Houston Attorney to Represent Sexual Abuse Victims
Victims and survivors of sexual abuse often feel alone and scared. Bringing accusations against someone who harmed you can be difficult, especially if that person is someone in a position of power, trust, or authority. You deserve compensation for the harm you suffered, and you deserve help and advocacy from an experienced sexual abuse victim attorney.
The Queenan Law Firm’s Houston sexual abuse victim lawyers represent the victims of sexual assault and sexual abuse and work to hold their abusers accountable for the harm they caused. Our lawyers offer free, confidential consultations to compassionately listen to your claim and discuss more information about how to file and how your case can proceed. Our attorneys can represent you in court and fight to get you the compensation and justice you deserve by filing a civil lawsuit in addition to any criminal charges you may report. For a free legal consultation on your sexual abuse or sexual assault case, call our law offices today at (817) 476-1797.
Time Limit to File Sexual Abuse Claims in Texas
One of the biggest issues in many sexual abuse or sexual assault cases is the “statute of limitations.” Nearly any case filed in court in Texas has a strict time limit associated with it. If the case is filed too late, the claim might be dropped regardless of how guilty the defendant is. Since many sexual abuse cases involve child victims or people who may be afraid or ashamed of coming forward, these cases are often filed years later. It is important to talk to a lawyer about filing your case as soon as you can to make sure you meet the deadlines.
Typically, assault cases have a 2-year statute of limitations. This means that the case must be filed in court within 2 years after the assault took place. Fortunately, sexual abuse and sexual assault that meet the definition of certain crimes, such as aggravated sexual assault or continuous sexual abuse of a young child, have an extended deadline. This covers some of the most severe cases of assault, which victims may be able to file even years after other deadlines may have passed.
This extended deadline is 15 years for many cases involving child victims and 5 years for many other forms of sexual assault. The Texas legislature is also in the process of amending the 15-year deadline and may double it to 30 years.
Suing Abusers for Sexual Abuse and Sexual Assault in Texas
Many instances of sexual abuse involve grooming and secrecy enforced by someone in a position of authority or trust. Many examples of sexual abuse of minors in recent years have involved priests, doctors, and teachers who took advantage of children expected to trust them. These instances of abuse may allow you to sue not only the abuser but also the institution they worked for.
The abuser is directly liable for any intentional harm they caused you. If you were subjected to harmful or offensive touching that you did not consent to, the assailant may be held accountable for assault or sexual assault. In cases where a minor seemingly consented to the act, it is important to remember that consent from an underage person does not legally count as consent, and nearly any sexual touching is considered assault when committed against a minor.
To hold the institution or organization responsible, you must prove that they were somehow responsible. For instance, some organizations have a history of moving known abusers to new communities to hide their wrongdoing. If they placed a known abuser in your community and put you at risk rather than referring the abuser to the authorities, you may be able to sue the organization as well as the abuser. You may also be able to sue an institution or employer for negligent supervision or insufficient background checks and investigations.
Damages for Sexual Abuse and Assault in Texas
Victims of sexual abuse and sexual assault face a wide range of harms. The first and most concrete harm that you may face is physical injury. If you were injured in the assault, you may need medical attention to treat your wounds, administer a rape kit, or treat you for other physical effects of the assault. The cost of this healthcare should be paid by the responsible parties, and you can prove the damages you faced by producing medical bills. Other financial effects of the assault can also be claimed in court by providing financial records and statements of the cost.
The second category of damages that people commonly face involves the physical and mental effects of the assault. The physical pain and discomfort of the unwanted contact or assault can be incredibly severe, but the mental and emotional harm of the assault can be even more serious. Victims should be entitled to direct damages for the mental anguish and emotional distress they faced as well as the physical pain and discomfort. Mental health treatment, counseling, and therapy related to the assault should also be covered by damages claimed in a sexual abuse lawsuit.
Talk to a lawyer about what other damages may be relevant in your case.
Call Our Houston Sexual Abuse Victim Lawyers for a Free Consultation
If you or a loved one was the victim of sexual abuse or sexual assault in Texas, call our Houston attorneys to represent sexual abuse victims. The Queenan Law Firm’s compassionate staff of injury and abuse attorneys is available to investigate your case and fight to seek justice and financial compensation for survivors like you. To set up a free, confidential legal consultation with our attorneys, contact our law offices today at (817) 476-1797.