Survivors of child sex abuse in Washington State can bring criminal charges against their abuser and the institutions that enabled them, but they can also file a child sex abuse lawsuit. A civil suit may yield not only justice but also compensation that can help survivors access the medical treatment they require to recover.
If you or your child is a survivor of sexual abuse in Washington State, you do not have to take on a lawsuit alone. You have the right to hire a Washington State sex abuse attorney to lead your case. They can explain and assist with all the required steps in filing a lawsuit.
Assessing Damages in a Child Sex Abuse Lawsuit
Child sex abuse can result in more than just emotional trauma. Survivors can also suffer from physical injuries and require a lifetime of therapy to cope with their trauma. Their trauma can also cause them to fall behind in academics and experience developmental delays. Later on in their lives, these issues can interrupt their careers, causing them to take time off work and miss out on opportunities for advancement, according to Health Economics.
While pressing criminal charges can offer a sense of justice, a conviction will not provide any compensation to help a survivor cope with their losses. A Washington State sexual abuse lawyer can help them file a civil lawsuit to seek such financial recovery, though. They can seek both economic and non-economic damages.
A personal injury law firm can seek the following economic damages for a survivor of child sexual abuse:
- Current medical expenses for any immediate treatments the childhood sexual abuse survivor requires
- Ongoing medical expenses for therapy, medication, and any long-term treatment
- Lost income
- Reduced earning capacity
A lawyer can gather your medical records, income statements, and other documents to assess these losses.
A sex abuse lawyer can also seek awards for non-economic losses, such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of quality of life
A legal team can determine what monetary value to assign to these non-economic losses.
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Identifying a Liable Party in a Child Sex Abuse Lawsuit
You can take legal action against any party that proves liable for the abuse you or your child suffered. In child sex abuse cases, multiple parties may be responsible, especially if the abuse occurred within an institution. Consider the following potentially liable parties in a child sex abuse case:
- Clergy and religious leaders, as well as the religious institution where the abuse occurred
- Teachers and schools
- Daycare centers and caregivers
- Camp counselors and summer camps
- Another parent
- A medical professional, as well as the medical facility itself
A sex abuse attorney can listen to your story and determine which parties played a role in your or your child’s abuse. They can then pursue legal action to hold these parties accountable.
Understanding the Filing Deadline for a Child Sex Abuse Lawsuit
Another important part of filing a child sexual abuse lawsuit in Washington State is meeting the state-imposed deadline. Each state has a statute of limitations for filing different types of lawsuits. Under RCW § 4.16.340, survivors generally have three years from the date of the incident that resulted in injuries or three years from the date they should have reasonably discovered the incident resulted in injuries to file a child sexual abuse lawsuit. This deadline is tolled for minors, though. The clock starts counting down when they turn 18, so they usually have until they reach 21 to take legal action.
The reason for this toll is because survivors of child sex abuse often require time to realize the abuse they endured or feel safe enough to report it, according to Psychology, Health & Medicine. Various factors, such as social stigmas, can silence survivors. Legislators often introduce bills to extend the deadline for legal action, so these statutes of limitations are often evolving.
A Washington State child sex abuse attorney can listen to your story in your own words and determine how long you have to file a lawsuit. From there, they can help streamline the legal process as much as possible.
Seeking Compassionate Legal Care When Filing a Child Sex Abuse Lawsuit
It takes courage for survivors of child sex abuse to hold their perpetrators accountable. They deserve compassionate and confidential legal counsel when they are ready to seek justice. A lawyer can help you in the following ways:
- They can provide personalized legal care, meaning they tailor a legal strategy to suit your particular situation.
- They can handle all the communication with the liable party, their insurers, and their defense attorneys so that you do not have to deal with your abuser directly.
- They can take your case on a contingency-fee basis so that you do not have to pay any upfront fees to start your case. This can help you meet your legal deadline.
You may have suffered alone in silence for a long time, but you do not have to handle your lawsuit alone. You deserve to hire a lawyer you feel comfortable with. They can navigate the legal process while you focus on your recovery.
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Resources for Child Sex Abuse Survivors
Aside from taking legal action to seek justice, survivors of child sex abuse can also receive help from different organizations, such as the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN). Through their hotline service, this organization helps survivors access resources to help them through their recovery.
Call Jackman Law Firm When Filing a Child Sex Abuse Lawsuit in Washington State
Jackman Law Firm is here to listen to your story and help you seek justice and compensation. Call us for a free consultation, and we can explain more about filing a child sex abuse lawsuit in Washington State.