While most lawsuits are considered public records, you may have options for filing a sex abuse lawsuit anonymously. Survivors of sexual abuse could submit a civil lawsuit against their abuser under a pseudonym, such as John Doe or Jane Doe.
Submitting a civil action isn’t a straightforward process, and you may find it less challenging to manage your case by hiring a Washington sexual abuse lawyer. Your legal team can explain your options and highlight the benefits of filing your lawsuit anonymously.
It Might Not Be Possible to Remain 100% Anonymous When Filing a Sex Abuse Lawsuit
It is possible to remain completely anonymous to the public when you file a sex abuse or sexual assault lawsuit. This means that on public records, your name would not appear to be involved in the case.
However, certain parties involved in your case may know your name. For example, the liable party’s attorneys and the court may know your identity. The person you’re suing may also be informed of your identity.
Your lawyer can seek a confidentiality agreement, which ensures any parties involved in the case must keep all information about the case to themselves. This prevents anyone who wasn’t involved in the case from having access to the details of your lawsuit.
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Benefits of Filing a Sex Abuse Lawsuit Anonymously
By filing your lawsuit under a pseudonym, you can decide if you want people to know about the case. Some benefits of filing anonymously include:
- People cannot search your name online and find that you’re connected to a sex abuse lawsuit.
- The liable party won’t be allowed to disclose any details about the case or your identity to anyone they know.
- You decide if you want certain friends and family members to know about the case.
When you hire a personal injury attorney, they can explain more about what it’s like to file a sexual abuse claim anonymously.
Some Sexual Abuse Survivors Benefit From Filing Their Cases Publicly
It’s understandable to want to file your case privately. You have been through a lot, and you might not want many people to know about your abuse claims. However, some survivors file their lawsuits publicly because:
- It can help reduce the stigma surrounding discussions of sexual abuse, encouraging other survivors to take legal action against their abusers.
- Facing their abuser and publicly sharing their story allows them to feel a sense of justice.
- It can help them gain support from members of their community, whether that community is a college, church, or neighborhood.
Case decisions are ultimately up to you. Still, talking to a law firm may make the legal process more approachable. Your legal team can help you decide whether to file anonymously or publicly.
Even If You Remain Anonymous, Your Legal Team Can Collect Evidence to Support Your Sexual Abuse Case
Some sexual abuse survivors may be worried that remaining anonymous can affect the strength of their cases. Witness statements and police reports can be used to support your claims, but it can be tricky to stay anonymous as more parties become involved in your case.
Fortunately, the parties in your case may be required to sign a confidentiality agreement. All parties who have a role in your case, such as lay and expert witnesses, will be unable to talk about your case outside of court.
Because of the confidentiality clauses in an agreement, your attorneys can seek the following evidence while still protecting your identity:
- Witness statements
- The police report
- Your medical records
- Proof of your income
- Photos and videos of the site of the abuse
- Visual proof of your injuries
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You Have a Limited Time to File Your Lawsuit Even if Your Identity Is Anonymous
Regardless of whether you file anonymously or publicly, you must follow the filing deadlines outlined in your state’s statute of limitations. If you are in Washington state, you generally have three years to file your lawsuit, according to RCW § 4.16.340
Some exceptions may apply, depending on the details of your case. To learn more about the legal process for sex abuse lawsuits, you might want to consider reaching out to a personal injury law firm.
Damages You Can Recover by Filing a Sexual Abuse Lawsuit
Filing a civil lawsuit can help you recover damages for the economic and non-economic losses you suffered. By taking legal action, you may recover compensation for:
- Medical expenses, such as the cost of doctor’s appointments, travel to appointments, medical testing, and prescription medications
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental anguish, such as emotional distress, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, or depression
- Lost income and reduced earning capacity if your mental or physical injuries prevent you from earning a living
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Impaired quality of life
Your legal team will assess your case to determine which of these losses are recoverable.
Your Law Firm Will Keep Your Information Confidential
Before you anonymously file your lawsuit, the personal injury law firm that leads your case will keep your information confidential. You can contact a law office near you to discuss your case and ask for legal advice during a free legal consultation.
Anonymous case or not, according to Washington State Courts, attorneys cannot discuss information about any cases unless they must for safety purposes.
Call Jackman Law Firm to Discuss Filing an Anonymous Sex Abuse Lawsuit
At Jackman Law Firm, we advocate for those who have endured sexual abuse. Our team is here to guide your case, and we can explain your options for remaining anonymous as you seek justice.
To get started on your case, give us a call today. We will explain your legal options during a confidential consultation.