Sexual abuse is underreported, but a devastating problem in the United States. According to the National Children’s Alliance, there were 683,000 unique incidents of child abuse and neglect in the US in 2015. This was the last year for which data was available. Of these children, 17.2% suffered physical abuse and 8.4% suffered sexual abuse. The rest were victims of child neglect. Shockingly, 90% of the child abusers were related in some way to the child. 39% of those investigated for child abuse or neglect were parents and 51% were relatives. While this article deals solely with children who have been the victims of physical and sexual abuse, the numbers of cases are simply staggering. It highlights just how massive a crisis there is in the US. At St. Petersburg Personal Injury Attorneys McQuaid & Douglas, we handle claims against those who have committed or contributed to an act that led to sexual abuse. These claims may be against individuals, their homeowner’s insurance, against a business, school, or daycare center. Many claims against businesses, schools, or facilities that are supposed to care for your child arise out of a failure to supervise an employee or supervise your child so that another child does not inflict harm. We have handled all variety of premises liability claims arising out of an act of sexual abuse. While we never wish anyone to be victimized, we stand with our clients through any criminal proceedings and then make the appropriate claims for compensation or restitution. While no one can unwind the clock, our goal is to obtain compensation for the losses and provide significant resources for future medical expenses.
What Is the Statute of Limitations to Bring a Sex Abuse Claim?
Under Florida Statute 95.11, a victim of sexual abuse has set time frames to bring a claim. The most common claim is when the abuse is discovered immediately. The statute of limitations for this claim is four years. There are two other exceptions, however. A victim of sexual abuse or incest also has 7 years from when they turn 18 to file a claim or within 4 years from when they leave the dependency of the abuser. These time frames can be difficult to understand and are determined on a case by case basis. A sexual abuse lawyer or a child abuse lawyer can perform the necessary research and advise as to whether you have a claim.
Claims Against a Church
At St. Petersburg Personal Injury Attorneys McQuaid & Douglas, we sometimes receive calls from people who were sexually abused at a church. The most common types of calls are from those who were victimized by a member of the Catholic Church. In these situations, I have found that most of these victims were sexually abused when they were younger and did not tell anyone. If they disclosed the abuse, it was to a family member who was assured that the matter would be dealt with internally by the church. Years later, once the victim became an adult, he or she began to suffer emotional repercussions from the incident. It was only then, many years or even decades later that they reached out to report the incident to the police or spoke to a sexual abuse lawyer. Unfortunately, most of these late reported incidents are barred by the statute of limitations. The Catholic Church is well versed on the defenses due to the time lapse. However, that is not to say that compensation cannot be obtained. In certain circumstances, the Catholic Church will provide compensation to a victim of sexual abuse. While they are not legally required to do so, these confidential settlements occur regularly. An experienced sexual abuse lawyer may be able to help you with this claim.
Common Injuries from Sexual Abuse and Sexual Assault
The overwhelming majority of injuries from sexual abuse and sexual assault are mental. Unlike injuries to the body, the ramifications are often permanent and require months, years, or even a lifetime of treatment. They manifest themselves in depression, anxiety, and PTSD. Other than these psychological problems, victims can be physically injured, get sexually transmitted diseases or even unwanted pregnancies.
What Types of Compensation Can Be Recovered in a Sexual Abuse or Sexual Assault Claim?
In a claim for a victim of sexual abuse or sexual assault, we seek to recover money damages. These monies are for past and future medical bills and for pain and suffering. It is rare that we see a claim involving lost wages for this type of case.
Take Legal Action by Hiring a Sexual Abuse Lawyer in St Petersburg
Sexual abuse cases can be emotional and complex. Because not all injuries from sexual abuse are physical, they often require the testimony of mental health experts. Insurance companies view these damages as subjective, so it is important that the issues are documented well by a mental health professional.
Sexual abuse cases can also be embarrassing to the claimant and can disrupt family relationships. Because many of the perpetrators of these acts are family members or relatives, we understand that these cases are extremely sensitive. At St. Petersburg Personal Injury Attorneys McQuaid & Douglas, we understand how difficult these cases are. We handle sexual abuse cases professionally and quickly. In fact, most of our sexual abuse claims result in a pre-suit settlement. This means that your claim likely will never become known to the public. If you have any questions regarding your rights after child abuse, sexual abuse, or child neglect claim, please contact our office for a free consultation.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident, then you should take the proper measures to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. Contact St Petersburg Personal Injury Attorneys McQuaid & Douglas today and speak with an attorney. For over 60 years our firm has been successfully helping people who have been injured due to someone else’s carelessness. We have been nationally ranked for decades by US News and World Reports as a Tier 1 law firm, which is the highest ranking that can be received. Sean McQuaid and Jonathon Douglas have dedicated their careers to continuing the firms legacy of superior legal representation.
Remember that we never charge a fee, unless we win. Call us today at 727-381-2300 so that we may answer your questions, help you navigate the complexities of insurance claims, and recover the compensation that you deserve.
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5858 Central Ave suite a, St Petersburg, FL (727) 381-2300
Sean McQuaid and Jonathon Douglas were voted best personal injury attorneys in Saint Petersburg, Florida for 2019.