Can Sexual Assault Victims File a Civil Lawsuit?
Survivors of sexual abuse often experience significant effects as a result of their trauma. The costs of continued therapy and medical treatment can easily become overwhelming. The last thing a victim of sexual assault should be concerned with is financial stress that isn’t his or her fault.
Financial relief can be obtained if the survivor is willing to file a civil lawsuit. This is very different from filing criminal charges. Criminal charges can only be sought by a prosecutor and can land an abuser in jail or prison if he or she is found guilty.
A civil case is when a lawsuit is filed to seek compensation for your damages from either the abuser or another party whose negligence contributed to the abuse.
The Burden of Proof
In a civil lawsuit, we will need to be able to prove with overwhelming evidence that the defendant directly or indirectly caused harm or injury to a sexual assault survivor. This essentially means that the evidence we present needs to support the overall concept that the defendant is responsible for your damages.
When we file a civil suit, evidence that will support your case includes testimony from you, any medical documentation that demonstrates your physical or psychological injuries, statements from anyone who was told about the abuse, and witness accounts.
Who Can Be Sued?
In addition to the actual abuser, a number of third parties can be held liable in your sexual assault case. Daycare centers, schools, churches, nursing home facilities, and other similar institutions have an obligation to protect the welfare of members, students, or residents.
If their negligent behavior or disregard for the victim’s safety put the victim and others at risk for sexual assault, they can be held accountable for their actions in your civil lawsuit.
Consult with an Illinois Sexual Abuse Lawyer
If you are a survivor of sexual abuse and are considering filing a civil lawsuit, speak with a qualified attorney who has the experience you need to be successful in your claim. You can schedule a no-cost claim evaluation with an Illinois sexual abuse lawyer at Lane & Lane, LLC by filling out the form below or calling 312-332-1400.