abuse you’ve experienced, but you may find that speaking up about your experience after all these years is healing and allows you to move forward in peace.

If evidence is no longer available to criminally convict your abuser, a civil lawsuit will get the abuser’s name out in the public and show the world the type of person they are. 

Damages You Can Receive for Your Mistreatment

If you can successfully prove that child sexual abuse occurred, then you can get the most out of your claim by accounting for both economic and non-economic damages in your lawsuit.

Economic damages may include any medical expenses you’ve incurred from physical or mental treatment resulting from the abuse. Non-economic damages may include pain and suffering, loss of consortium, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life. The judge may also award punitive damages in a child sexual abuse lawsuit to further punish the abuser and make an example of them.

Contact a Chicago Sexual Abuse Attorney

Coming forward about child sexual abuse can be difficult. If you’ve held the shame and hurt of your experience deep inside for a long time, you may find it hard to speak up. But, when you decide it’s time to come forward, it can be a deeply healing experience.

To schedule a free consultation with a Chicago sexual abuse lawyer from Lane & Lane, LLC, call 312-332-1400 or fill out the confidential contact form below.

Sexual abuse is one of the worst things anyone can experience because it takes both a physical and emotional toll on the victim and the effects can last a lifetime. Although sexual abuse assailants may be charged in criminal court and punished with jail time and legal fines, the civil claims process is where abuse victims can seek compensation from their attacker for the incident.

When filing a civil sexual abuse claim, a sexual abuse lawyer in Chicago can be helpful in both proving negligence to the court and maximizing your claim’s value. At Lane & Lane, LLC, our attorneys have handled numerous sexual abuse cases and can ensure that your damages are calculated fairly.  

Economic Damages

Economic damages are typically the first category of damages that the court considers in civil claims because these include tangible financial losses that a victim has experienced.

When it comes to sexual abuse, economic damages may include any immediate medical expenses you’ve incurred from the incident, as well as property damages and loss of income from being out of work. Economic damages can also include future medical expenses for therapy, medications, and other mental health treatment.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages also play a significant role in sexual abuse cases, because even if there’s no sign of physical injury to the victim, the emotional side effects can be severe.

Your Chicago sexual abuse attorney will examine numerous non-economic damages you may have experienced, including pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of consortium, and emotional distress. These damages will be calculated using situational factors, such as your age and the severity of the incident.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are rare and they can only be awarded by a judge. However, sexual abuse cases are one exception where punitive damages are awarded more frequently. This is because punitive damages are awarded when the defendant is proven to have intentionally caused harm to the victim.

Some factors which are considered when awarding punitive damages include the following:

  • The financial standing of the victim
  • How long the abuse took place
  • How often the abuse occurred
  • The fact that the sexual abuse was physical
  • The fact that the assailant hid the abuse

It’s likely that the judge will award punitive damages knowing that the sexual abuser acted willingly and deserves to be punished to the fullest extent of the law. Your lawyer will argue to secure you the maximum compensation possible for your suffering.

Consult a Chicago Sexual Abuse Attorney

If you’ve experienced an incident or an ongoing period of sexual abuse, it’s important to file a civil claim even if you’ve already been brave enough to face the abuser in criminal court. A civil lawsuit is the only way you’ll receive compensation for what you’ve been through. At Lane & Lane, LLC, we can guide you through the legal process and help you recover all possible damages.

To discuss your case in greater detail with a Chicago sexual abuse lawyer, you can fill out the contact form below or call 312-332-1400 for a confidential consultation.

Sexual abuse is one of the most traumatic experiences a person can go through, and when you’ve been abused but are ready to stand up to your abuser and others who are partially responsible for the abuse you endured, you need the help of an experienced sexual abuse attorney.

The sad truth is that in many cases, there are individuals or entities who could have put a stop to the abuse you were subjected to, and turning a blind eye is a form of culpability that should be acknowledged in court. Not only can you seek compensation from your abuser, but you can file claims against anyone who failed to protect you, which can help you find the justice and closure you deserve.

Read on to learn more about filing a sexual abuse claim against a third-party and what damages your attorney can fight to recover in your case.

When to Pursue a Civil Claim

You might be thinking that filing a lawsuit isn’t your responsibility, as the state’s prosecutor has already, or is going to, file criminal charges against your abuser or the other involved parties. However, criminal law is very different from civil law, which means you have an opportunity to take matters into your own hands and bring them to justice in civil court.

Your civil lawsuit against a third party could be anyone who had knowledge of the abuse you were put through, failed to protect you from abuse, or failed to report suspected abuse to the proper authorities. Claims are often brought against companies, schools, day care centers, teachers, and other individuals in positions of power who failed to do what was morally right.

Recoup the Damages You’re Entitled To

Apart from building your case against these negligent persons, one of your attorney’s primary responsibilities is to figure out much to sue for. Your damages will be calculated by examining the various ways your life has been influenced by the abuse inflicted upon you. Commonly sought sexual abuse damages include the following:

  • Emergency funds
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Medical expenses
  • Mental health counseling
  • Loss of companionship and love
  • Relocation costs
  • Lost income

You can discuss other losses you may have experienced with your sexual abuse attorney in Chicago. Ultimately, the goal is to get the most out your claim so that these parties have to be held accountable for the harm that they directly or indirectly caused you.

Get in Touch with a Chicago Sex Abuse Lawyer

If you are considering filing a civil lawsuit against a third-party who may have been partially responsible for the sexual abuse you suffered, you can reach out to an experienced Chicago sex abuse lawyer at Lane & Lane, LLC for assistance.

