Sexual assault is all too common in today’s society. If you or someone you know was the victim of sexual assault, the attorneys at the Lopez Law Group are here to assist. Sexual predators should be brought to justice and our attorneys will not stop fighting on your behalf until you get the justice you deserve. The toll that sexual assault takes on the victims can stick with someone for a lifetime and may never go away. Knowing your rights and what you should do to hold the responsible party accountable is very important.

What is sexual assault?

There are many forms of sexual abuse. Whether someone is the victim of rape, sexual harassment, molestation or any other sexual crime, all of these fall under the category of sexual abuse. The surprising fact is that most victims are subjected to sexual abuse by someone they know and trust. It could be a family member, a member of a church, an organization the person belongs to or even a fellow employee. It is very important to understand that if you are the victim of a sexual assault, treatment is very important. The emotional damage can stay with someone their entire life and seeking treatment from a professional is a very important step to recovery.

What should you do if you were the victim of sexual assault?

Often times a sexual assault case involves both civil and criminal aspects. While the criminal aspect will subject the abuser to potential jail time, possible fines and/or probation, the civil aspect is where the victim has a chance to recoup monetarily for the damage they suffered. The issue with pursuing an abuser for the damages you suffered related to the sexual abuse is that often times the abuser does not have the money available to pay any judgment you may receive. If they are unable to pay, you might be able to go after them and obtain assets they may have to satisfy the judgment. The reason that it is so difficult to collect money is because there is no insurance coverage which will cover this type of tort. Typically, if there was an auto accident or a slip and fall and you were injured, there will be an insurance company which covers the losses. But most of these insurance policies exclude intentional torts, which is where sexual abuse falls.

In addition to filing a claim against the responsible party, there is also the potential depending on the circumstances of the abuse, to file a claim against a responsible party. For instance, if someone was abused at a workplace or other entity, that entity could potentially be on the hook as well under a theory of negligent retention or negligent supervision. Essentially, the entity hired someone who they knew had a propensity to commit such acts or did not do enough investigation to discover this prior to hiring them.

Is there a timeline on when you can file a sexual assault claim?

When it comes to Florida law, a person filing a claim for sexual assault in civil court must do so within the following timelines:

7 years after the victim reaches the age of majority, which is 18 years old in the state of Florida;
4 years after the victim leaves the dependency of the abuser or 4 years from the time of the discovery of both the injury and the causal relationship between the injury and the abuse (whichever date is later between these two options); and
With sexual battery involving a minor under 16 years old, there is no statute of limitation.

Should you hire an attorney to pursue a sexual assault claim?

If you or someone you know was the victim of a sexual assault, you might want to consult with an attorney regarding your rights and potential remedies. An experienced sexual assault attorney can review the facts of your case and determine if you have a valid claim. They will be able to sit down with you and discuss this very difficult situation and give you candid advice about the specifics. Our attorneys can be reached at 727-933-0015. Our consultations are always free, and our attorneys are standing by ready to assist. If you were the victim of sexual assault, you deserve justice. You should not have to go through life with the constant reminder of what happened. Holding the abuser accountable is one form of justice available. Give us a call today and we would be more than happy to speak with you and point you in the right direction.