How Much Compensation Can You Get in Sexual Abuse Lawsuits?

Dealing with the aftermath of sexual abuse is incredibly difficult, and it’s important to know that there may be an opportunity to receive financial compensation through a civil lawsuit. While money can’t undo the pain, it can help cover things like medical expenses, therapy costs, and lost wages, and it can also provide a sense of justice.

The amount of compensation you might receive in a sexual abuse case depends on many factors that are unique to your situation. By learning about the different types of damages typically awarded and taking the right legal steps, you can increase your chances of getting the maximum recovery you deserve.

Understanding the complexities of compensation available in sexual abuse cases is crucial. By knowing your rights and the legal process, you can empower yourself to pursue the justice and support you rightfully deserve.

Factors That Affect Sexual Abuse Lawsuit Compensation

When pursuing a sexual abuse lawsuit, various factors can significantly impact the amount of compensation a survivor may receive. Understanding these factors can help survivors and their attorneys build a strong case.

Severity and Duration of the Abuse

One key factor in determining compensation is the nature and extent of the abuse itself. Generally speaking, more severe and prolonged sexual abuse tends to result in higher damage awards.

For example, a billionaire heir to a Coca-Cola fortune, Alkiviades David, has been ordered to pay $900 million in damages to a former employee for alleged sexual assault. The court ruling, considered the highest compensation ever awarded in such a case, followed allegations of repeated aggressive assaults from 2016 to 2019.

Notable Settlements and Statistics

Federal and state governments have facilitated numerous settlements in sexual abuse cases. For instance, the City of Santa Monica recently resolved all claims of sexual abuse against a former city employee with a settlement amount of $122.5 million, covering 124 claimants. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has been involved in several significant settlements, such as the one with Uber Technologies, Inc., where Uber agreed to pay $4.4 million to a class fund compensating victims of sexual harassment and retaliation.

In our experience, juries tend to award higher sums when presented with evidence of particularly egregious and long-lasting abuse. It’s critical to work with your attorney to thoroughly document and convey the full scope of the abuse suffered.

Psychological and Emotional Impact

Beyond the immediate physical trauma, sexual abuse often inflicts devastating and long-term psychological wounds. Depression, anxiety, PTSD, substance abuse, and difficulty maintaining relationships are all common struggles for survivors.

When evaluating compensation, the court will heavily weigh the emotional pain and suffering caused by the abuse. Expert testimony from therapists and mental health professionals is often used to convey the extent of the psychological damage and necessary ongoing treatment.

We’ve seen firsthand how sexual abuse can shatter a person’s mental well-being and quality of life. Pursuing compensation for this immense emotional distress is a key component of most sexual abuse lawsuits.

Relationship to the Abuser

The identity of the perpetrator and their relationship to the victim also influences potential compensation. Sexual abuse committed by a person in a position of trust or authority over the victim is typically viewed as particularly egregious and deserving of higher damages.

Common examples include abuse by family members, teachers, clergy, coaches, and healthcare providers. The profound breach of trust involved in these situations can intensify the trauma and warrant greater compensation.

A related factor is the power imbalance between the abuser and the victim. Abuse by an adult against a child or by someone with significant influence over the victim’s life or career may justify heightened damages.

Age of the Victim

The victim’s age at the time of the abuse is another important consideration. Children are especially vulnerable to the devastating effects of sexual trauma, which can disrupt their entire development and future.

Juries often award greater compensation to child sexual abuse survivors in recognition of the immense harm inflicted during their formative years. The younger the child, the more years of suffering they may endure and the higher the potential recovery.

Adolescents and teenagers, while more developed than young children, still experience severe consequences from sexual abuse. Even adults abused later in life can face substantial psychological and financial harm, warranting significant compensation.

Number of Victims and Abusers

Some sexual abuse cases sadly involve multiple victims and multiple perpetrators. When a single lawsuit encompasses numerous victims, the total potential compensation increases, as each individual has suffered distinct damages.

Similarly, abuse carried out by multiple parties or allowed to happen due to the negligence of other responsible parties can expand the pool of defendants and insurance policies to pursue recovery from.

These multi-victim or multi-offender cases highlight the far-reaching impact of sexual abuse. They can also help establish a pattern of wrongful conduct by an abuser or institution, strengthening each victim’s claim for substantial damages.

Conduct of the Abuser

The specific actions of the perpetrator are also relevant in gauging potential compensation. Particularly heinous, intentional, or reckless conduct by an abuser may justify higher awards, especially in the form of punitive damages.

For example, an abuser who used force, violence, weapons, drugs, or alcohol to carry out the abuse may be subject to greater liability. The same is true if the abuser recorded or distributed videos or images of the abuse.

Cases where others were aware of the ongoing abuse but failed to intervene or report it can also support increased damages. This “turning a blind eye” to known sexual misconduct has been a factor in many high-profile abuse cases against organizations like the Catholic Church and Boy Scouts of America.

Existence of Criminal Charges

If the perpetrator faced criminal charges and a conviction for the sexual abuse, it could significantly bolster a victim’s civil case for damages. A criminal conviction serves as a strong validation of the abuse allegations and conduct.

