Compassionate Sexual Assault Advocates
If you have been sexually assaulted, you are not alone. A sexual assault occurs every 2 minutes in the United States. Sexual assault is any sexual contact without the victim’s your consent, and can involve:
- duress; or
- incapacity of the victim.
Even if you drank too much, were on a date with the perpetrator, or were intimate with your attacker in the past, you have the right to say “no.”
Who Is Liable?
Unfortunately, people in positions of power will often exploit the trust we offer them. Consequently, sexual assault is prevalent in nursing homes, hospitals, schools, and religious institutions. When an entity has the duty to provide a safe environment and fails to do so, it is liable. The employer of the assailant is often liable for inadequately screening or supervising its employees. In some cases, the premises owner can be held liable for inadequate security.
Federal law requires colleges and universities to protect students from sexual violence. Not only are universities required to proactively prevent sexual violence, they are required to promptly investigate a complaint, provide the victim with counseling resources, and protect the victim from further harassment. If a school fails to do so, it is liable to the victim.
Criminal vs. Civil Sexual Assault Cases
Sexual assault is a serious crime under Texas law. A criminal sexual assault case focuses on punishing the assailant and preventing that person from hurting anyone else in the future. The burden of proof in a criminal case is “beyond a reasonable doubt.” This can be a difficult burden to achieve, especially in “he-said, she-said” cases or when the victim did not immediately report the attack and evidence is lost.
A civil sexual assault lawsuit is a totally different legal procedure. The purpose of a civil suit is both to hold the assailant accountable and compensate the victim for their injuries. There doesn’t have to be a criminal trial for you to file a civil lawsuit. Even if your assailant was found “not guilty” in a criminal case, the burden of proof in a civil lawsuit is a lower “preponderance of evidence” standard. This means we have to show that the sexual assault occurred more likely than not, but not beyond a reasonable doubt.
Eighty-one percent of female sexual assault victims report severe lasting impacts, such as post-traumatic stress disorder. Sexual assault can leave you with significant physical and psychological injuries. The treatment can be costly and long-lasting. Damages recoverable can include medical and therapy costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering. When you are suffering from the trauma of a sexual assault, you should not have to worry about the cost of your recovery. Our firm will calculate your past expenses and those you will likely incur in the future and fight to make the responsible parties pay. Most sexual assault victims experience serious depression and anxiety following their attack. Our lawyers will vigorously pursue full compensation for the ongoing emotional trauma you experience after you are assaulted.
Recovering From Sexual Assault
Recovering from sexual assault is a long and difficult process. If you have been a sexual assault victim, you might be afraid to revisit the terror of what you experienced. You may want to bury it instead of facing it head on. You may feel like nothing could ever right the wrong that was committed against you. Our experienced legal team can help you obtain compensation for your physical and emotional injuries and hold the institutions that enabled the assailant accountable for their negligence. While we can’t erase the past, receiving financial compensation from those responsible is one factor that can help you recover from the trauma.
We Are Here To Help You
Having represented victims of sexual assault, our firm is trained to compassionately handle the devastating consequences a sexual assault victim faces. Our legal team will handle your case with complete confidentiality. We will seek out the facts and hold all responsible parties accountable. The lawsuit process can be difficult, but in the end fighting back can empower you and provide the closure and compensation you need to heal. In many cases, the assailant will not have the resources to pay for the victim’s losses, especially if they are incarcerated. An experienced lawyer can identify responsible third parties with insurance or other means of paying for your injuries. When you hire our firm to handle your case, we will handle the details while you focus on your recovery.
Justice comes with knowing that those responsible for hurting you are paying for their intentional misconduct, negligence, or willful blindness. Being sexually assaulted can affect the rest of your life. Sexual assault is something that may have happened to you, but it does not define who you are. Having the courage to fight for your recovery can advance the healing process and help you move forward. If you are a sexual assault survivor, call the Law Office of Richard Schechter for a free and completely confidential case evaluation.
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