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Can the Victim of a Sexual Assault File a Civil Lawsuit?

If you are the victim of a sexual assault you have the right to file a lawsuit in a civil court against the perpetrator. For the most part, a civil suit is not meant to initiate a criminal prosecution, but is usually the sole way to obtain monetary compensation for the harm that the victim has suffered.

If this terrible action happened to you on the job or in the course of performing a professional duty, there is some pivotal information for you right here.

Types of claims and damages

The type and amount of compensation available in a civil lawsuit for sexual assault depends on the definite facts of the case, as well as the legal doctrine under which the lawsuit is based. As there is no action termed “sexual assault,” in legal terminology, you need to choose another legal description to hold the defendant liable, named “cause of action” in this context. This can also mean intentional infliction of emotional distress, or assault & battery and Sacramento, California sexual harassment lawyers are familiar with every category mentioned here.

Irrespective of any legal theory involved in the civil case process, damages for sexual assault or abuse case emerge from the emotional and physical harm a victim has suffered and will most likely continue to suffer as a result of the abuse. This type of crime can haunt a female for decades. It affects her personal life and could make her distrust males in a way that is not rational and affects her life on many levels, professionally and personally.

Tarnishing their reputation

This is why this website is so vital, http://sexual-harassment-lawyers.usattorneys.com/california/, because it can offer a victim legal salvation. This culprit may not be headed to jail but their financial situation can take a serious hit. In fact, it may take them years to recover and could harm their personal and professional life as well if others find out about this.

Since these crimes are egregious in nature, a judge can award damages on a large scale. Thus, the perpetrator of the assault can be made liable in order to pay a large sum of money. However, there is a problem in some cases. If the perpetrator is not very wealthy, it might be hard, if not impossible, to collect. Liability insurance policies in general leave out coverage of intentional acts, so that any compensation should come from the defendant’s personal assets as any California sexual harassment attorney will tell you.

Proving your case in civil court

If you can prove that the defendant is responsible for the harassment it can initiate a criminal prosecution but if it is a civil lawsuit, you stand a better chance of succeeding. This is because a complex law termed “collateral estoppel” may give you the right to present evidence that the defendant was already found guilty of committing sexual abuse by a court in a criminal case.

Even without a criminal case, the victim should be able to establish that the defendant is legally responsible for having committed the alleged sexual abuse with the strong assistance of a Sacramento, CA sexual harassment lawyer.

This is due to the fact that the standard of evidence remains lower in any civil case, as compared to that of a criminal court. Under the circumstances, to establish a defendant civilly responsible for sexual abuse, the victim needs to do only one thing: to show that, “it is more likely than not” that the perpetrator committed the wrongful act alleged, “by preponderance of the evidence”.

However, in a criminal case, the onus of proof requires that the prosecution prove the guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt”, which is a standard that is much harder to meet. If you find this confusing you can always turn to a California sexual harassment lawyer who knows this arena if you or someone you care about has been a victim of a sexual assault. Your lawyer will be able to evaluate your case and examine the evidence available to help you with your lawsuit.

 

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