Filing a Sexual Abuse Lawsuit Under New York Law

14 Mar, 2019 0 comments
Filing a Sexual Abuse Lawsuit Under New York Law

Sexual abuse or assault can forever impact the lives of victims and their loved ones. Although years may go by and the pain may become dull, the scar will never fully go away. For some, the psychological pain associated with sexual abuse, especially childhood sexual abuse, will never heal. This is particularly the case if the victim never got civil or criminal justice against his or her perpetrator or the institution that harbored the perpetrator.

Filing a Lawsuit Under the Childs Victims Act

The New York Legislature Assembly passed a new law, called the Child Victims Act, on February 14, 2019 to raise the statute of limitations in child sex abuse cases. The new law opens the window for lawsuits by child sex abuse victims. It also raises the age at which victims can bring civil and criminal charges against their alleged abusers.
Additionally, the Child Victims Act creates a one-year period for individuals who were the victims of child sex abuse and whose statute of limitations has already expired to file a claim against their abuser and/or entities who were responsible for the oversight or who employed their abuser. This means that childhood sexual abuse victims have one year from the passage of the law to file suit. This makes it imperative for all victims to immediately take action to protect their legal rights under this new law.

Who Qualifies to File a Sexual Abuse Lawsuit?

The Child Victims Act allows anyone, of any age, in the State of New York to file a lawsuit as long:
The “incident” happened when they victim was younger than 18 years old
The victim has physical or psychological injuries or conditions as a result of the abuse
The victim files their lawsuit before July 24, 2020
The Child Victims Act provides victims who have been sexually violated as a child an opportunity to seek justice, but it also comes with a hard deadline. If you or a loved one is a victim of childhood sexual abuse and now suffer from a psychological or physical injury, you may be eligible to get compensation from your perpetrator and the institution that protected that individual.

Common Types of Sexual Abuse and Assault

Minors are often taken advantage of by those they trust and who have some level of power over them. Perpetrators of abuse often include but are not limited to:
Religious figurehead (i.e. priest/pastor)
Foster parent(s)
Law enforcement officer(s)
Medical professional(s)

If you or a loved one was sexually victimized by anyone at any point in your life, you deserve justice. You need to act quickly to protect your rights.

Civil v. Criminal Action

The Child Victims Act allows victims of child sexual abuse to seek the justice they deserve to finally bring them the closure they desperately need. Victims who are considering filing a claim under this new law should note that even if their victimizer was acquitted in a criminal court, they can still file a civil lawsuit. The reason for this is that the standard of evidence in a civil lawsuit is much easier to prove.
In a civil action, childhood sexual victims only need to prove that their perpetrator is guilty based on the “preponderance of the evidence.” This lower standard of evidence allows victims of sexual abuse an increased likelihood of obtaining some form of recovery for their pain and suffering.

Call Us for More Information!

If you or a loved one was sexually abused as a child, the state of New York will take care of the criminal action while you need to handle the civil action against the perpetrator. The state prosecutor will help put the offender behind bars, while the civil action can help get you, the sexual assault victim, compensation for your damages.
If you or a loved one is the victim of child sexual abuse, you need to know how the Child Victims Act can help you get the justice you deserve. For more information or to better understand how this law can help you, please call our professional help center at 212-385-4410.

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Author: Jeff S. Korek

Jeff S. Korek joined Gersowitz, Libo and Korek, P.C. in 1992 as partner and trial attorney representing victims of medical malpractice and construction accidents. Known for his meticulous preparation and dedication to his clients, he has obtained substantial verdicts.