Sex Abuse by Illinois Clergy: Can I Sue?

November 12, 2019
Sex Abuse by Illinois Clergy: Can I Sue?

Members of the clergy are trusted by adults and children alike. A clergy member’s job is to serve God, and with that occupation, they’re afforded ample power and respect. Unfortunately, in the last few decades, many Illinois clergy members have abused their power and sexually abused their constituents.

Many victims of sexual abuse have trouble coming forward and admitting what’s happened to them, especially when their abuser was someone they admired. If you experienced sexual abuse by a member of the Illinois clergy, speaking up about your experience can release you from the trauma. 

By holding your abuser accountable, you can seek justice for your suffering and prevent further abuse from occurring. A Chicago sexual abuse lawyer from Lane & Lane, LLC can help you file a claim and get the settlement you deserve. 

Identifying Who’s Liable

When coming forward with your sexual abuse experience, you’ll likely have to take civil action against the church where the priest works or worked. If you want to file criminal charges, you can do so against the priest personally.

Your sexual abuse lawyer in Chicago can guide you through the legal process and help you take the proper steps to file your claim. The church will have to defend itself and their clergy member against the accusations. The judge and jury in your case will determine whom to believe. 

Damages You Can Recover

If you can successfully prove that sexual abuse has occurred, you can recover damages for your pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of consortium, and emotional distress. If your sexual abuse was recent, you may recover damages for medical expenses associated with your injuries and lost income from time you’ve taken away from work.

Accounting for all your losses is the key to maximizing your claim and holding your abuser fully responsible.  

Is It Too Late to File My Claim?

The statute of limitations regarding sexual abuse in Illinois is complex. If you were over the age of eighteen when the sexual abuse occurred, then you’ll have two years to file your claim and recover compensation. If you wait more than two years to file your claim, the court likely won’t hear your case or award your a settlement. 

If you were under the age of eighteen when the abuse occurred, then you’ll have twenty years to file a claim and recover compensation. The twenty-year time limit begins on your eighteenth birthday or on the day you discover you were abused.

Contact a Chicago Sexual Abuse Attorney

Sexual abuse lawsuits can be difficult to navigate, and they can become even more complicated when the clergy is involved. Clergy members have powerful organizations protecting them, so it’s essential to have an experienced attorney on your side when fighting for what you deserve. 

If you’re ready to discuss your case in greater detail with a Chicago sexual abuse lawyer from Lane & Lane, LLC, fill out the contact form below or call 312-332-1400 to schedule a free consultation.

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