A sexual assault can leave a victim with serious physical and emotional injuries. The experience often changes their life forever. Sexual assault is a crime, but victims may also file a personal injury case against their attacker or a negligent third party. These suits provide compensation for one’s medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering after an assault.
The West Palm Beach sexual abuse lawyer at the Hollander Law Firm has been helping injury victims obtain justice for over 28 years. We assist victims of sexual assault in seeking compensation for the emotional, mental, and financial damages caused by sex crimes in West Palm Beach, Florida.
How Our West Palm Beach Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help if You Were Injured Because of a Sexual Assault
You are the victim of a crime. Therefore, your attacker may face criminal penalties for their conduct. However, you can also hold that person liable for your damages under Florida’s personal injury laws.
The prosecutor may tell you that you could receive restitution through the court system. However, restitution is different from damages in a personal injury case. You need to seek legal advice about an injury claim from an experienced personal injury attorney in West Palm Beach, FL.
When you hire our legal team, you can expect us to:
- Investigate the circumstances of your assault claim
- Work with you to obtain medical care to determine the extent of your injuries
- Identify all parties who might be liable for your damages
- Deal with insurance companies and other parties involved in your injury claim
- Fight to obtain a fair and just settlement for your sexual assault injury claim
Our law firm in West Palm Beach represents clients throughout Lake Worth, Palm Beach Gardens, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, and Boca Raton.
Contact the Hollander Law Firm to request a free case evaluation with a West Palm Beach sexual assault lawyer.
How Common is Sexual Assault?
Sexual violence refers to a variety of sexual activity that is non-consensual, including assault, battery, rape, fondling, and abuse. More than one in three women experience sexual violence during their lifetime. Almost one in four men will experience sexual violence during their lives.
These statistics show that thousands of adults and children are victims of sex crimes each year.
What Are the Consequences of Sexual Assault?
A sexual assault victim may experience physical injuries from a sexual assault, including:
- Broken bones
- Soft tissue injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Spinal cord injuries
- Unwanted pregnancy
- Sexually transmitted diseases and infections
- Traumatic brain injuries
Additionally, sexual assault victims often experience significant emotional trauma because of the assault. Victims may develop PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), severe anxiety, clinical depression, and other emotional disorders.
The emotional pain and suffering of sex crimes can result in other problems. Some victims may self-medicate by using alcohol or drugs. Others may develop eating disorders and sleep problems after their attack. In addition, victims often blame themselves for the sexual assault.
Victims also incur financial losses due to sexual assault. Common economic damages in sexual assault cases include, but are not limited to:
- Medical expenses and bills
- Loss of income and benefits
- Travel expenses
- Assistance with personal care
- Mental health treatment and counseling
- Long-term care
- Reduced earning potential
Sexual violence is the second most costly violent crime. The average cost is $122,461 per incident, but that figure could be significantly underestimated.
Seeking Compensation for Sexual Assault in West Palm Beach
A personal injury claim for sexual assault is separate from a criminal case. The outcome of the criminal case does not have any bearing on a civil action regarding the same conduct.
There are different standards of proof for criminal cases and civil cases. Also, criminal charges have different legal elements than a civil case for negligence or intentional wrongdoing. As a victim, you have the burden of proving the legal elements of intentional wrongdoing to recover compensation.
Generally, you would need to prove:
- That the individual assaulted you;
- You were injured and suffered damages because of the assault; and,
- The sexual assault was the direct and proximate cause of your injuries and damages.
If a third party was negligent in allowing the sexual assault to occur, they could also be responsible for your damages. Parties other than your attacker that might share liability for your sexual assault include:
- Hotels and motels
- Apartment complexes
- Professional offices
- Rideshare companies
- Sports organizations
- Religious institutions
- Private businesses and homeowners
You would need to prove the elements of a negligence claim to recover compensation from a third party.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Our West Palm Beach Sexual Assault Lawyers
If you have been sexually assaulted in Palm Beach County or anywhere in Florida, we want to help. However, your time to file a sexual assault injury claim is limited by Florida’s statute of limitations, so do not delay in seeking legal advice.
Contact our law firm to schedule your free consultation with our West Palm Beach sexual assault attorneys.