A seasoned personal injury and sexual abuse lawyer Miami FL trusts can knows all too well, a sexual assault can devastate the victim a second time if the criminal justice system fails them in the pursuit of justice. However, whether or not the perpetrator is charged with criminal assault, or if prosecutors dropped the charge, the victim has another legal option. With the help of a sexual abuse lawyer Miami FL victims need, a victim of sexual assault may have grounds to file a civil lawsuit against the perpetrator. At Needle & Ellenberg, P.A., our legal team has helped many victims of sexual assault get the justice they deserve from those who have hurt them. Our attorneys are compassionate and understanding when working with clients, but aggressive in their pursuit of recovering damages.
Criminal Charges Versus a Civil Lawsuit
When someone breaks a law and they are caught, they may be charged with a crime. If they are found guilty of that criminal charge, they face jail time and/or fines, depending on the nature of the crime.
When someone harms someone else, the victim may have grounds to file a civil lawsuit against that person. If the perpetrator is found guilty by a judge or jury, he or she will be compelled by law to compensate the victim a sum of money. How much money they must award the victim will depend on the nature of their actions. Civil lawsuit awards could be as little as a dollar or as much as millions of dollars. Upon accepting your case, a sexual abuse lawyer Miami FL victims rely on from our firm can give you an estimate as to what he or she believes your case is worth.
Something important to understand is that criminal charges and civil lawsuits are independent of one another. A perpetrator can be arrested for assault, or not arrested, convicted, or walk free and still be named as a defendant in a civil lawsuit. Perhaps the most infamous example of this is the civil lawsuit against O.J. Simpson after he was found innocent of murdering Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman. The Goldman family won a monetary award from Simpson because the civil lawsuit jury concluded he was guilty of murdering Ron Goldman, though a different jury found him innocent in a criminal trial. Establishing guilt in a civil lawsuit is usually much easier than in a criminal trial.
Recovery of Damages
As opposed to a criminal trial, perpetrators of sexual assault who are found guilty in a criminal lawsuit will not face jail time as a result. Instead, they will be held responsible for repaying the damages they caused the victim. A sexual abuse lawyer Miami FL calls on from our firm can review your case and determine what damages you’ve suffered might qualify as damages. In the context of a sexual assault, examples of damages that may be eligible for compensation could include the following:
- Medical costs for treatment of physical injuries associated with the sexual assault.
- Therapy or counseling.
- Lost wages for the time period the victim was unable to work due to the physical and/or emotional injuries incurred by the perpetrator.
- Pain and suffering.
- Loss of joy.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms such as depression, anxiety, etc.
If you were the victim of a sexual assault, call our office at (786) 460-7030 without delay to request a free case review with a seasoned personal injury and sexual abuse lawyer Miami FL residents turn to, today.