Injuries from intentional sexual abuse can be some of the most debilitating injuries a person is forced to endure. While people who commit such actions typically face criminal charges, the people they injured are able to seek justice in civil court as well. A Charleston sexual abuse lawyer could help you evaluate your recoverable damages after an assault, explain your legal options, and help you hold sexual abusers liable for their actions. In the process, your compassionate personal injury attorney could also help collect evidence of injuries and damage suffered to help you seek restitution for your medical costs, loss of income, and emotional suffering.
Sexual Abuse and Civil Lawsuits
Physical assault in Charleston typically leads to criminal charges. While this may result in a convicted defendant being sent to jail or facing extensive penalties, criminal courts cannot order the defendant to provide compensation to those they harmed beyond easily provable economic damages such as medical bills and lost property, which may not necessarily be a factor in a sexual abuse case.
Fortunately, people who have suffered sexual abuse can still seek compensation for all their damages through a civil claim. It is important to note, though, that while a criminal conviction is powerful evidence in a civil claim, it does not guarantee a plaintiff will be awarded compensation. To successfully seek civil damages, harmed people must pursue a civil lawsuit alleging that the sexual abuse resulted in physical injury, economic damages, or mental anguish.
In cases involving sexual violence, the damage sustained could have had a significant impact on someone’s life. Consequently, those seeking damages may wish to have a Charleston sexual abuse lawyer help evaluate their case to ensure they demand appropriate compensation.
Charleston Statute of Limitations
Certain laws govern when those harmed by sexual abuse can file a civil claim. Generally, any claim alleging injury must be brought to the court within three years of discovering the injury. This deadline is referred to as the statute of limitations.
However, there are legal exceptions to this deadline. In accordance with South Carolina Code §15-3-555, any sexual abuse that occurred while the plaintiff was under the age of 21 would be subject to a different time limit. People impacted by childhood abuse have six years from the date they turn 21 to file a claim. This allows people who may have repressed memories of abuse or feared coming forward to still pursue a claim after they come of age.
People who suffered childhood abuse may particularly benefit from speaking to a sexual abuse lawyer in Charleston for help evaluating the impact of abuse on their lives. This may help them decide on the level of compensation to demand in a civil lawsuit, as well as on how to go about proving abuse that happened several years prior.
A Charleston Sexual Abuse Attorney Could Provide Valuable Support
If you were a victim of sexual abuse, you are almost certainly familiar with the life-long impact this criminal act can have. If you can trace the source of this trauma to the actions of another party, though, you have the right to file a civil lawsuit against the defendant regardless of whether they faced or are currently facing criminal charges.
A qualified Charleston sexual abuse lawyer could use the proceedings from a criminal trial to help you pursue justice. Alternatively, they could work independently on your behalf to collect evidence from local police, file a comprehensive civil claim, and demand appropriate compensation at trial or in a private settlement.
Allow a compassionate attorney to stand by your side while you fight for justice. Reach out today to schedule a private consultation and begin working on your case.