However, it’s important to note that compensation can still be pursued even if no criminal charges were ever filed. The civil court system operates separately from the criminal system, with a lower burden of proof. Many sexual abuse victims have obtained successful civil verdicts or settlements without any criminal prosecution of the offender.

In fact, we strongly believe that all sexual abuse survivors should explore their civil compensation options, regardless of the outcome or existence of criminal proceedings. Civil lawsuits provide a path to justice and hold abusers financially accountable, even if the criminal system fails to do so.

Types of Compensation in Sexual Abuse Lawsuits

When seeking justice through a sexual abuse lawsuit, survivors may pursue various forms of compensation to address the physical, emotional, and financial impacts of their trauma.

Medical Expenses

Sexual abuse victims frequently incur medical bills for the treatment of physical injuries and illnesses suffered from the abuse. This can include emergency room visits, surgeries, medications, and ongoing doctor appointments.

Compensation is available for past medical expenses already incurred, as well as anticipated future costs. Your attorney can help calculate and pursue a fair award for the full scope of medical treatment needed.

It’s also critical to account for potential medical issues that may arise years down the line. Certain STDs contracted from sexual abuse, for example, can lead to fertility issues or cancer risks that require medical intervention well into the future.

Mental Health Treatment

The psychological aftermath of sexual trauma often requires extensive professional treatment. Therapy, counseling, and medications to address conditions like depression, anxiety, and PTSD can be costly, especially over a long period of time.

In many cases, the mental health repercussions persist for years after the abuse itself. Child sexual abuse survivors may need therapy and specialized care well into adulthood to process the trauma and develop healthy coping mechanisms.

Compensation for mental health expenses frequently makes up a substantial portion of sexual abuse settlements and verdicts. Be sure to work closely with your psychologist and attorney to document your mental health needs and pursue maximum compensation properly.

Lost Earnings

Sexual abuse can also wreak havoc on a victim’s ability to work and earn a living. The trauma can be so severe that the person is unable to maintain employment or advance in their career as they otherwise would have.

Compensation can be sought for the income and benefits you’ve lost due to the abuse. This includes past losses from missed work immediately after the abuse, as well as projected future losses from diminished earning capacity.

If you’re a child or teenager abused before starting your career, your attorney may utilize expert analysis to demonstrate the likely negative impact on your future career prospects and lifetime expected earnings.

We’ve seen countless heartbreaking cases where sexual abuse derailed a promising student’s education or career plans. Pursuing rightful compensation for these lost professional opportunities is an important part of the recovery process.

Pain and Suffering

The physical pain and emotional anguish caused by sexual abuse can be immeasurable. While no dollar figure can truly compensate for this suffering, the civil justice system does allow victims to recover monetary damages for pain and suffering.

Putting a price tag on these intangible damages can be challenging, but an experienced attorney can help. Factors considered include the severity of the abuse, the age of the victim, the duration of trauma endured, and the extent of mental health struggles.

In our experience, pain and suffering compensation often makes up the largest portion of a sexual abuse settlement or verdict. Juries understand the unimaginable agony of this trauma and tend to award significant sums for this category of damages.

Loss of Enjoyment of Life

Many sexual abuse survivors understandably lose their enjoyment and quality of life in the aftermath of the trauma. Activities and relationships that once brought happiness may now elicit pain, anxiety, or difficulty engaging.

This profound loss can be compensated through damages for the loss of enjoyment of life. It encompasses the negative impact on your ability to participate in hobbies, social events, exercise, sexual intimacy, and other elements that make life fulfilling.

While it’s impossible to undo the immense toll of sexual abuse, this category of damages aims to provide financial recovery for the reduction in quality of life. It’s important to honestly convey to your legal team the full extent of activities impacted so you can pursue fair compensation.

Punitive Damages

In select cases, courts may award additional punitive damages to punish an abuser for particularly egregious or intentional sexual misconduct. The purpose is to send a strong message that such reprehensible behavior will not be tolerated by society.

Punitive damages are reserved for the most shocking cases where the abuser shows an utter disregard for the victim’s well-being and the law. For example, An Idaho man was sentenced to 30 years in prison for having unprotected sex with several men and boys without telling them that he was HIV positive. This was his way of trying to spread the disease to others.

When awarded, punitive damages can significantly increase the total compensation received by the victim. This extra financial punishment also aims to deter the defendant and others from engaging in similar horrific conduct in the future.

Maximizing Your Compensation Amount

Navigating a sexual abuse lawsuit requires strategic steps to ensure you receive fair compensation for the harm you’ve endured. Here are key strategies to maximize your financial recovery:

Consult with an Experienced Attorney

Navigating a sexual abuse lawsuit is emotionally challenging and procedurally complex. The single most important step you can take to protect your rights and maximize your financial recovery is to consult with a skilled attorney who specializes in handling these sensitive cases.

An experienced sexual abuse lawyer can thoroughly evaluate your case, identify all potential defendants and sources of compensation, and craft a compelling claim for the full damages you’re owed. They can also handle all the legal deadlines, paperwork, and court appearances so you can focus on healing.

