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Hollister Sexual Abuse Lawyers

Sexual abuse can inflict unimaginable pain and trauma on victims. These feelings can increase if the perpetrator doesn’t face any criminal punishment for the misconduct.

This scenario happens more than anyone would like to admit. Fortunately, there are other ways to hold your attacker accountable. In California, sexual abuse victims can file a civil claim against their attacker to recover damages for the harm suffered as a result of the sexual abuse. Additionally, victims of sexual harassment can file a civil claim to recover damages for harm suffered as a result of the sexual harassment.

If you or a loved one suffered sexual abuse, reach out to one of our Hollister sexual abuse attorneys to determine if you’re entitled to file a civil claim. We understand that sexual abuse victims need emotional support. We will assist in whatever ways we can to help you recover from your accident and succeed in your civil lawsuit. Our compassionate approach is what sets Silva Injury Law, Inc. apart. Contact our Hollister sexual abuse attorney today to start your free consultation.

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What Victims Can Bring a Civil Lawsuit?

California allows victims of sexual abuse to bring a civil lawsuit against their attacker to recover damages for the harm suffered as a result of the attack. Sex crimes that can give rise to a sexual abuse civil suit include:

  • Rape,
  • Attempted rape,
  • Indecent exposure,
  • Groping,
  • Sexual abuse of a child,
  • Sexual harassment, and
  • Any act of a sexual nature that was not consensual.

If you’re unsure whether you have a valid civil claim for sexual abuse, our team of Hollister sexual abuse lawyers can help figure it out. Contact our office today to get started.

Statute of Limitations for Sexual Abuse Civil Actions

For adult sexual abuse victims, California imposes a two-year statute of limitations that begins running on the day of the sexual assault. That means you need to bring your civil claim no later than two years after the assault occurs.

California law lets victims who suffered sexual abuse as children file a lawsuit until the later of the following:

  • The victim’s 40th birthday; or
  • Five years from when the victim discovered or reasonably should have discovered that the sexual assault or abuse caused a psychological injury or illness that emerged after the victim’s 18th birthday.

If the victim is over 40, California requires:

  • A certificate of merit from a mental health professional who has not treated the plaintiff previously, stating that there is a valid reason why the plaintiff could not have discovered the harm sooner; or
  • A certificate of merit from the plaintiff’s lawyer stating that he or she reviewed the case and the findings of a mental health professional and has concluded that the claim has merit.

These exceptions to the typical statute of limitations for personal injury cases permit those who suffered sexual abuse as children to bring civil claims against their abusers decades after the typical statute of limitations would allow.

What About Criminal Charges?

California allows sexual abuse victims to hold their attacker accountable through the criminal and civil court systems. However, there is no guarantee the prosecutor’s office will agree to file charges against the perpetrator if evidence is lacking. That being said, you can file a civil lawsuit against your attacker even if you never reported the incident to law enforcement authorities.

What Damages Can I Recover in a Sexual Abuse Civil Suit?

The goal of a civil suit is to recover damages to compensate you for the harm you suffered as a result of the sexual abuse. Damages often claimed in sexual assault civil lawsuits include:

  • Costs of psychological treatment,
  • Hospital bills,
  • Costs of attending therapy,
  • Lost wages,
  • Loss of earning capacity,
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD),
  • Anxiety, and
  • Loss of enjoyment of life.

The facts of each individual claim dictate the amount of damages you’re entitled to. California also allows victims to seek punitive damages for sexual abuse claims if there’s evidence of oppression, fraud, or malice by the defendant.

Our Hollister Sexual Abuse Lawyer Can Help You

At Silva Injury Law, Inc., our Hollister sexual abuse attorneys understand that victims show extreme courage by simply reporting their attacker. We want to give you another way to hold the perpetrator accountable by filing a civil lawsuit.

Our experienced legal team also handles other types of injury cases, including:

We are committed to doing whatever we can to ensure you obtain a favorable outcome and receive the compensation you deserve. Contact our office today to discuss your case. We look forward to serving you.

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Promoting Healing Through Compassionate Advocacy

We believe that our duty goes beyond achieving large monetary awards for our clients. We strive first to be decent human beings who seek not to stir up fights, but to solve problems.

As a peacemaker, the lawyer has a superior opportunity of being a good man. There will still be enough business.

- Abraham Lincoln