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Sexual Abuse Lawyer

justice for injured people

Virginia Sexual Assault Attorney For Victims

At RVA Personal Injury Lawyers we understand how traumatic of an experience sexual abuse can be for survivors and their loved ones. Our compassionate and experienced Virginia Sexual Abuse Victims Attorneys are absolutely committed to providing the utmost care and legal expertise to those who have suffered physical and emotional injuries resulting from such a horrifying act. 

Not only are we laser focused on ensuring you get the compensation you deserve, but we also want to be sure that the perpetrator gets held accountable to the fullest extent of the civil code. With our impeccable experience as personal injury attorneys in Virginia, we’re here to defend victims discretely and fully.

If you have suffered injuries because of someone else’s negligence, we are here to help. Sharif Gray has won millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements. Call us at (804) 915-1611 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. We will get justice for you.

What’s Considered Sexual Abuse in Virginia?

Much like in other states, sexual abuse can include a whole host of non-consensual sexual acts occuring at school, the workplace, public/private business, etc.They can include but aren’t limited to: 

  • Sexual harassment 
  • Sexual battery
  • Attempted sexual battery
  • Rape/ Sexual Assault 
  • Molestation 
  • Exploitation 
  • And more

These kinds of offenses can involve any type of unwanted sexual contact, whether that be through force, threat, incapacity, or other circumstances where consent isn’t or can’t be given. 

Aggravated sexual battery, for instance, is a much more severe criminal charge often involving victims who are physically helpless, mentally incapacitated, or even under a certain age. Having an understanding of these definitions is absolutely crucial for survivors seeking justice, as it frames the legal foundation for their claims.

However, it’s important to note that civil cases and criminal cases are two totally separate processes. That means that regardless of whether a person is convicted of these heinous crimes, they can still face civil lawsuits. 

How is Liability Determined in Sexual Abuse Claims?

In sexual abuse civil claims, liability (i.e., fault/responsibility) is typically determined based on the proof or evidence of the act committed as well as the resulting harm to the victim. This process involves understanding third party claims as well as ‘breach of duty’ (in case a third party is negligent in their duties). Learn more below. 

Understanding Third-Party Claims For Sexual Assault

Suppose an individual is a victim of sexual assault or abuse, but they suspect that more than just the accuser is at fault/share responsibility for the incident. This could include schools, employers, or businesses that didn’t take reasonable measures to stop the assault.  In cases like this, the liability can potentially extend to those who negligently allowed the abuse to occur or continue. 

These complicated claims are particularly relevant in situations involving criminal sexual assault in places like local or regional jails, a state correctional facility, and the like, where the complaining witness or alleged victim could possibly hold the institution responsible (in part or whole) for the sexual abuse civil claim.

What’s a Breach of Duty in Relation to Sexual Abuse?

When it comes to sexual abuse and misconduct cases in a civil law setting, a breach of duty refers to the failure of individuals or entities to fulfill their legal obligations – Thus, allowing the abuse to happen or continue. 

Here are a few detailed examples of such types of claims:

  1. Negligent Supervision in Institutions: Suppose a local correctional facility or regional jail fails to adequately monitor its inmates and it leads to an instance of sexual battery or forcible sodomy – this could constitute a breach of duty. The same can apply to schools or care homes where the staff neglect to supervise activities, allowing sexual abuses or indecent exposure to occur.
  2. Failure to Conduct Background Checks: When employers or businesses hire staff without thorough background checks, they could unknowingly employ individuals that have prior convictions for sexual offenses (criminal sexual assault, simple sexual battery, etc.). Depending on the circumstances, this could be considered negligence. 
  3. Ignoring Complaints or Warnings: If a business, correctional facility, or educational institution dismisses or even ignores complaints about inappropriate behavior, and it results in harm coming to a victim, they might be liable. 
  4. Inadequate or Negligent Security Measures: Hospitals, hotels, nursing homes, and other types of facilities may breach their duty if sexual abuse occurs because they didn’t provided sufficient security measures. This could include such premises liabilities claims like poor lighting, lack of surveillance, or inadequate response protocols.
  5. Failure to Follow Reporting Procedures: Suppose complaining witness or victim reports an incident of sexual abuse within a nursing home facility, but the management team doesn’t take reasonably appropriate actions or report it to the proper authorities. This could be considered a very serious breach of duty – Especially in cases where the alleged victim is under the explicit care of the institution in question. 
  6. Lack of Proper Training: Organizations that don’t train their staff adequately to recognize and prevent sexual harassment, or to handle reports correctly, can be held liable. 
  7. Unsafe Environments in Public Places: Public venues or even businesses that don’t maintain reasonably safe environments (i.e., poorly lit parking lots or unmonitored areas) can contribute to instances of sexual assault, abuse, and harassment. This form of negligence can potentially make them liable in a civil lawsuit.

