Civil Claims in a Sexual Abuse Lawsuit
When imagining a sexual abuse court a case, a criminal proceeding is probably the first thought on the minds of many. But shouldn’t the guilty party also be held financially responsible for the victim’s pain and anguish? Sexual abuse survivors are often left with emotional scars that can affect them for the remainder of their lives. Additionally, in some situations, physical scarring can significantly diminish a survivor’s quality of life.
A CBS News affiliate is reporting about a Florida man who faces several counts of sexual battery, stemming from alleged abuse of a minor. The 68-year-old is accused of committing the acts between 2005 and 2011 with a minor girl. What reportedly started as fondling progressed into sexual acts that left the girl bruised and physically injured. According to reports, the accused made the victim black out through the use of pressure point techniques. She alleges that upon waking, he was fondling her. The victim also alleges that the accused made her fearful for life and eventually began using laughing gas to disorient her during the abuse.
As stated in the arrest warrant, the accused is also alleged to have used surgical instruments on the victim to remove fat from parts of her body and inject into her breasts. Along with the emotional trauma that this type of abuse can cause, the victim also reportedly suffers from fainting spells and difficulties with her heart due to the victim repeatedly exposing her to chloroform.
Possible Civil Claims Under a Sexual Abuse Lawsuit
There are several legal claims possible under a sexual abuse lawsuit, depending on the circumstances of the situation. These include:
Pain and suffering – This claim is generally based on the physical injury that occurred and the monetary damages that stemmed from that injury. Compensation may include reimbursement for medical bills and loss of wages.
Mental anguish – This claim is based on the mental and emotional pain that was reasonably caused by the injury. This number may prove hard to quantify. It may increase depending on the amount of time that the abuse continued, as well as the level of violence or physical pain that the victim endured.
Decreased enjoyment of life – This claim is generally based on the future of the victim and the value of life that the victim will experience having endured sexual abuse. For example, if the abusive behavior affected the victim in a way that he or she is not able to adequately function in society, this compensation amount may increase. It may also increase for a situation where a female is unable to have children due to injuries that sexual abuse caused.
An experienced attorney can help you determine which claim best fits your case, as well as how to best present evidence to the court. With the help of a competent attorney, you can pursue the financial compensation that you deserve. It is important to note that there is no longer a statute of limitations on civil suits against sexual abusers in Florida.
If you or your loved one was the victim of sexual abuse in the West Palm Beach area, our personal injury attorneys at Gary Roberts & Associate, P.A. can provide you with skilled representation. Reach out to us today for an initial consultation and to learn how we can be of assistance.