Sexual abuse is devastating to the lives of victims, but in Illinois, you can take perpetrators to court whether the abuse happened in schools, at your business, or at home. For help protecting your rights and getting justice for your emotional damage and physical injuries, call a Chicago sexual abuse attorney.
Sexual abuse and assault are crimes punishable by years in prison and other sentences in Illinois. But even if the perpetrator is locked up, victims are often left with lingering emotional difficulties, damage, injuries, and trauma. What recourse do they have?
In Illinois, victims of sexual abuse can take abusers to civil court to recover compensation for their suffering. If you or a loved one is considering taking an abuser to court, however, be prepared for the legal challenges that lie ahead.
For one, the abuser is likely to have a defense attorney of his or her own, so you’ll want to consider hiring a Chicago sexual abuse lawyer to help you get the compensation you deserve through a personal injury claim. At Lane & Lane, LLC, our lawyers are wholeheartedly committed to helping the victims of sex abuse and their families find financial justice and will use every resource available to our law firm to prove the abuser’s liability and wrongful acts.
It’s likely that your abuser is in the process of being tried or has been tried in a criminal court for their wrongful actions and the injuries they inflicted on you. For many people, this seems like the end. After all, the same crime twice isn’t punishable twice, right? Unfortunately, a criminal conviction for an abuser does nothing to financially compensate the abuser’s victim.
Criminal charges are different from civil suits—they’re strictly meant to punish the perpetrator, preventing further damage to you and the community. But while abusers may pay high fines to the criminal courts for their actions, this money will not go toward your recovery to heal and recover from the damage done. Indeed, everything from the criminal trial is focused on the accused and their defense rather than on your suffering.
That’s where your formal civil lawsuit comes in. Rather than being based on the crime that was committed, your Chicago sexual abuse claim will focus on the harm and injuries done to you. Your civil suit will be all about you and the compensation you deserve for the trauma and damage you experienced. This will be your main chance to recover, so it’s important to get started. Even if the criminal trial is still ongoing, our lawyers can still formulate an effective response and build a case to prove liability.
If the abuser is convicted of a crime despite their defense, that’s more evidence that you were harmed by him or her and your rights violated, giving you a better chance at winning your civil lawsuit. If you’re seeking compensation and your abuser is on trial in Illinois for his or her crimes, get started as soon as possible on your case. Either way, give the lawyers at our Chicago law firm a call to discuss your legal options during a free and confidential consultation. We know what you’re going through, as we’ve helped many another individual in similar situations.
To get the compensation you deserve, you will need to name the perpetrator or perpetrators in your Chicago sexual abuse claim. To that end, the first step will be identifying the perpetrator and gathering evidence and information to prove your claim and the damage suffered.
Your attorney can help you gather the appropriate evidence, which might include legal documents, medical records, criminal histories, witness statements, and more. While it could be tough to get these documents on your own, a Chicago sex abuse lawyer can help while you focus on your life.
Such legal cases can be especially difficult if your attacker was close to you—as is often the case—or a person with authority. However, once you name the person in question, our lawyers can get started on your claim and handle everything from there. The following are some of the most common abusers taken to court for their liability in Chicago sex abuse claims:
In the vast majority of cases, victims of sexual violence know their abusers, although cases involving sexual assault or molestation by strangers do occur. Whatever information you can provide about the abuser, however, will help, and our lawyers will begin as quickly as possible with your case by collecting evidence to support everything you’ve claimed.
Sexual violence is a broad term that refers to any sexual contact for which the recipient does not or cannot give consent. Almost any action that is classified as sexual violence may warrant a sexual abuse claim for compensation in Chicago.
No matter what type of sex abuse you’ve suffered, our lawyers can help and will make a difference. While it may be difficult to think about what happened, if you’ve suffered any of the violent acts or damage listed here, you should be compensated for the injuries and trauma you’ve experienced and suffered through. The following are some common types of sexual abuse that lead to court claims in Illinois:
There are other forms of sexual violence. If you believe you have been a victim, whether through negligence or malice, you may still have a viable claim even if what happened to you is not listed here. A Chicago sex abuse attorney can advise you on the next steps in filing your claim when you decide it’s time to litigate.
If you suspect that someone you love might be suffering from sexual abuse in any of its forms, from harassment to assault, there are certain warning signs you can keep an eye out for. Keep in mind that a person exhibiting just one of these red flags may not have been abused or assaulted, but the more signs you see in how they are acting, the greater the chance that they’ve been sexually abused or something else traumatic has happened to them.
Some of the signs seen in abuse victims include a loss or gain in appetite, the sudden onset of depression or anxiety, social isolation, thoughts of self-harm, substance abuse, being diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection, nightmares, post-traumatic stress disorder, and age regression, among others.
There are also signs of negligence and abuse you can look out for when an abuser knows their victim, as most do. Some red flags that perpetrators have been known to display include not respecting boundaries, discussing inappropriate topics, acting with an inappropriate sexual interest in the victim, and engaging in unwanted harassment and physical behaviors like touching, hugging, kissing, and other physical contact. There is no defense for these wrongful, hurtful actions, and they are not accidents. The abusers need to be held responsible, which is where our experienced abuse lawyers come in.
