Sexual Assault in a Civil Tort Action

Posted By Larry on Jul 20, 2013 |

Rape and sexual assault are considered by most people as the basis for criminal prosecution, but few consider the personal injury aspects of this particular type of crime. Sexual offenses against women and children often have far-reaching and life-long consequences, and it is not always enough that the perpetrator is put in prison. The physical, psychological and emotional damage to survivors of sexual assault are arguably much more serious than other types of civil torts, usually referred to as personal injuries.

This option for civil remedies to sexual assault has been around since the early 1900s, but it is only recently that victims have become aware that they can get financial compensation for what they had gone through. This could be due to the increasing popularity of personal injury lawsuits since the 1970s. Whatever the reason, this accommodation is probably most appropriate for victims of sexual assault than any other personal injury. Under civil tort law, survivors of sexual assault may be able to redress their grievances in employment, immigration, education, public benefits, housing and family law. As a civil tort action, however, the focus is on seeking financial compensation for injuries suffered from sexual assault.

The parties that may be considered liable in civil court may also be much broader than that available in the criminal justice arena. Prior to 1960, it was the perpetrator which was the sole focus of the lawsuit. However, the circle of responsibility has become much wider in recent years, as the law accommodates the concept that other parties which may have foreseen or should have foreseen the potential for sexual assault may also be held liable. According to the website of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. in Wausau, the gathering of evidence to prove negligence of other parties is essential for bringing about a successful civil tort action. An example would be a school which fails to check on the background of their staff, one of whom is a registered sex offender. If one or more of the children under their care are sexually assaulted by this person, the school may be held liable for what is considered a breach of their duty of care to their students.

If you are a victim of sexual assault, you can get the compensation you need to pay for therapy, medication, special equipment, medical bills, and other costs associated with the attack on your person. Consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer in your area and get your civil tort action going.