It is impossible to say exactly how long sexual abuse lawsuits take to settle because each case is unique. Sexual abuse lawsuits are classified as personal injury lawsuits, and various factors can affect how long the legal process lasts.
Generally, these types of civil lawsuits can take months or even years to resolve. Taking legal action against a perpetrator can be an extremely difficult period for sexual abuse survivors; however, it can give them a sense of justice, and a sexual abuse lawyer in Washington can help them along the way. A lawyer can do everything in their power to make the legal process as comfortable and efficient as possible for their client while offering compassionate, confidential legal support.
Washington State’s Statute of Limitations for Sexual Abuse Lawsuits
If you are considering taking legal action, the first thing to consider is Washington State’s statute of limitations for sexual abuse lawsuits. According to RCW § 4.16.340, survivors of sexual assault and abuse typically have three years to file a lawsuit.
In Washington, minors are also generally granted a three-year statute of limitations to seek financial compensation; however, the countdown for this time limit does not commence until their eighteenth birthday. This means that minors generally have until the age of 21 to file a child sexual abuse lawsuit for financial compensation.
When you work with a sexual abuse attorney, they can determine how this legal deadline applies to your specific case and work to meet it. For example, they can keep their eye on the clock while negotiating with an insurer if you start with filing a claim. They can also do everything in their power to streamline the legal process as much as possible. Your legal team understands that sexual abuse cases can re-traumatize survivors all over again, and they aim to support you throughout the process of seeking justice.
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Not All Personal Injury Claims Will Require a Trial
Another important thing to consider with sexual abuse lawsuits is that they may settle before they reach trial. This has certain benefits. For example, it saves money in court fees. More importantly, it can bring the legal process to an end, saving a sexual abuse survivor from continued emotional trauma. This is especially true since sexual abuse survivors may have to testify if their cases go to trial.
You can work closely with your sexual abuse attorney to assess settlement offers and weigh the pros and cons of taking a case to trial. In some cases, it may be better to settle than risk losing a trial and never even getting a verdict.
Every sexual abuse case is different, and it’s important that you feel in control of certain decisions, like whether or not to settle. Only you can decide what is right in your situation, and you deserve a personal injury lawyer who understands and supports your decision.
A Settlement May Also Occur During a Trial
In some cases, a fair settlement may even be reached during a trial. Once again, it depends on the specific circumstances of each case. A sexual abuse lawyer can assess settlement offers and advise you accordingly. Their goal is fair compensation, but they also take your health and well-being into account when representing you.
How to Support Your Sexual Abuse Lawsuit
When you hire a sexual abuse attorney, they can handle all the aspects of your lawsuit, from filing the necessary paperwork to representing you in trial. There is one way that you can support your case if you are a sexual abuse survivor. The best thing you can do for your health and legal case is to seek any necessary medical treatments, including psychological counseling and therapy.
According to the Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network (RAINN), sexual abuse survivors can suffer serious medical conditions due to their emotional distress, including:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Substance abuse
These conditions can filter into every aspect of a survivor’s life, negatively affecting their career, relationships, and physical health. A sexual abuse lawyer’s goal is to seek compensation that can help their clients access the therapy and counseling they need to cope with these conditions.
Follow Through With Your Medical Treatment Plan
By following your doctor’s or therapist’s recommended treatment plan, you can take steps toward healing and seeking justice. Your medical records will play an important role in your lawsuit, so make sure to keep your appointments.
Your sexual abuse lawyer can use your records and your doctor’s testimony to assess your damages, which include your non-economic damages, like pain and suffering.
You do Not Have to Pay Upfront to Start Your Sexual Abuse Lawsuit
One of the ways some personal injury law firms help their clients is by taking their cases on a contingency-fee basis. This allows them to begin working on their cases immediately, which helps meet legal deadlines and makes the legal process more efficient. These law firms have a fee arrangement that allows them to take a percentage of their clients’ potential compensation instead of charging them upfront fees.
Sexual abuse survivors deserve access to legal representation, and contingency fees allow them that access while also reassuring them that their lawyers are dedicated to their cases.
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Call Jackman Law Firm to Find Out More About How Long Your Sexual Abuse Lawsuit May Take to Settle
At Jackman Law Firm, we understand that you do not want to relive your trauma for any longer than necessary, even if that means recovering a financial settlement. Our sexual abuse lawyers can advocate for you throughout the entire legal process, keeping you updated on its progress and working to streamline it as much as possible.
Call us today for a free legal consultation. When you reach out to us, we are happy to answer any questions you have and explain your next steps.