Can the Victim of Sexual Assault File a Civil Lawsuit?
Sexual assault can take many forms: attempted rape, rape, unwanted sexual touching, and forcing a victim to perform sexual acts. Although criminal prosecution can send a perpetrator to jail for their crime, victims of sexual assault or sexual abuse can—and often do—file a lawsuit against the perpetrator in civil court.
Can I Sue for Sexual Assault in Civil Court?
Yes, but you must act quickly. Personal injury law does not have a sexual assault cause of action, so you must meet with a personal injury attorney to decide on the best cause of action.
What Damages Can I Receive?
The amount and type of compensation that is available in a civil lawsuit over sexual abuse depends on the specific facts of the case, and the legal theory you choose (as mentioned above). Regardless of the legal theory, damages in a sexual assault case come from the physical and emotional harm a victim suffers, and continues to suffer, as a result of the abuse.
Many times, juries award very high damages due to the egregious nature of these crimes, making the perpetrator liable to pay a ton of money. Unfortunately, defendants such as these tend to not be particularly wealthy, so it may be difficult to collect. Most liability insurance policies exclude coverage for intentional acts such as these, so the only source of compensation is usually the perpetrator’s personal assets.
However, in some cases, a suit can be brought against another party in addition to the perpetrator. For instance, if the incident occurred at a university or a high school, that entity could be liable based on a negligent supervision claim or a failure to provide adequate security.
Contact the Denver Trial Lawyers Today
As a survivor of sexual assault or sexual abuse, you deserve compensation for the harm you have endured. At Denver Trial Lawyers, we are committed to helping you recover with money for therapy, medical expenses, and even simply products that may bring happiness back into your life. If you want to discuss your case, please call (303) 586-3638 or contact us online for a free case evaluation.