Sexual battery and sexual assault victims are increasingly filing personal injury lawsuits for their emotional and physical injuries stemming from the sexual abuse – not just against their criminal perpetrators, but against other third parties who may be legally responsible for them becoming victims in the first place. Research studies conducted in the last decade explore the topic of empowerment and the therapeutic benefits that may be realized when rape and sexual assault survivors choose to pursue civil remedies regardless of any criminal proceedings filed against their assailant.
A personal injury claim, also known as a tort action, is seeking financial compensation for wrongs that have caused damage or injury to the child or adult sexual abuse victim. This tort litigation may include intended harms, commonly called an intentional tort, or negligent harm, which results when a person or entity fails to use reasonable care to protect the victim from foreseeable sexual assault or molestation.
Under Florida law there are 7 different recognized intentional torts, 4 of which are relevant to the subject of sexual abuse: assault, battery, false imprisonment and intentional infliction of emotional distress. An evaluation of the particular facts by an experienced Fort Lauderdale sexual abuse attorney will be necessary to determine which specific causes of action are viable against the perpetrator.
Litigation against third parties, such as schools, churches, day care centers, landlords and property owners, or other businesses, typically allege negligence or failure to exercise reasonable care. The negligence may stem from claims that the perpetrator’s employer negligently hired or supervised the assailant or that the premises were poorly maintained by the landlord and this lack of security allowed the individual to gain access to the property.
In almost all civil lawsuits there is a limited amount of time in which the law will let an injured person file an action for money damages against the tortfeasor. However, in cases of sexual battery involving children, the Florida statute of limitations is very lenient and allows the person to file a civil lawsuit at anytime, so long as certain age parameters are met, based on the date of the sexual battery.
Charles A. Morehead, III, one of the attorneys of Abramowitz, Pomerantz & Morehead, P.A., is an experienced Florida sexual abuse personal injury lawyer. He has successfully handled several high profile cases involving the issues of sexual assault and abuse. He zealously represents all of his clients with empathy and compassion, always cognizant of the sensitive nature of these claims. He is available to discuss your rights and analyze the facts, issues and strategies involved in bringing a claim against the appropriate at fault parties in a sexual abuse case.
For more information or to discuss your potential sexual abuse or child molestation claim, at no cost or obligation, contact us or call us at 954-572-7200. All inquires are welcome.