Los Angeles Sexual Abuse Attorneys
Representing Victims of Sexual Assault, Rape & Child Molestation in California & Nationwide
According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), someone is sexually assaulted every 73 seconds in the United States. RAINN also estimates that as of 1998, 17.7 million American women and 2.78 million men had endured an attempted or completed rape. Despite these sobering statistics, 5 out of every 1,000 perpetrators will never be sentenced to jail time through the criminal justice system.
With more million-dollar verdicts and settlements won than any personal injury law firm in California, our experienced Los Angeles sexual abuse lawyers at Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP are committed to helping victims of sexual abuse, sexual assault, and child molestation by filing a lawsuit on their behalf. Bringing over 100 years of legal experience to the table, we can examine your case and help you explore all your legal options.
Understanding the Statutes for California Sex Abuse Claims
Although a criminal conviction can bring some peace to abuse survivors, prosecutors do not always choose to file charges. However, thanks to the #MeToo movement and other widespread calls for sex abuse reforms, California has now implemented new legislation for the civil justice system, allowing victims more time to file a civil sexual abuse claim.
In recent years, California lawmakers have made an active effort to overhaul state sexual assault statutes in both the criminal and civil justice systems. Following the outrage sparked by the Brock Turner case – in which a former Stanford swimmer received a lenient sentence for sexual assault – state legislators approved Assembly Bills 701 and 2088, which changed California’s criminal code for acts of sexual violence and greatly expanded the definition of rape.
Statute of Limitations for Sexual Abuse in California
In October 2019, Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 218 into law, extending the statute of limitations for civil sexual abuse claims to give victims more time to file. Because many victims of childhood sexual abuse and clergy abuse are too young and traumatized to report their abusers – and may even suffer from memory loss related to the violence – it can take decades before the victim decides to take legal action. Thanks to AB 218, these victims are now more empowered to seek restitution from their abusers.
Below is a basic breakdown of the statute of limitations for sexual abuse claims in California:
- Childhood sexual abuse survivors: Must file a lawsuit by age 40, or within 5 years of discovering the abuse as an adult.
- Adult sexual abuse survivors (the abuse occurred when the victim was an adult): Have 10 years from the date of the last act to file sexual abuse litigation, or 3 years from the time they discover an injury or illness caused by the sexual abuse.
- “Look back” window: Effective January 2020, survivors in California have a 3-year window to file sexual abuse claims that have previously been barred because of the old statute of limitations.
What Are the Types of Sexual Abuse in California?
Sexual assault is an umbrella term that covers a large number of different forms of sexual abuse. Any non-consensual sexual act or behavior is considered to be sexual assault in California.
Below are some of the most common types of sexual abuse:
- Sexual battery
- Sexual touching
- Attempted rape
- Oral copulation
- Statutory rape
- Sexual acts with minors or children
- Aggravated sexual assault
- Forcible penetration
What Damages Can I Seek for Sex Abuse?
Whether it happens in childhood or adulthood, sexual violence ranks among the most traumatic ordeals that a human being can experience. In fact, victims of rape and sexual assault often experience a level of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) comparable to war veterans, causing significant psychological disturbances and physical pain for years after the incident(s).
The injuries related to sexual violence are devastating, and they can also incur significant costs for you and your family as you seek medical and mental health assistance. A successful civil lawsuit should compensate you for any of these costs, also known as “damages.” In some cases, you may also be able to file a claim against an organization that failed to protect you from institutional abuse, in addition to the abuser themselves.
After suffering sexual abuse, rape, or assault, you may be able to seek compensation for the following:
- Emotional and physical pain and suffering
- Medical expenses for the treatment of your physical injuries
- Ongoing counseling and therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and depression related to your abuse
- Past and future lost wages when you are unable to find or maintain meaningful employment because of the abuse
At Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP, our nationally recognized trial attorneys in Los Angeles are ready to stand by your side and help you navigate the process of filing a sexual abuse lawsuit. With a strong track record of winning million-dollar verdicts and settlements in sex abuse cases, we believe in fighting for victims of negligence and abuse. If you or one of your family members has been affected by sexual assault and abuse, we can apply our considerable resources and experience to your case.
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