When you have reason to believe that someone you love is being sexually abused or assaulted, you have to act. First and foremost, you need to make sure you get them to safety and see that they are protected. If this is your child, remove them from the situation that you believe is where they’re being abused, whether that’s at the home of a friend or family member or even their school by a teacher, principal, nurse, or coach.
Once they’re safe, you should carefully bring your concerns to their attention. Do not be surprised if they deny your claims or get angry that you communicated your suspicions to them—this is a normal reaction, even if you’ve kept thing confidential. If they are able to open up to you, it may be time to get the police involved. You can call your local police department and make a report so the police can begin a criminal investigation.
Then call your sexual abuse lawyer in Chicago. We’ll begin building a case with all the evidence we have so you can secure the compensation the victim will need to move past the damage that resulted from the abuse.
Victims of sexual abuse in Chicago can and should receive compensation for every damage they have suffered as a result of the abuse. In addition to economic damages, sex abuse claims often involve non-economic damages, which are those that do not have a financial impact on victims but need to be compensated nonetheless.
These non-economic damages can be difficult to calculate, but our lawyers will have the tools to calculate them for you. These emotional damages can be just as difficult to work through as the physical ones—if not more difficult—because they can haunt you for decades.
Getting compensation for negligence and abuse may not heal the mental wounds you suffered when you were assaulted, but it can help you pay for the treatments you need and cover your expenses while you’re handling the aftermath of your sexual abuse. The following are some common damages awarded in Chicago sexual abuse claims:
Sex abuse cases often end with large financial awards to victims because the actions of the perpetrators are so horrific. A lawyer can help you maximize the value of your personal injury claim so your suffering is fairly compensated and the abuser’s liability for what you worked through exposed.
When you’ve been injured because of another person, you deserve compensation, but that compensation isn’t easy to get. Even if the other person is given a conviction and jail time, it’s possible to make a mistake and lose it all in your sex abuse civil suit.
When you’re thinking of fighting back against your sexual abuser or abusers, know that a sexual abuse lawyer can make that process easier and more efficient for you and your case in several key ways.
When you’re in the middle of a civil case and you’re dealing with the aftermath of your traumatic event, it’s easy to lose track of the laws and statutes you’ll need to keep in mind. It’s unfortunate, but if you wait too long to file, you could lose your chance for future compensation. In Illinois, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is generally two years from the incident or the discovery of the harm, although exceptions can apply to sexual abuse cases.
Fortunately, our lawyers can help you keep track of the laws that will affect your case. You’re dealing with a terrible situation, and a lawyer will understand that. At our law firm, we’ll do our best to simplify the situation for you so you can focus on your recovery.
A legal professional will be especially helpful in standing up to your abuser. When you’re dealing with someone you knew and trusted, such as a teacher, nurse, or a family member, it’s difficult to face him or her and fight for the compensation you deserve. If you’re struggling with a sensitive case, you can rest easy knowing that we’re on your side and will ensure you get compensated.
The days, months, and years after sexual abuse are often extremely difficult for victims. The emotional trauma and pain alone warrant compensation. On top of that, you’ve been hurt, and chances are good that you feel threatened and frightened.
Holding the perpetrators of sexual abuse accountable in civil court is important so victims see financial justice, but it is also an important way to help prevent these types of wrongs from being done to other victims in the future.
When you’re seeking justice for your abuse and injuries, call a lawyer who can support your needs while also acting quickly to make sure you get the care and attention you need. Our attorneys will fight for you so that you get fairly compensated and can finally experience closure.
The attorneys at the legal practice of Lane & Lane, LLC understand how sensitive these matters can be, and we are fully prepared to handle your case with care and the efficiency necessary for a successful outcome. While we have experience with all practice areas of personal injury law, our law office has a unique focus on the service of helping the victims of sexual abuse and their families get justice. To schedule a free, no-pressure consultation with a Chicago sexual abuse lawyer that is completely confidential, give us a call at 312-332-1400 or fill out the online contact form at the bottom of the page and experience the first-rate legal service that our clients receive.
The short answer is that you might. In some cases, we’ll be negotiating outside of court to get you the settlement you deserve. If the other side meets our demands for full compensation, you won’t have to go to court or see your abuser. However, in some cases, the other side will refuse to negotiate fairly, especially if they haven't been convicted of a criminal charge yet. In this scenario, you will likely see your abuser in an Illinois court. It’s worth noting that many survivors of sexual abuse report that, while initially terrified, they left court that day feeling empowered when they looked their abuser in the eye and told their story. In either case, your attorney will be an invaluable resource right by your side at every moment to ensure your safety and comfort.
At our practice, we work with our clients on a contingency fee basis. This will enable us to work together without any payment up front. Our fee will be a percentage of your settlement or court award. Once we have an agreement on the fee, we will build and present your case so that your abusers compensate you fully. You won’t have to pay us a cent unless or until we win your case. After you win, our fee can be deducted straight from your award so you won’t have to be burdened with a bill later.
Your attorney will need to quantify your damages—that is, place a monetary value on each item. This will be relatively simple for your economic damages and the information will be readily available, but then we’ll need to calculate the value of your non-economic damages, such as your pain and suffering. This can be difficult because these damages are intangible, but we have cutting-edge tools and formulas meant to maximize your compensation.