What Are Your Legal Options After Being Sexually Assaulted?
Georgia state law affords victims of sexual assault the legal right to hold attackers responsible for their actions. It is important to note that civil action is not reliant upon criminal charges, meaning that you can pursue a sexual assault civil claim even if your attacker has not been arrested or charged with a crime.
At Bey & Associates, we understand the sensitive nature of cases like these. We ensure that every client we work with understands their legal options after being sexually assaulted. You can schedule a free, confidential consultation with one of our attorneys to discuss what your rights are after a sexual assault, and we have also compiled the following information that may address some of your preliminary concerns or questions.
Georgia’s Civil Statute of Limitations for Victims of Sexual Assault
A statute of limitations is the amount of time legally afforded to take civil action. Your lawsuit does not have to be completed within this time period; you need only file within the limit. In Georgia, the statute of limitations for civil sexual assault cases is two years from the date of the attack, assault, or incident.
In certain situations, it is possible for the statute of limitations to be legally suspended, a process known as tolling. Your attorney from Bey & Associates will let you know if there are any exceptions that apply to your situation and if it is possible to toll the statute of limitations, giving you more time to build and file your case.
Statute of Limitations for Victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse
In Georgia, the statute of limitations is different for survivors of sexual abuse that occurred in childhood. For any sexual abuse, molestation, or other acts that occurred prior to a victim’s 18th birthday, there is a statute of limitations of five years from the age of majority. Age of majority refers to the age at which a person becomes a legal adult, which in Georgia is at the age of 18.
You have the right to take action for childhood sexual abuse even if you never told anyone about what you suffered at the time. The personal injury lawyers at Bey & Associates understand that many victims of childhood abuse endure intense psychological trauma that makes it difficult to tell a parent, teacher, or another adult about what is going on. We do not allow attackers to exploit this or bully our clients into silence once more.
If you are ready to take a step toward securing a sense of justice, contact Bey & Associates to meet with an attorney in a no-cost, confidential setting.
Filing a Civil Lawsuit After Being Sexually Assaulted
You have the legal right to file a civil lawsuit against your attacker. A civil case is different than a criminal matter, which requires evidence beyond a reasonable doubt to secure a conviction. When you file a personal injury lawsuit for a sexual assault, you need only provide a preponderance of the evidence that your claim is true. In other words, you only have to demonstrate that your case is more likely true than not.
For many victims, a civil case is their best bet to secure a sense of justice for what happened to them. A sexual assault is a highly traumatic event, and many victims are quite understandably not in a psychological or physical state to preserve evidence. Undergoing a forensic exam (also known as a rape kit) often subjects victims to additional trauma.
This should not be a barrier to your right to file a lawsuit. At Bey & Associates, our attorneys regularly provide unrivaled legal guidance to victims of sexual assault in the Atlanta area. When you work with our law firm, you can expect that we will:
- Explain your rights under Georgia state law, and ensure that you understand all of your options.
- Provide legal advice and guidance should you decide to move forward with a civil lawsuit.
- Investigate your sexual assault claim and build the strongest possible case.
- Determine if there are any other liable parties, including schools, workplaces, or hospitals.
- Evaluate your losses and damages to determine how much compensation you are owed.
- Negotiate to secure maximum compensation on your behalf.
- Prepare for court should negotiations break down, sending your case to court.
You didn’t deserve what happened to you. Bey & Associates wants you to feel empowered to take action.
Compensation You Are Entitled to in a Sexual Assault Case
Civil lawsuits typically afford victims the right to recover compensation for two types of damages—economic and non-economic damages. Compensation is intended to address your financial and non-financial losses, including those that have affected you both physically and emotionally.
Although no two cases are alike, many sexual assault civil actions seek compensation for the following types of damages:
- Mental anguish or psychological damage (such as post-traumatic stress disorder)
- Medical expenses
- Therapy bills
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
In some cases, punitive damages might also be warranted. Punitive damages are not awarded to compensate a victim for any specific loss but rather as a means to punish the at-fault party for their behavior. Judges often award punitive damages in an attempt to deter the same behavior in the future.
Termination of Parental Rights
If a sexual assault or rape results in the victim becoming pregnant, Georgia state law allows for the termination of parental rights. Once parental rights are terminated, your attacker would have no legal rights to custody or visitation of your child.
Protecting Your Legal Options After Being Sexually Assaulted
Bey & Associates is committed to protecting the rights of Atlanta residents who have been sexually assaulted. We recognize that we are often meeting with people who are going through some of the worst times of their lives, and we strive to provide legal guidance that is sensitive, kind, and understanding of this.
Your free consultation will be in a confidential setting with an experienced personal injury attorney. Contact our law office by calling or filling out our convenient online form today.
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