Understanding these different scenarios can be crucial in building a strong premises liability claim for sexual abuse. If you’ve experienced a breach of duty resulting in sexual misconduct, our highly experienced premises liability lawyers in Virginia are here to help you navigate the ins and outs of the legal landscape. We’re 100% committed to ensuring you get the fair settlement and justice you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.

What’s The Statute of Limitations For Sexual Assault Cases?

In general, most sexual abuse civil suits have to be filed within 2 – 20 years from the date of the assault. However, the statute of limitations for civil sexual assault cases in Virginia varies based on the specific set of circumstances surrounding the case, the exact date it took place, as well as the age of the victim at the time of the offense.  

Understanding the intricacies of these time frames in relation to sexual misconduct/abuse cases  is incredibly essential for survivors to ensure their right to seek compensation is preserved. 

What Damages Can Sexual Assault Survivors Sue For?

Survivors of sexual assault, abuse, or harassment can potentially sue the perpetrator and any liable third parties for various damages in a civil suit. That includes compensation for:

  • Medical expenses: Both immediate and ongoing medical treatment, including rehabilitation and mental health services.
  • Pain and suffering: Compensation for the physical and emotional distress endured by the victim due to the abuse that took place. 
  • Lost wages: If the abuse led to the inability to work, either temporarily or permanently, the victim could sue for damages. 
  • Punitive damages: In some cases, additional damages might be awarded to further punish the perpetrator for any form of particularly egregious conduct.

Differences Between Criminal and Civil Sexual Assault Cases

Both civil and criminal sexual assault cases should be taken seriously. However, it should be known that they absolutely differ in their objectives as well as potential outcomes. Criminal cases focus on punishing those who’ve committed a sexual offense like:

  • Rape/Sexual Assault 
  • Attempted Rape/ Sexual Assault 
  • Aggravated Sexual Assault 
  • Simple Sexual Assault 
  • Sexual Assault and Battery
  • Statutory Rape
  • Sexually Molest a Minor 
  • And

If convicted, the perpetrator could face penalties like a prison sentence, fines, signing up for the sex offender registry, and more. Civil cases, on the other hand, have a goal to provide financial compensation to the victim for the harm suffered. It’s important for survivors to understand these distinctions and the outcomes associated with each choice when considering their legal options, including pursuing compensation.

Common Injuries Associated With Sexual Abuse Claims

Sexual abuse, particularly the more egregious cases, can result in a wide range of physical and emotional injuries. They include but are limited to:

  • Physical injuries like bruising, bleeding, or sexually transmitted infections.
  • Emotional and psychological trauma, including anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). 
  • Long-term health & mental health issues that were directly caused by the abuse – which may require ongoing medical/mental health attention.

Every case is different, which is why we encourage victims and their loved ones to discuss the details of their case with an experienced attorney for sexual abuse victims. Not only can your lawyer give you insights about the viability of your case, but they can also conduct the investigation as discreetly as possible and help you pursue maximum damages for the harm caused. 

What To Do If You’ve Been a Victim of Sexual Abuse

If you or a loved one has been a victim of sexual abuse, there are a few steps you can to maintain your safety and safeguard your ability to pursue future legal actions. They can include: 

  1. Seek Immediate Safety: Get yourself in a safe environment as soon as possible. 
  2. Report the Incident: Contact the authorities to report that you’ve been sexually assaulted or abused. This step is vital for criminal proceedings and can even help to support a civil claim. 
  3. Seek Medical Attention: Even if you don’t have any visible physical injuries, it’s absolutely crucial to get examined by a medical professional. 
  4. Document Everything: Keep every record of all the incidents, conversations, and expenses (medical and otherwise) related to the abuse claim. 
  5. Contact a Sexual Abuse Attorney: A highly experienced attorney can guide you through the legal process step-by-step while helping you understand your rights and options.