When interviewing potential attorneys, don’t hesitate to ask about their specific experience with sexual abuse cases and their track record of results. You want a legal advocate with the expertise and dedication to fight tirelessly for every penny you deserve.

File Your Case Promptly

It’s crucial to act promptly and file your sexual abuse lawsuit as soon as possible. Statutes of limitations set strict deadlines for taking legal action, after which your right to sue and recover compensation may be lost forever.

The time limits vary by state and type of claim, ranging from just a few years to sometimes decades after the abuse occurred. Some states have also opened “revival windows,” allowing victims to bring previously expired claims.

The sooner you consult with an attorney, the sooner they can evaluate the filing deadlines for your case and take swift legal action. Don’t let delay jeopardize your ability to hold your abuser accountable and obtain justice.

We know the incredible bravery it takes to come forward about sexual abuse. Please know that you’re not alone and that there are caring professionals ready to support you through the legal process when you’re ready.

Preserve Any Evidence

Any evidence that can help corroborate the abuse and its impact on your life should be carefully preserved and shared with your legal team. This can include:

  • Medical records
  • Therapy bills and notes
  • Journal entries describing the abuse
  • Photographs of any injuries
  • Clothing worn during the abuse
  • Social media posts, texts, or emails discussing the abuse
  • Witness contact information
  • Police reports or restraining orders

The more evidence you have to back up your allegations and damages, the stronger your case for maximum compensation. An experienced sexual abuse attorney can help you gather the necessary documentation and supporting evidence.

However, don’t let a lack of evidence discourage you from coming forward. Many sexual abuse cases involve “he said/she said” scenarios without concrete proof, and that’s okay. Trust that your attorney will know how to build your case and convey the truth of your experience through your own powerful testimony.

Consider Emotional Distress Damages

It bears repeating that the emotional distress damages in sexual abuse cases are often far more substantial than the economic losses. Yet some victims feel reluctant to demand high sums for their psychological trauma.

We’ve seen many abuse survivors minimize their own suffering or feel unworthy of a large emotional distress award. Please know that you deserve to be compensated for every bit of agony inflicted by your abuser. There is no shame in seeking to hold them fully accountable.

Your attorney can help you realize the extensive and lifelong emotional impact of the abuse that warrants significant compensation. It’s okay to fight for a result that reflects the magnitude of trauma you’ve endured.

Obtain Justice with a Sexual Abuse Lawsuit Loan from Mayfair Legal Funding

If you’re in the midst of a sexual abuse lawsuit, you may find yourself in need of financial support while awaiting your settlement or verdict. The trauma of sexual abuse is often compounded by unexpected expenses and time away from work, creating a real burden as the legal process unfolds.

At Mayfair Legal Funding, we’re here to help you get back on your feet with a lawsuit loan tailored to your specific case. Our knowledgeable representatives can provide you with a cash advance to cover medical bills, therapy costs, lost wages, and living expenses so you can focus on your recovery and pursue justice.

Best of all, our loans are risk-free for sexual abuse plaintiffs. If you don’t end up winning your case, you owe us nothing. We only collect payment if and when you achieve a successful financial outcome.

We understand the sensitivity and challenges surrounding sexual abuse cases. Our caring team is here to guide you through the legal funding process with the utmost compassion and discretion.

If you’re ready to explore how a lawsuit loan can provide much-needed relief during your sexual abuse case, we’re here to help. Call us anytime at (888) 357-1338 for a free, confidential consultation with our experienced funding specialists.

You are not alone, and you do deserve justice. Let us help ease the financial burden as you pursue the compensation and accountability you’re owed. Together, we can hold abusers responsible and create a safer society for all.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

What is the statute of limitations for filing a sexual abuse lawsuit?

The statute of limitations for sexual abuse lawsuits varies by state and type of claim. Some states have special rules extending the deadlines for child sexual abuse cases. It’s crucial to consult with an experienced attorney as soon as possible to understand and comply with the specific time limits for your case.

Can I still sue if the sexual abuse happened years ago?

Yes, it’s possible you may still be able to pursue a sexual abuse lawsuit even if the trauma occurred years ago. Many states have recently extended or eliminated the statutes of limitations for child sexual abuse claims. An attorney can advise you on whether you fall within the allowable time frame to take legal action.

Can I file a sexual abuse lawsuit if there was no criminal conviction?

Yes, you can still file a civil sexual abuse lawsuit even if the perpetrator was never charged with a crime or was found not guilty in criminal court. The civil justice system has a lower burden of proof than the criminal system. With the right attorney and supporting evidence, you can still hold your abuser accountable through a civil case.

Does Mayfair provide sexual assault lawsuit loans if there is no settlement offer yet?

Yes! At Mayfair Legal Funding, we regularly provide pre-settlement funding for sexual abuse cases that are still pending. Even if you have yet to receive a settlement offer, our team can evaluate your case and potentially approve you for a cash advance. Call us at (888) 357-1338 to learn more about how we can help relieve your financial stress as you await case resolution.