No one should ever have to experience sexual abuse or sexual assault. Being harmed like that can leave long-lasting mental and emotional scars, and many victims are left with physical injuries as well. You may have heard some truly alarming statistics about low conviction rates for sex offenses in criminal court. However, filing a civil claim is completely different. To successfully prosecute someone for a sex crime, it must be proven that they are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. To win a civil claim, however, you would only need to show a jury that it is more likely than not that the abuse or assault happened as you are alleging. That said, following through with such a claim can be very challenging on many levels. At Kinnally Flaherty Krentz Loran Hodge & Masur P.C., we will make sure that you have all the information you need to decide whether you should file such a claim.
The Benefits of Pursuing a Sexual Abuse Claim
Even if your abuser or rapist was found not guilty, had their sex offense charges dropped, or was never actually arrested and charged, you could still win in civil court. Many victims who were unable to meet the standard of proof required in criminal court are able to obtain relief and a sense of justice by filing a civil claim. While the civil court cannot send your abuser or assailant to prison, it can award you financial compensation.
For victims who have ongoing expenses related to their abuse or assault, like therapy or medical care, a civil claim can force the guilty party to pay up. This can alleviate your financial burden while also exposing the abuser. Other victims often come forward when one files a lawsuit. These benefits make it worth it for some.
The Potential Drawbacks of Suing for Sexual Abuse
Pursuing a civil sexual abuse claim can be incredibly emotionally difficult. You may be asked to describe the abuse or assault in graphic detail in front of a jury. Some victims report feeling re-traumatized. Your mental health may become relevant, causing you to lose privacy.
Remember that your abuser will also have an attorney, who is going to question you and will most likely try to discredit you. This can cause embarrassment and discomfort. There is always the possibility that no matter how valid your claim is, the jury might still rule in favor of the defendant. Juries are made up of imperfect human beings and they do make mistakes.
Before you consider filing a sexual abuse claim, it is in your best interest to discuss the idea with a trusted mental health professional to make sure that you are mentally and emotionally prepared for the realities of pursuing your case.
Speak With a Kane County Sexual Abuse Attorney
Kinnally Flaherty Krentz Loran Hodge & Masur P.C. is strongly committed to helping victims of sexual abuse and assault recover financial compensation. Our compassionate Aurora sexual abuse lawyers will believe you and do everything in our power to hold your abuser accountable. We will also work with you to help you decide whether filing this claim is in your best interest. Call us at 630-907-0909 to receive a free consultation.