Whatever the nature of a sexual assault or sexual abuse, survivors can be left with feelings of shame and guilt, even though they were blameless. Serious sexual assaults can also cause physical injuries to victims, some of which may affect them for the rest of their lives. Whether you are the victim of unwanted sexual conduct or you are being accused of it, you are going to need legal advice and a skilled attorney to fight your corner.
Here at The Law Place, we have over 75 years of combined experience dealing with sexual abuse and other sex crime cases in the Tampa, FL area. Our sexual abuse attorneys are skilled at bringing civil lawsuits against those that have committed sexual abuse, sexual assault, and other sex crimes. We know how sensitive and personal this type of incident can be, and we can provide compassionate assistance that you can trust.
During a civil lawsuit against a sexual abuse offender, a Tampa sexual abuse lawyer will represent the victim or their parents against the perpetrator. We can also seek those that have been deemed liable due to their negligence, like schools and places of work.
Contact a lawyer at The Law Place today on (813) 544-4444 for a free consultation.
Sexual Abuse: The Statistics
According to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN), sexual violence by over 50% in the last 20 years, it is still a surprisingly common crime. Every single year over 430,000 Americans are victims of sexual assault, abuse, or rape. Nearly 60,000 of these cases are children, and 80,600 are inmates. This means that, on average, an American is sexually assaulted once every 73 seconds. 1 in 6 American women will be the victim of an attempted or completed rape during their lifetime, and 9 out of every ten rapes happen to women.
Furthermore, it is likely that these statistics do not show the true extent of the problem, as it is common for these types of crimes to go unreported, especially when they happen to men.
The statistics in Florida alone are just as shocking. According to the Florida Council Against Sexual Violence (FCASV) of sexual offenses that were reported;
- 1,266,000 women in Florida have been raped at some point in their lives. That’s 17% or 1 in 6 women in Florida.
- 41.8% of women, or 3,111,000, have been victimized by sexual violence other than rape.
- 20.4% of men, or 1,437,000 men, in Florida have been victimized by sexual violence.
For a free legal consultation with a sexual abuse lawyer serving Tampa, call 941-444-4444
Sexual Abuse Proceedings in Tampa: Civil vs. Criminal
While a victim may have to testify in a criminal case and relive the painful memory of a sexual abuse incident, a criminal conviction does little to provide any compensation for the harm they have suffered. Instead, criminal cases are more focused on punishing the offender and protecting others. This is why an attorney is essential for your civil sexual abuse case.
Evidence for a criminal case will be gathering information from the hospital, doctor, or law enforcement agency following a sexual assault or sexual abuse. If your assailant is found, hopefully, he will be arrested, taken off the streets so he cannot harm anyone else, and face criminal charges for sexual abuse.
In a criminal case, a prosecutor must prove that the defendant committed the sexual assault beyond a reasonable doubt. If a prosecutor succeeds—or if the defendant agrees to plead guilty—the defendant will be convicted of the crime and will be sentenced to certain penalties. Such penalties can include imprisonment, probation, fines, and registering as a Florida sex offender. However, you will not be compensated as the victim and may have suffered financially as a result. Unfortunately, in addition to participating in the criminal case, survivors must also file a case in civil court to seek compensation for their many losses.
While nothing can erase a traumatic event like a sexual assault, financial compensation can help survivors cover their expenses and find a sense of justice. Such compensation is available through the civil court system.
Civil cases may be easier to prove than criminal charges because the burden of proof is lower than “beyond a reasonable doubt.” In addition, you can use a defendant’s conviction as important evidence in your civil case. To lighten the burden on sexual assault survivors, our experienced attorneys will handle every step of the civil personal injury process so that you can focus on your own well-being.
Tampa Sexual Abuse Lawyer Near Me 941-444-4444
Assaults of this nature are very traumatic for the victims. In addition to severe emotional trauma, which can last for many years or even a lifetime, in some situations, survivors are also left dealing with physical injuries.
