Can I File a Personal Injury Claim for Sexual Assault?
Many people do not realize that they can and should seek justice from a personal injury claim if they have been sexually assaulted. Just like any victim who suffers an injury during an act that was out of their control, sexual assault victims can pursue claims for financial compensation from their attacker or third parties that acted negligently. The difference is that these victims will file their claim in a civil court, not criminal court — though you can still pursue a criminal case concurrently while a civil lawsuit is pending.
However, an unfortunate reality of today is that many people do not believe that what they suffered constitutes as sexual assault that can be pursued in civil court. In fact, many cases go unreported altogether with only 230 out of every 1,000 sexual assaults reported to the proper authorities. This could be because of shame, embarrassment, fear of retaliation, or simply that they think that what they went through was not “serious enough.”
At The Hayden Law Firm, we help sexual abuse and rape survivors seek justice for egregious acts of all types.
For example, sexual assault can cover a wide span of acts, including:
- Rape and attempted rape
- Forced sexual acts of any nature
- Groping and unwanted touching
- Any unwanted penetration of the victim
- Sexual abuse
- Sexual exploitation
- Verbal sexual harassment
If you have suffered any one of these in any way, contact a sexual assault personal injury lawyer in St. Louis, MO, to see what we can do for you. It is our mission to hold offenders and other third parties accountable for their actions.
Sexual Assault Personal Injury Claim: What You Are Owed
While a criminal conviction can offer some level of justice for the victim, it may not always cover everything. The physical and psychological injuries can endure long after the act took place. Pursuing a personal injury claim can help victims of these unconscionable acts receive fair compensation for the various financial and emotional costs they endured, but it can also help them gain a more authentic sense of justice.
Damages awarded in a sexual assault personal injury claim may cover:
- Medical bills related to the assault
- Future health care costs
- Loss of employment or wages
- Psychological trauma
- Emotional counseling
- Loss of enjoyment/quality of life
- Pain and suffering
- Wrongful death
- Any other damages caused by the assault
You may even be able to sue on behalf of a spouse for loss of consortium if your spouse now suffers from anger, fear, or loss of sexual intimacy. These feelings can cause a rift in a relationship and could even destroy a marriage.
A number of factors may be considered when determining the amount of compensation in a sexual assault personal injury claim. It will depend on the specific circumstances of the case, the amount of costs you incurred, the severity of damages you suffered, and how well your attorney can protect your rights.
Attorney Amanda L. Hayden has compassion and expertise as an all-around advocate when it matters most. She is known as someone not only willing to advocate for her clients, but someone who can engage in challenging legal battles involving sensitive and confidential matters such as this.
Who Can Be Held Liable for a Sexual Assault Personal Injury Claim?
Depending on the facts of the case, the liable party is often the assailant; however, victims may also bring forth civil lawsuits against third parties who bear legal accountability for what happened. For instance, a victim may be able to sue a business that failed to provide proper security measures which may have prevented the sexual assault from ever occuring.
In cases such as this, the plaintiff must be able to prove negligence on part of the third party. The elements of negligence include:
- The defendant had a legal obligation to the injured party to keep them safe from harm
- The defendant breached this legal duty of care
- In failing to uphold this duty, the defendant caused the emotional or physical injuries suffered by the victim
- The victim suffered actual injuries as a result
Common liable parties include establishments like churches, schools, youth organizations, sports programs, apartment complexes, medical facilities, nursing homes, and government entities. Facing these entities alone can be intimidating, which is why you need the experience of a St. Louis sexual assault personal injury lawyer on your side.