We offer sexual abuse survivors across Chicago and the surrounding areas free claim reviews so we can learn more about the individual details of your case. Schedule your confidential case evaluation by calling 312-332-1400 or by submitting the online contact form we have provided at the bottom of this page.

Eighteen Jesuit priests linked to institutions in the Chicago area have been named in a list detailing sexual abuse allegations that span six decades.

The list, released this week by the Midwest Province Jesuits, contains the names of dozens of Jesuit priests who have had credible sex abuse allegations made against them since 1955. More than fifty of those named were accused with “reasonable certainty” of sexually abusing a minor.

Response to Past Sex Abuse Scandals

The release of this list is part of a response to previous sex abuse cases that have occurred within the Catholic Church, Midwest Province Jesuit officials said. Attempting to conceal sexual abuse allegations is a scandal in and of itself.

Midwest Province officials said a priest’s inclusion on the list did not prove guilt, but they encouraged anyone who has been abused by a Jesuit priest to come forward and contact the appropriate authorities.

A letter accompanying the list apologized to victims of abuse.

“We recognize that our feelings on this day are nothing compared to the depth of suffering endured by those who have been abused, especially by one as trusted as a priest or vowed religious,” wrote the Rev. Brian G. Paulson, provincial of the Midwest Province Jesuits.

Jesuit Sex Abuse in Chicago

The list included Jesuit priests with ties to various parts of the Midwest, but at least eighteen of the priests had ties to the Chicago area. Several worked at area institutions, including Loyola Academy, St. Ignatius College Prep, Holy Family Parish, and Loyola University Chicago.

Chicago-area priests named on the list included the following:

  • Donald McGuire
  • M. Lawrence Reuter
  • Ignatius Burrill
  • Donald O’Shaughnessy
  • Wilton Skiffington
  • Gerald Streeter
  • Mark Finan
  • J. Robert Koch
  • Stanley Wisniewski
  • Harry Barton
  • Allan Kirk
  • Donald Butler
  • Maurice Meyers
  • John Lane
  • David McCarthy
  • Thomas Gannon
  • Philip Mooney
  • John Powell

Many of the priests with ties to Chicago have died. All were dismissed or removed from public ministry.

Media reports noted that it was unclear how many of the allegations were reported to law enforcement officials or civil authorities.

Help for Sex Abuse Victims in Chicago

Our thoughts are with the victims of church sexual abuse in Chicago and all over the world. We hope that steps like the release of this list encourage victims to come forward and hold their abusers—and those who allowed the abuse to happen—accountable.

If you or someone close to you has been abused by a member of the church or anyone else, the abuser can be held accountable in civil court. The Chicago sexual abuse lawyers at Lane & Lane, LLC can help you build your case and recover the compensation you deserve for what you’ve been through.

To contact us, call our firm at 312-332-1400 or fill out the online contact form below.

When dealing with sexual abuse, we might think it only occurs in person, and involved physical contact. Unfortunately, that’s not the only form of sex abuse. You might have noticed some suspicious behavior online, and now you’re wondering, “Can sex abuse occur over the Internet?”

Sexual abuse isn’t limited to in-person interactions. Many people suffer from sexual harassment at the hands of other Internet users, and when that happens, you deserve to be compensated for that abuse.

Finding the person responsible can be complex. Because cases involving online harassment and abuse are relatively new, it can be difficult to file a claim on your own. Having a sex abuse lawyer in Chicago on your side can provide you with the resources and knowledge to recover the compensation you deserve.

How Does Sexual Abuse Happen Online?

When discussing online harassment, some people might blame the victim, arguing that they can simply turn off the computer and leave the harmful situation. But, sexual abuse—including the kind that occurs online—isn’t that simple.

Sexual abuse happens online when predatory abusers seek out vulnerable targets. For example, a pornographer might reach out via chat forums to other Internet users to coerce them into sexual activity. The abuser might ask for photos or other personal information. That information can later be used to ensure the victim doesn’t report the abuse for fear of retaliation.

Online harassment should be taken seriously even when no physical contact has happened. The effects of sex abuse, whether it involves physical touch, can be devastating. A sex abuse lawyer can help you get the compensation you deserve.

Effects of Internet Sex Abuse

Sexual abuse comes in many forms, but they can all cause serious mental and emotional trauma to the victim. For example, you might have received threatening and manipulative messages to expose private, sexual pictures of yourself. Or someone might have released these photos against your will. Maybe you also experienced additional harassment before or after that event.

These incidents could cause feelings of depression, traumatic flashbacks, and nightmares related to your online attack. These are symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, and they can severely affect your quality of life. You might have trouble going to work or doing things you once enjoyed. Even leaving your home can become difficult due to PTSD.

Without including the financial aspects of your abuse, the emotional impact on your life might already be devastating. Your abuser should be held accountable for the damage they caused you or your loved one. But what can you do?

Contact a Lawyer for Help

Online sexual abuse is a growing form of abuse. But, because of this modern method of harassment,  many victims might not be aware that they can receive compensation for their suffering. Fortunately, with a lawyer from Lane & Lane, LLC, you don’t have to continue wondering: “Can sex abuse occur over the Internet?”

Internet sex abuse is real, and it’s occurring more frequently every day. Fortunately, you can file a claim against your abuser, beginning with a free consultation with our attorneys.

For help preparing and fighting for your claim, reach out to us by calling 312-332-1400 or by completing the online form below.

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