Injuries that can result from such assaults include:
- Abrasions or lacerations.
- Sexually-transmitted diseases.
- Unwanted pregnancies.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
- Injuries from force used to perpetrate the assault.
- Injuries from restraints used.
- Depression and/or Anxiety.
Losses as a Result of a Sexual Abuse
The after-effects of sexual abuse only add to the trauma already suffered. Victims should not suffer in silence and should seek information and legal advice with regard to their rights to compensation. You can seek compensation in a civil personal injury claim for:
- Medical bills for emergency treatment and ongoing treatment.
- Costs for terminating a pregnancy if needed.
- Costs of pregnancy, childbirth, and adoption, if applicable.
- Physical pain and suffering.
- Emotional distress.
- Expenses for psychological or psychiatric treatment.
- Loss of enjoyment of life.
Victims of sexual abuse can also obtain punitive damages. This type of compensation is reserved for victims of highly egregious acts—and intentional sexual assault certainly qualify. It is important to have a sexual abuse lawyer handling your claim who can identify all possible damages to which the law entitles you.
Complete a Free Case Evaluation form now
Your Rights as a Sexual Abuse Survivor in Tampa Florida
In the United States, there is no specific civil legal action for “sexual assault.” However, your lawyer can determine which course of action is available in your specific case. Examples include:
- Assault and battery.
- False imprisonment.
- Intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Furthermore, you may have a claim against a third party that may have some legal responsibility for the assault. Examples include a hotel, hospital, school, or business that did not have adequate security to prevent the assailant from attacking you. In addition, if an employer failed to adequately screen or supervise employees, you may hold the company liable for negligent hiring or negligent supervision.
Identifying any liable third parties—especially companies—can help in sexual assault cases, because an assailant may not have the money to compensate you for your losses, especially if he is now incarcerated and unable to work. On the other hand, a company should have the assets or insurance coverage for harm caused by employees and can ensure you receive the full amount you deserve for the harm you suffered.
While money can not change what happened, it can help relieve some financial stress from medical bills and loss of earnings if you had time off work due to emotional and/or physical distress. Furthermore, by holding the assailant accountable for their actions, you may feel empowered and find some much-needed closure after your traumatic experience.
Let a Tampa Sexual Abuse Lawyer Fight for Your Legal Rights
If you are looking to seek compensation for a sexual abuse offense in Tampa, FL, you will need to make contact with a skilled and reputable lawyer from a reputable law firm like The Law Place.
We offer a free consultation over the telephone with no strings attached. During this call, we will discuss the incident and give you honest, unbiased advice on what we think is your best course of action. We understand that these matters are sensitive. There are no expectations or pressure from us when you take a free consultation. You can expect a friendly chat about your case and honest legal advice.
If following your free consultation, you decide you would like to proceed, and we will designate you a lawyer. Your lawyer will lay out our fee structure and ask some more in-depth questions about the incident in question. We will then give you some time, and if you are happy, we will get you to sign on the dotted line, agreeing to let us represent you.
As soon as you have agreed to representation, we will take over for you. Besides occasional phone calls and emails when we may need information from you, you will be able to sit back and relax a little, as we do our hardest to build your case on your behalf. We will liaise with all of the relevant parties and do some gathering of information of our own.
Contact an Attorney at The Law Place Today for a Free Consultation
Sexual assault and sexual abuse victims should not suffer in silence; they deserve justice.
Contact The Law Place today, and after a short free consultation, we will allocate you one of our dedicated Tampa Fl personal injury lawyers who are experienced and skilled at dealing with sex abuse crimes. We have been serving in Florida for over 75 years and have the collective legal knowledge that your case deserves. Our practice areas cover Tampa, Clearwater Fl, St Petersburg, and the rest of Florida.
Sexual abuse is unacceptable, and you deserve a personal injury lawyer who will fight your case aggressively with the dedication it deserves. A lawyer is contactable 24 hours a day for a free consultation.
Let us fight for your rights. Please call us today on (813) 544-4444 for your free consultation.