Irving, TX Attorney for Sexual Assault Victims
If you were the victim of sexual assault, then you know first-hand that the pain and the mental and emotional distress of the situation are far beyond what anyone should be forced to deal with. Seeking justice for your sexual assault may, for many victims, involve filing a police report and seeking criminal charges for the abuser. Our Irving, TX attorneys for sexual assault victims also encourage victims to consider a civil lawsuit for damages.
A civil lawsuit for sexual assault can help you get compensation for the harm you suffered as well as compensation for medical bills and therapy bills related to your assault. You could also be entitled to punitive damages to punish the assailant, which the criminal court usually cannot provide. For help with your potential case, call our Irving lawyers for sexual assault victims at The Queenan Law Firm for a free, confidential legal consultation. Our number is (817) 476-1797.
How to File a Case for Sexual Assault in Irving
After being sexually assaulted or sexually abused in Irving, Texas, you might have options for how to handle your case. Many people work through the personal struggles of dealing with sexual assault for a long time, but once they are ready to seek justice, there are usually two main options to pursue: a criminal case or a civil case.
Filing Criminal Charges for Sexual Assault
As a victim, you have the option of reporting the assault against you to the police. Once you do this, the police and local prosecutors can press charges against the abuser, and you could be asked to testify in court against them. Throughout this process, the focus will be on punishing the offender with jail time and fines rather than helping you as the victim. While sometimes criminal cases result in restitution to the victim for things like medical bills, these are not always paid – and they are not always paid at a level that covers your full damages after a sexual assault.
To file a criminal case against a sexual assaulter in Irving, you can call the police or talk to a local prosecutor about what happened to you, and they will ask you questions to gain information about the case, then file the case if they find charges appropriate.
Filing a Civil Case for Sexual Assault
Whether or not you file a criminal case, you also have the option of filing a civil case for your assault. This lawsuit has a lower standard of evidence – lower than the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard in criminal cases – which can usually help victims win their case. This case also focuses on compensating the victim rather than punishing the defendant, helping victims get monetary compensation for what happened to them.
To file a civil lawsuit against your abuser, talk to an Irving sexual assault victim attorney about filing the case in court.
Damages for Sexual Assault Victims in Irving, TX
Victims of sexual assault in Irving, TX are often entitled to compensation for what happened to them. A civil case in Texas usually compensates victims for two main areas of damages: economic and noneconomic damages.
Economic damages compensate victims for any economic expenses related to their assault or other injuries. This can include paying for things like hospital bills and therapy bills that the sexual assault caused you, as well as other related costs.
Noneconomic damages compensate victims for the intangible harm they faced. This means compensating you directly for the physical pain you suffered as well as the mental anguish, emotional distress, and other effects.
In many cases where the defendant did something intentional to cause you pain or where their behavior was part of a system of abuse, the court can also order punitive damages. These are additional damages paid to you. The court uses these damages to punish the victim, much like a fine would in a criminal case. Victims of sexual assault can often claim punitive damages against the individual who assaulted them as well as any institutions involved in the assault.
Suing Institutions for Sexual Assault in Irving
Many sexual assault cases happen while the defendant is supposed to be in the course of doing a job. Many children face sexual assault and sexual abuse by priests, teachers, camp counselors, and other people whose job is to care for or supervise the children. Many adults also face sexual assault in college or at work, potentially by supervisors and other authority figures.
Victims of sexual assault by someone who is part of an institution can often sue the institution as well. There are usually two ways that these lawsuits can bring the institution into the case. First, if the individual who assaulted you was in the course of their job duties when the assault happened, you can often sue their employer for their on-the-job mistakes and abuses. Alternatively, you might be able to sue the institution for its own mistakes and failures in the case.
Many institutions fail to properly screen employees, putting unsafe predators on their staff. Other institutions have been accused of failing to properly handle previous allegations of sexual assault, which could put more people at risk when they are exposed to a known predator. In some cases, the institutions have even been accused of protecting known abusers.
When an institution commits serious negligence in allowing sexual assault to happen, they could be forced to pay victims substantial punitive damages.
Call Our Sexual Assault Victim’s Lawyer for Help with a Case in Irving, TX
If you or a loved one was sexually assaulted or subjected to other forms of sexual abuse, the Irving personal injury lawyers at The Queenan Law Firm may be able to help. Our Irving, TX attorney for sexual assault victims fights to help survivors of sexual assault and sexual trauma seek compensation for the harm that was done to them and works to get justice in civil cases against their abusers. For a free, confidential legal consultation, call our law offices today at (817) 476-1797.