New York City Sexual Abuse Lawyers
Sexual abuse is one of the most difficult experiences anyone can ever have to go through. If you are an abuse survivor, you deserve to seek closure, accountability, and compensation for your losses, pain, and suffering. Speaking out against an abuser or third party that permitted abuse is always stressful, but you don’t have to face the challenge without compassionate and dedicated support guiding you through every step of the way.
At Sullivan & Galleshaw, LLP, our New York sexual abuse attorneys have more than 30 years of experience in various legal issues, and we determined to help survivors take aggressive legal action against their abusers. We understand how difficult these cases can be for our clients and are sensitive to concerns about confidentiality. We can help you exercise your legal rights, counsel and advise you throughout the litigation process, and fight tirelessly to pursue the justice you deserve. To set up a confidential case evaluation free of charge, call the Law Offices of Sullivan and Galleshaw at (718) 593-4056, or contact us online.
New York Child Victims Act and the Statute of Limitations for Sexual Abuse Claims
Prior to the New York Child Victims Act (CVA) being signed into law in February of 2019, New York imposed highly restrictive laws regarding the statute of limitations for civil sexual abuse lawsuits. The statute of limitations sets the deadline for when a particular type of case must be filed by a plaintiff. Failure to file within the allotted timeframe means that the court could bar the plaintiff’s claim.
The State of New York formerly required survivors of sexual abuse to file their lawsuits against an abuser within one year. Specifically, once a survivor reached the age of 18, they had until their 19th birthday to file their case. Additionally, if a plaintiff wished to file a lawsuit against an institution that permitted sexual abuse to occur or that concealed the abuse, the plaintiff would have three years from the date of their 18th birthday to file.
As the statute of limitations for personal injury cases based on negligence is three years from the date of the injury, a survivor of sexual abuse would only be permitted to have a maximum of three years to pursue their claim whether they filed a personal injury or sexual abuse claim.
Having a relatively short statute of limitations for sexual abuse lawsuits was a severe issue as many survivors of sexual abuse have difficulty accepting the physical and psychological trauma they endured and continue to endure. Others may have been manipulated into believing they were not abused. As a result, victims of sexual abuse could easily miss the statute of limitations deadline while trying to cope with their history of being abused.
Fortunately, the State of New York passed the CVA, which substantially increases the statute of limitations for survivors of child sexual abuse. Specifically, the CVA states that the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse lawsuits now expires when a survivor reaches the age of 55. Additionally, if the previous statute of limitations for a sexual abuse claim has already elapsed, the CVA grants the plaintiff a one-year window to file their lawsuit. The renewed one-year window began to run on August 14, 2019, meaning you should not waste any time in speaking with an experienced attorney about your case.
The CVA has also provided survivors of sexual abuse with the right to file a sexual abuse claim against public and private institutions that failed to prevent sexual abuse committed by their employees. Previously, victims would have to obtain a “notice of claim” letter before they could sue a public institution, the CVA eliminated that restriction to make it easier for survivors of abuse to pursue compensation. The CVA has also extended the statute of limitations for criminal cases against sexual abusers.
To learn more about the compensation available for sexual abuse claims, you should continue reading and speak with an experienced NYC sexual abuse lawyer.
Compensation Available for Victims of Sexual Abuse
The purpose of a civil suit is not to determine the defendant’s guilt or innocence but to determine the extent of the defendant’s liability. While each case is unique, generally speaking, plaintiffs in New York abuse cases may sue to recover damages such as:
- Pain and suffering, such as sexually transmitted infections or any other injuries, illnesses, or health issues arising from the abuse. Similarly, loss of enjoyment of life may also be compensated.
- Any medical expenses stemming from sexual abuse or incidents involved in the claim is also compensable. For example, plaintiffs may have incurred medical expenses due to needing surgery, needing to visit a specialist, or needing to purchase medical equipment or prescription medications.
- Financial losses caused by sexual abuse or related incidents involved in the claim can be compensated. In addition to serious physical injury, abuse victims may experience depression, anxiety, insomnia, PTSD, chronic pain, and other conditions which interfere with their ability to maintain employment and earn income.
As mentioned, every plaintiff’s case will be unique, meaning the amount of compensation awarded in a successful lawsuit can vary depending on the circumstances.
Work with Our Trusted New York Sexual Assault Lawyers to Evaluate Your Claim
If you or a family member was the survivor of sexual abuse, consult with an experienced New York sexual assault lawyer. The legal team at Sullivan & Galleshaw, LLP understand the extreme stress and trauma that can be inflicted due to sexual abuse, and we are here for you in your time of need. To schedule a free legal consultation to discuss your potential lawsuit, contact Sullivan & Galleshaw, LLP at (718) 593-4056.