Surviving sexual abuse is an experience that can take a toll on the victim’s life in many ways. Some of the costs are financial, such as medical bills, while others have a deep psychological impact. If you are recovering from molestation, rape, or an attempted sexual attack, a sexual abuse lawyer in Casper, Wyoming or Cheyenne, Wyoming can help you hold everyone involved in the crime responsible.
Can You Get Compensation By Proving Sexual Abuse or Assault?
In addition to pressing criminal charges against the person who assaulted you and any individuals who were complicit in the act, you are legally entitled to sue your attacker for damages. If the attack occurred in a workplace, school, religious venue, or another organization, you may also be able to file a personal injury claim against the institution.
The Duty of Care in the Context of Sexual Abuse
The success of your personal injury claim will be based on your ability to show that the liable party violated a duty of care that they owed you. In sexual abuse cases, the duty of care often pertains to an organization’s responsibility to take reasonable measures to keep its premises safe.
For example, if you were assaulted by a coworker, you may be able to file a claim against your employer for failing to provide a safe work environment. If the attack occurred in a nightclub, you could hold the owners accountable for not providing proper security. In cases of sex trafficking, hotels are often found liable for looking the other way. These are just some examples of the ways various parties can play a role in sexual abuse.
The Cost of Sexual Abuse
While receiving compensation cannot change the fact that the attack happened, every victim deserves the support they need to find a sense of closure and offset the costs of the abuse. Recovering from sexual abuse is always difficult and can frequently involve significant:
If you went to the emergency room after the attack, your medical expenses might include your evaluation and a rape kit. Some victims do not seek medical attention right away but are eventually seen by their primary care physician or another medical professional. Pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases can warrant additional medical attention beyond treating any immediate injuries.
The effects of sexual abuse often stay with the victim for the rest of their life. Self-esteem issues, anxiety, suicidal tendencies, sleep disorders, and many other psychological conditions, including anorexia and bulimia, are commonly reported among victims of sexual assault. Many victims receive counseling or therapy to manage these issues, and the treatments can go on for years or even decades.
Physical and Emotional Suffering
The injuries and psychological conditions described above take a toll that goes beyond the cost of the treatments they require. In personal injury law, physical pain and emotional distress are considered “non-economic damages.” Noneconomic damages do not have a fixed financial value but can be very costly to the victim.
In addition to stress, depression, and all of the complex emotions that come up after an attack, scaring and other forms of disfigurement can factor into your noneconomic damages. If you find that your attitude towards life is different or that you no longer want to engage in activities you once found enjoyable, the change in your outlook can be reflected in your compensation.
If you were attacked, you may need to take time off work to recover. Legally, the liable parties are responsible for compensating the wages you miss. If your physical and psychological injuries were particularly severe, you may never be able to resume all of your old job responsibilities. Both the work hours that you missed and your reduced earning capacity factor into the overall cost of the attack.
Receiving Compensation for Your Losses
As the victim of sexual abuse, you are entitled to receive an amount of compensation that is proportionate to all of the losses discussed in the previous section, including the damages you experienced immediately after the attack and the ones you expect to continue into the future. In addition, you may be eligible to receive punitive damages, which are intended to punish the perpetrator.
A sexual abuse lawyer in Casper, Wyoming or Cheyenne, Wyoming can help you understand the monetary value of the compensation you are eligible to receive and the best way to pursue it. He or she can help you identify which parties played a role in your attack and where to direct your claim or claims.
Seeking Damages in Court
Some sexual abuse cases are decided in court. Suing the perpetrator for damages is a process that proceeds separately from the criminal trial. Whether or not your attacker is convicted, you may still be able to receive compensation.
Receiving a Settlement Offer
If you are filing a claim against a company or an organization that has liability insurance, your case will likely resolve in a settlement. A settlement is an amount of money that the insurance company offers the victim in exchange for resolving the issue without going to trial.
When you receive a settlement offer, it may or may not be an appropriate amount of money. The payout you receive should be sufficient to cover all of the expenses associated with your attack as well as your noneconomic damages. Your lawyer can help you decide when it is in your interests to accept the offer, when you can negotiate for more, and when to take the issue to court.
Finding a Sexual Abuse Lawyer in Casper, Wyoming or Cheyenne, Wyoming
It takes strength and courage to stand up to your attacker and demand the compensation you deserve. At the same time, holding everyone who was involved accountable can help to restore your sense of agency. You should not have to go through the process alone. Our lawyers will handle your case with compassion and dignity, helping you pursue justice to the full extent of the law.
We have helped countless sexual abuse victims recover significant amounts of compensation from both individuals and large organizations. We have the resources and experience needed to stand up to powerful institutions and their insurance companies. We can also help prepare you for all the challenging aspects of your case, including potentially facing your perpetrator in court.
Schedule a Consultation
We offer free consultations to victims of sexual abuse who are ready to pursue compensation for their losses. Even if you are not sure you want to file a personal injury claim or press charges yet, speaking with a lawyer can help clarify the path forward. Our office is a safe space where anything you say will be strictly confidential, and our lawyers will act in your interests exclusively.
Pursuing Your Case With Legal Representation You Can Trust
The compensation you receive in a sexual abuse case can go a long way towards giving you a sense of closure and offsetting the damages you experienced. You should not need to navigate the legal system alone. Our goal is to bring competence and compassion to your case, empowering you to fight for the outcome you deserve. To speak with a sexual abuse lawyer in Casper, Wyoming or Cheyenne, Wyoming, contact Ochs Law Firm.