With the current conversation our society is having about sexual assault and sexual harassment, many people are becoming more aware of the dangers and the repercussions of sexual misconduct and crimes. If you are the survivor of a sexual assault, you have the right to seek support from all sources, including the justice system.
Your Options After a Sexual Assault
If you have been the survivor of sexual assault, you do have options. One option is you can go to the police to report the incident. This way, authorities can launch a criminal investigation and may charge the perpetrator. If the offender is caught or charged, he or she can be brought to trial, where they may be found guilty and sentenced.
If the harassment or sexual assault took place in the workplace, you can also file a claim with the workplace or the location where the incident occurred. This can result in an internal investigation and potentially punitive action against the perpetrator, although this will depend on the company’s policy.
Can I File a Civil Claim?
Many survivors of sexual assault are not told they also have the option of filing a civil claim. Civil claims allow you to pursue perpetrators and other liable parties in sexual assault cases and workplace sexual harassment situations. These are separate from criminal proceedings, so regardless of whether the perpetrator is ever found, charged with a crime, or is ever found guilty at trial, you still file a civil claim.
A civil claim allows you to seek compensation for your injuries, so you can pay for medical bills, counselling, lost time at work, pain and suffering and other damages you have suffered as a result of your injuries. In addition, civil court is another way to hold the perpetrator and other liable parties responsible, which is useful for survivors who feel the justice system has not supported them.
Unlike criminal claims, civil claims also allow you to pursue all liable parties. This means that if a workplace was negligent in keeping you safe by not having a sexual harassment policy or by turning the other way when signs of abuse were present, you can hold them responsible. If a property owner failed to create a safe environment, you can hold them liable, too.
While no amount of money can erase the pain of a sexual assault, a civil claim allows some survivors to feel heard and to get a measure of justice. Civil claims can also address the very real financial losses survivors must face as a result of these experiences. Your claim can empower you with the financial life to get quality support and to start rebuilding your life.
It can be difficult to address some of the memories and experiences survivors have had. Working with a sensitive and experienced personal injury attorney in Hollywood can make a difference. If you have survived a sexual assault and would like to explore all your options for a civil claim, contact Flaxman Law Group at 1-866-352-9626 (1-866-FLAXMAN) for a free consultation to determine whether you have a claim.