Sexual abuse and sexual assault are both serious crimes, and if you have been a victim of either, then you deserve justice for the suffering that you experienced. There are legal measures in place to protect victims of sexual assault, but most people don’t realize there is an opportunity for a civil suit to claim for damages after a criminal case has finished—even if there was no conviction.
We believe victims of sexual assault and abuse are entitled to compensation for their pain and suffering. If you or someone you know is a victim, call our office and speak with an experienced Miami sexual assault attorney who can advise you on the next step and who can handle the case with the compassion you deserve, while representing you with the toughness and experience you need.
Read on to learn more about what the law says concerning sexual assault and getting compensation as a victim.
Sexual Crime Statistics
To get an idea of the magnitude of the sexual assault problem in the United States, we must look closer at the statistics. It is estimated that at least 1 in 5 women and approximately 1 in 71 men in the United States will be a victim of rape or sexual assault in their lifetime.
In the state of Florida alone, more than 11,000 sex offenses are reported every year—and that’s not including cases that are unreported altogether or that are reported years after they occurred. This statistic also does not include cases of forcible rape, 6,150 of which are reported every year.
Sexual crime, abuse, and assault are huge problems in the United States, and it is likely that you or someone you know will be involved in such a case in your lifetime. There are laws in place that protect victims of such crimes, but oftentimes, criminal proceedings are not enough. According to the law, victims can still claim for compensation after a criminal case, even if the attacker was not convicted of the crime. The services of an experienced sexual assault lawyer in Miami can direct you toward the next step in moving your case forward.
When you are a victim, the additional trauma of a court case can mean you are put under significant pressure. Our attorneys understand the sensitivity of the case, and when you contact our sexual assault lawyer in Miami, you will speak with a leader in the field of victim representation.
Criminal Versus Civil Cases
Criminal cases deal with criminal matters, and when someone is arrested for a crime, the criminal case is the first legal proceeding to deal with the crime. During criminal cases, the main goal is to obtain an adequate punishment for the crime that has been committed, which, in the case of sexual assault, rape, and abuse, can mean prison time.
However, criminal cases only focus on punishing the attacker for the crime itself, leaving the victim with lifelong injuries they are not compensated for. While a criminal case is able to offer some justice, it is not able to provide the victim with financial compensation for any losses, damages, or injuries sustained as a result of the crime.
This is the gap filled by civil law, and this is why you will want the services of an excellent sexual assault attorney in Miami who has won cases just like yours before and who can represent your case with the experience you need to win.
Suing for Sexual Assault
There is no definition in civil lawsuits that expressly covers the term “sexual assault,” so in many cases, other charges have to be brought in a civil capacity after the criminal case has already been concluded. If you have been a victim of sexual assault, it is likely you are able to claim compensation from those involved and responsible, including the institutions and parties that might have known about but did not report the abuse.
Just after a sexual assault, you are still emotionally vulnerable and traumatized by the event. It is at this time that you could use the services of a personal injury lawyer who can help you gather the facts and build a strong case so you get the full compensation to which you are entitled as a victim.
Examples of Sexual Assault
Sexual assault and abuse can occur in many ways, and some are less obvious than others. There is much stigma associated with sex crimes and reporting them, which means many sexual assault cases are not reported, and this prevents victims of sexual assault and abuse from coming forward.
Sexual assault and abuse can take many forms, and these forms need not involve physical rape or penetration to be considered sexual abuse or assault. There is a provision for a definition within criminal law, though in a civil suit, you will have to claim for damages that were incurred as a result of the crime, and this might include many other charges related to sexual assault (such as assault, kidnapping, and intimidation).
The Statute of Limitations
You will likely have heard of the statute of limitations when it comes to sexual assault and abuse cases, as it has been in the news considerably over the past few years while people have been coming forward with cases of sexual assault and abuse years after they took place.
Some cases have no statute of limitations—usually aggravated forms of rape that involve extremely serious injuries or that are combined with assault with a weapon or by more than one perpetrator.
For underage victims, there are specialized terms. Cases have to be brought within seven years of the victim becoming 18 years of age and four years after leaving the care of the perpetrator.
Compensation for Loss and Trauma
As the victim of a sexual assault or crime, you can claim compensation for any loss or trauma that you experienced as a result. Oftentimes, this is monetary compensation to cover medical expenses, counseling, or damages for loss and trauma. However, your compensation does not have to be only monetary; many times in a civil case for sexual assault or abuse, the victims can also stop the event from occurring again to others by bringing the issue to the public’s attention and holding the attacker responsible.
An Expert Attorney’s Advice
As a victim of a sexual assault or crime, you deserve compensation for what has happened to you. But the legal aspects of such a lawsuit can be hard to define, especially if you are a victim who has dealt with significant emotional trauma and financial losses as a result of the crime. That is why you want the services of a personal injury attorney in Miami who can take charge of the case and give you the representation and justice you deserve.