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 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 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 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.