3 Things You Should Know About Sexual Assault Injury Lawsuits

3 October 2017
 Categories: Law, Blog


If you have been sexually assaulted, you have the right to seek monetary compensation (in addition to the criminal charges) from the perpetrator just as you would have if injured in a car accident. However, your injury lawsuit won't be exactly like a car accident case; it will have some unique features such as these three:

No Cause of Action Called Sexual Assault

The first thing you should know is that, as far as personal injury laws go, there is no legal theory called "sexual assault" that you can use to sue for damages. This means you can't sue someone for "sexual assault" per se in a civil court and claim damages.

This means you have to look for a relevant legal theory on which to base the lawsuit. For example, you can sue for damages under the legal theory of assault and battery. Legally speaking, this means you are claiming that the defendant caused you physical harm or tried to cause you physical harm.

Damages Can Be High

The other thing you should know is that, if you can prove your case, your settlement is likely to be significant because the damages will be high. Sexual assault is a serious crime in all states, and it causes serious injury (physical, emotional, and psychological).

As usual, your exact settlement will depend on different issues such as your medical bills, your pain and suffering, and missed wages, the position of the perpetrator, among others. For example, if the defendant is our employer, then the number of employees in your company will be one of the factors determining your compensation. 

Collecting Judgment Is Difficult

Even though you may receive a significant award from the jury or judge, collecting it from the defendant will not be easy. This is because insurance coverage is the common source of settlement funds in other forms of personal injury claims.

However, many insurance companies specifically exclude sexual injury from their coverage, which means the defendant's insurance company will not be on the hook for the payout. As such, you will have to go after the personal assets of the defendant, such as wages and real estate properties. However, collecting judgment from such sources is a complicated process and may involve further legal actions.

In short, you can get compensation for sexual assault injuries, but the path to getting that compensation may not be straightforward. Therefore, if you have suffered such an assault, immediate medical treatment and then consult services like Wolter, Beeman, Lynch & Londrigan LLP as soon as possible to advise you on the best course of action to take.