Sexual abuse can take many forms and involve people from all walks of life.
If you or someone you love is a survivor of sexual assault or another type of sexual abuse, you have the right to file a claim for damages in California.
Understandably, you might not know where to begin. Fortunately, you don’t have to go through this legal process alone.
The California sexual abuse lawyers at Peerali Law are here to protect your rights and help you every step of the way.
What Is Sexual Abuse?
The term “sexual abuse” covers various sexual offenses related to non-consensual sexual contact. It can also include sexual harassment and sexual bullying. Sexual harassment and bullying are especially prevalent in the workplace and in schools.
Examples of sexual abuse can include:
- Inappropriately touching a student, parishioner, patient, or any other person;
- Rape, attempted rape, or statutory rape;
- Making inappropriate sexual comments;
- Taking sexual photos of a child;
- Sexual contact with someone who is unconscious or under the influence of drugs or alcohol;
- Showing someone sexual images or videos they do not want to see;
- Making inappropriate sexual advances;
- Performing unnecessary medical exams of private parts; and
- Making inappropriate sexual jokes or remarks.
Despite what many people think, sexual abuse isn’t always committed by strangers. A perpetrator can be a family member, a co-worker, a neighbor, a person in a position of authority, a friend, or anyone else you have a social, familial, or professional relationship with.
Sexual abuse often occurs where you expect to feel safe—at home, church, school, work, summer camp, doctors’ offices, and similar places.
It also happens in nursing homes. The elderly are especially vulnerable because they are often physically and mentally frail.
If you or someone you love is a survivor of sexual abuse, an experienced sexual abuse attorney in Los Angeles can help you understand your legal options.
Sexual Abuse vs. Sexual Assault in California
While the terms sexual assault and sexual abuse are sometimes used interchangeably, there are differences between the two terms.
California Penal Code Section 243.4 defines sexual assault as the crime of touching the intimate part of another person’s body against their will and while they are restrained.
That definition also requires that the perpetrator does this for their own sexual arousal or gratification or to abuse the victim. The term “sexual abuse” is most commonly used when the victim is a minor.
The term is also often used to describe an ongoing or consistent pattern of sexual assault or abuse that happens over time.
How a Sexual Assault Attorney in Los Angeles Can Help
Pursuing a claim for sexual assault or abuse can be complicated, especially because an institution or business might try to cover up what happened.
For example, a church might conceal complaints of sexual abuse about a priest or a school about a teacher. Institutions and corporations could be liable for a survivor’s trauma and damages.
You need a sexual assault lawyer in Los Angeles with the skills and experience to take on these institutions and corporations. At Peerali Law, we aren’t afraid to stand up to large corporations, government entities, and other institutions to hold wrongdoers accountable.
Compensation for Sexual Abuse or Assault in California
While no amount of money will take away the trauma you endured, filing a lawsuit can help hold these powerful entities and people accountable for their actions.
It can also expose the abuse these organizations are trying to cover up. Every sexual abuse case is different, so what you might be eligible to receive will differ from what someone else might receive.
In general, recoverable damages in a sexual abuse case can include the following:
- Medical expenses to date,
- Future medical expenses,
- Lost wages and associated benefits,
- Future loss of earning capacity,
- Pain and suffering,
- Psychological therapy,
- Mental anguish and emotional distress, and
- Disfigurement or scarring.
How Long Do You Have to File a Sexual Abuse Lawsuit?
California takes sexual abuse cases seriously. For cases involving the sexual abuse of an adult, a plaintiff has 10 years from the date of the last abuse or 3 years after the plaintiff discovered a serious illness or injury related to the abuse to file a lawsuit, whichever date is later.
Child survivors of sexual abuse have until their 40th birthday to file a lawsuit or five years after discovering a serious illness or injury, whichever date is later.
Contact Our California Sexual Abuse Lawyers
If you need assistance pursuing compensation for sexual assault or sexual abuse, contact the California sexual abuse lawyers at Peerali Law. We are passionate about getting justice for survivors and exposing the entities and people behind the abuse.
Our lawyers have years of experience standing up to large institutions, government entities, and corporations. We’ve successfully recovered millions of dollars in compensation for our clients and can help you fight for the money you deserve.
Schedule an initial appointment today to learn more about how Peerali Law can help you.