Ideally, there would be no need for civil cases based on sexual abuse or for attorneys skilled in litigating them. Unfortunately, according to statistics collected by the Department of Justice, there are over 450,000 cases of sexual assault and rape in the United States every year, nearly 60,000 of which impact children under the age of 18.
If you or your child experienced sexual abuse, recent changes in New York state law may allow you to file suit against the party responsible for harming you. A Plattsburgh child sex abuse lawyer could offer dedicated guidance and support throughout any legal action you wish to pursue. Let Drew Palcsik at Champlain Valley Law help you seek justice from the party that caused you harm. Speak to a seasoned personal injury attorney to discuss your legal options.
How State Law Governs Child Sex Abuse Cases
As of 2019, the statutory period for civil lawsuits stemming from sexual abuse of a child in New York State has changed. Under the Child Victims Act (CVA), an adult who experienced sexual abuse as a minor may file suit at any point up to their 55th birthday.
This is a significant extension of the previous deadline, which state law set within a range of one to five years after an abused child turned 18. Furthermore, for anyone whose claim was previously time-barred by the old statute of limitations, the CVA grants a grace period of one year for them to file their case. This period began six months after the CVA was signed into law on February 14, 2019.
A qualified Plattsburgh sex abuse attorney could help you file a claim and hold the party that caused you harm accountable in court.
Damages That May Be Recovered
Civil cases based on sexual abuse are completely separate from criminal cases stemming from the same actions. They have different standards of proof—“based on a preponderance of the evidence” for civil cases, and “beyond a reasonable doubt” for criminal ones—and while a guilty verdict in a criminal case may be used to demonstrate civil fault, the inverse would not apply in a criminal court trial.
With the help of Drew, you may be able to seek compensation from the party that facilitated or caused you harm. Financial losses such as hospital and therapy bills may be included in a settlement demand, but lawyers litigating child sex abuse cases in Plattsburgh often focus on the numerous non-economic damages the survivor may have endured, such as:
- Physical and psychological pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Symptoms of long-term emotional distress from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other such conditions
- Loss of opportunities and reduced quality of life
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of reputation
Punitive damages may also be available depending on the circumstances. An experienced child sex abuse lawyer in Plattsburgh could calculate all of your losses and damages to help you seek compensation from the responsible party.
Discuss Your Legal Options with a Plattsburgh Child Sex Abuse Attorney
Recovering from sexual assault may require years of therapy, support from family and friends, and various financial losses. Fortunately, New York state law recently loosened statutory limitations on sex abuse civil cases by a great deal, which may allow you to seek justice in civil court for the harm you endured.
If you suffered sexual abuse of any kind as a minor, you are not alone. Drew Palcsik at Champlain Valley Law is here to help you seek justice. Get in touch with a Plattsburgh child sex abuse lawyer to tell your story and learn about your legal options.