Being a victim of sexual and domestic abuse can naturally be traumatizing and can result in physical injuries as well as emotional distress.
Although you may be scared, feel violated, or embarrassed following sexual abuse, you should still speak to medical and legal professionals to protect yourself and receive compensation.
Each professional will most likely be understanding and help you fight back for your rights.
Criminal V. Civil
Many people don’t realize that there is a difference between criminal and civil cases. Criminal cases are prosecuted by the state and may include jail or prison time, fines, and probation. On the other hand, civil cases are initiated from private individuals for actions such as assault and battery, breach of contract, or defamation (to name a few) so that a plaintiff can be compensated for expenses, reliance, and/or other damages.
Specifically, sexual assault is a criminal offense that can be prosecuted. However, whether or not the defendant was found guilty or not, you can still file your own civil suit for your pain, suffering, emotional trauma, and future medical expenses.
There have been civil sexual abuse cases regarding medical professionals acting beyond the scope of the reason for the visit, domestic family-related abuse, and assault from random strangers. Whichever the situation, personal injury attorneys are capable to handle your sexual abuse case and will be there for you every step of the way.
In a criminal case, the prosecution will have to prove a high burden that the defendant was guilty (beyond a reasonable doubt). This is because criminal cases entail incarceration among heightened fines.
However, civil cases have a lessened burden and victims will be more likely to prevail. An attorney will be able to discuss the different burdens to you and provide you with the support and counseling that you need to prevail.
As difficult as it seems, if you are a victim of sexual abuse, you need to stand up for yourself and receive the help necessary to achieve your goal. It is normal to be afraid or want to move past and forget the conflict so you can try to live your life free from abuse.
However, no one should feel ashamed for something that they did not bring about. As a victim, you are not at fault. On the contrary, the person who is guilty of causing you harm needs to be held responsible for your injuries. Pursuing your lawsuit will not only compensate you but may also prevent future harm to other victims.
An attorney that you hire will be on your side and do everything in his or her power to make sure that you don’t have to pay out of pocket for the harm that was caused to you.
Additionally, you may want to file a restraining order or need monetary help to relocate away from the person who abused you. Attorneys can provide all that help and support and advise you on how to move forward.
The O’Brien Law Firm understands that this is a difficult time for you and will be compassionate to help you overcome this situation. Our team will also be strong and fight for you because we believe you need to be compensated. Call us today at (716) 907-7777 for a free consultation.