Can You Seek Punitive Damages in Your Sexual Abuse Lawsuit?

After everything you have been through, the thought of filing a lawsuit against your abuser may be intimidating. While going over your options, one of your concerns may be that all of your efforts are going to be worth it. After all, you don’t want to fight for your rights only to lose in court. 

But the truth is an attorney is not likely to take on your case if they don’t think they can win. The goal is to obtain maximum compensation. This means your Chicago personal injury lawyer will need to examine every possible type of damage and loss to determine how much your claim is worth. That includes economic, non-economic, and punitive damages alike. 

What Are Punitive Damages?

Punitive damages is a type of compensation the court orders the liable party to pay the injury victim. This money is not for the various ways your life has been turned upside down by what you’ve been through. 

Instead, it is the court’s way of figuratively putting their foot down and say egregious acts like sexual abuse will not be tolerated in the civil court system. You can think of punitive damages as the court’s way of punishing the liable party for abhorrent or reprehensible conduct. 

In sexual abuse cases, it is not uncommon for the victim to request an award of punitive damages from the court. Ultimately, it is up to the judge and jury to determine whether the liable party should be ordered to compensate you beyond your financial losses and non-financial challenges associated with the abuse. 

The Value of Your Civil Sexual Abuse Claim

In order for your attorney to determine how much your civil claim is worth, we will need to uncover all the ways in which your life has been affected by what you’ve been through. This might include a combination of economic damages (monetary loss) and non-economic damages. 

Non-economic damages are more difficult to quantify, as these losses consist of any way your life has been impacted physically, emotionally, and psychologically. Some of the various economic and non-economic damages you could be awarded compensation for in your sexual abuse lawsuit include:

  • Medical expenses and equipment 
  • Costs of mental health counseling
  • Emotional distress
  • Pain and suffering 
  • Loss of companionship and love 
  • Diminished quality of life
  • Scarring or disfigurement 
  • Relocation expenses
  • Reputational damage

Get Help from a Sexual Abuse Lawyer in Chicago

If you have been sexually abused and are interested in learning more about how you can take back control of your life, you need highly experienced legal representation. 

Call a compassionate Chicago sexual abuse lawyer with Lane & Lane, LLC at 312-332-1400  or complete the quick contact form we have included at the bottom of this page so you can schedule your free, no-obligation consultation. 

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