There are no sexual abuse cases that are the same. Therefore the exact steps you should take may vary case-to-case. With that in mind, it’s in your best interest to consult with a Virginia attorney for sexual abuse claims ASAP to get a clearer understanding of the best path forward for your set of circumstances.  

How Can an Attorney For Sexual Abuse Victims Help?

It’s possible to file a claim for sexual abuse without legal representation. However, in doing so, you may leave yourself vulnerable to low ball settlement offers, infringement of your rights, and worse. With that in mind, here’s how an attorney can help you seek the compensation you deserve after suffering sexual abuse. 

Navigating the Legal System 

Attorneys who are familiar with civil lawsuits involving sexual abuse have an innate understanding of  the intricacies of personal injury law. That means they’ll know what evidence to look for, how to collect/preserve it, who to sue, and what steps you need to take to pursue compensation. 

Gathering and Presenting Evidence

Be it from a pretrial defendant in a criminal sexual assault case or acquiring medical records that document physical injury – Attorneys know how to gather and preserve necessary evidence. Further, your lawyer can help ensure that such evidence is presented effectively, whether the case involves animate object sexual penetration, sexual battery, statutory rape, or sexual misconduct. For the most part, the amount of evidence in cases like these is a determining factor in the outcome. 

Representing Victims with Special Considerations

From victims with a mental incapacity to those who have been sexually molested as a minor, a specialized  attorney for assault victims can provide the sensitive and compassionate representation required. They can ensure that the victim’s story and such intimate parts of their testimony are handled with the utmost care and confidentiality throughout the entire process. 

Seeking Fair Compensation

Whether the accused intentionally touches a person in an unwanted manner, sexual intercourse without consent takes place, or another form of  sexual abuse occurs, your lawyer can help quantify your damages and seek fair compensation. This includes damages like medical bills, mental injury, physical therapy costs, compensation for emotional distress caused by the assault, and more.

Addressing Repeat Offenders

Suppose the perpetrator has a history of offenses like a third misdemeanor offense or previous charges of committing sexual battery. In cases like this, your attorney can use this information to strengthen the case and potentially advocate for punitive damages.

Challenging Defense Strategies

Sometimes, the accused party employs a civil or criminal defense strategy involving claims of consensual intercourse or challenges around material directly covering certain acts. In these highly complicated scenarios, skilled lawyers can counter these arguments with facts, evidence, and case law, ensuring the victim’s side is heard and respected.

Protecting Rights in Unique Scenarios 

Whether you’re dealing with a case involving a massage therapist, an offense occurring with a dangerous weapon, or a criminal case against a local or regional jail contractual employee, an experienced attorney can adapt their strategy to protect your rights in every scenario. 

Our Law Firm Stands With Sexual Abuse Survivors

At RVA Personal Injury Lawyers, our highly skilled and aggressive lawyers for sexually abused victims is 100% committed to providing the absolute best legal support. We’re here to help ensure your voice is heard and you get the compensation you deserve for any damages you’ve suffered as a result of such offense. 

Our experienced legal team understands the sensitive nature of these cases which is why we strive to create a supportive and understanding environment for survivors of sexual abuse. 

In every case of sexual abuse, having a compassionate yet assertive legal ally can be the difference between case dismissal and receiving maximum damages for the injuries you’ve suffered. Don’t wait until it’s too late to seek the justice you deserve. Contact us for a free consultation with a Virginia sexual assault attorney for victims. 

“We Get Justice For Injured People In Court, and We Love What We Do”

We are not settlement lawyers. Sharif Gray has proven that he can and will get results in court, and the insurance companies know that. If you have suffered injuries because of someone else’s negligence, we can help.

Sharif Gray is committed to trying cases well. Because of that, he does not handle hundreds of cases at a time. He is selective in the cases he takes so he can get justice for the people he represents. In every case, he has three goals:

  1. Hold the responsible corporation or individual fully accountable.
  2. Make the community safer, so others are not also harmed.
  3. Compensation that recognizes the full and fair value of what was taken from your health and quality of life.

We love what we do, and we are proud of the positive impact we have had and will continue to have on the people we represent and the community we live in.

If we can be of help to you, please do not hesitate to call us at (804) 915-1611 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. We will get justice for you.

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