Sexual Abuse Attorneys
The mental and emotional wounds of sexual assault can last a lifetime. For many sex abuse survivors, everyday tasks such as engaging with friends or returning to work can seem overwhelming and unattainable. During these trying moments, it's important to know you're not alone. We know that sexual abuse is irreversible. However, those responsible can be held accountable for their actions. In addition to filing a criminal lawsuit, survivors may also file a civil lawsuit against their abuser.
At Henson Fuerst, we know how difficult the path to recovery can be. You want to heal and move on with your life, but you also want your attacker to be held accountable. Our North Carolina sexual abuse lawyers will ensure that no matter how powerful or influential the perpetrator of the abuse or the institution that facilitated it appears to be, they won't be able to silence you. You are entitled to justice and compensation for the pain and suffering you have endured. Contact our attorneys today by calling 919-781-1107 or by submitting a free, confidential consultation form.
The Legal System is Intimidating for Abuse Survivors.
Survivors of abuse may be concerned that no one will believe them or that the investigation process would be too difficult or embarrassing to get justice. Unfortunately, many institutions eager to hide abuse do so on a daily basis, illustrating society's serious, structural faults, which regularly favor secrecy and cover-ups. Sexual abusers and those in positions of authority who fail to protect those in their care must be held accountable.
If you or a loved one have been sexually abused, you may be eligible to bring a civil action against the institutions that allowed the abuse to occur. Holding institutions responsible for enabling abuse is crucial in preventing future abuse.
Your Voice, Your Recovery, and Your Story Matter. Let Us Fight For You.
Our attorneys recognize how much courage it takes to come forward and share your story. We're here for you and will do everything in our power to hold your abuser accountable to give you the closure you need to move forward.
We'll be by your side throughout the life of your case and walk you through any legal proceedings that require your involvement so you can focus on your physical and emotional recovery. Our firm has the experience, resources, and compassion to devote all of our attention to your case. We recognize how difficult it can be to start this process and share your truth. However, it is not your fault. We believe you, and we are here to listen and support you.
North Carolina Sexual Abuse Laws
As a survivor of sexual abuse, you have the right to take legal action against not only your attacker but several other parties as well. North Carolina law states that you may be able to take legal action against the owner of the premises where the abuse took place if they failed to provide a safe environment. This law applies to owners or operators of:
- medical facilities, such as hospitals or nursing homes,
- restaurants or bars where alcohol is served,
- schools and daycare facilities,
- unsafe work environments where a coworker inflicted the abuse,
- and more.
Proving negligence—or legal responsibility—in these cases can be difficult. However, the North Carolina sexual abuse attorneys at Henson Fuerst have experience handling these types of cases and know what it takes to recover compensation for your physical, mental, and emotional suffering.
What is the Difference Between a Civil and Criminal Lawsuit?
The main distinction between civil and criminal child sexual abuse lawsuits is the severity of the punishment. Defendants in civil lawsuits can suffer a variety of penalties, the majority of which are monetary. Defendants in criminal sexual abuse proceedings may lose their liberty due to imprisonment and other restrictions.
If you’re a survivor of sexual abuse, you might think the only way your attacker can be held responsible is through law enforcement and the criminal court system. That’s not always the case. You also have the option to file a civil lawsuit for damages against your attacker—even if he or she has already been convicted of the crime and is serving a prison sentence.
Statute of Limitations for Sexual Abuse in North Carolina
As with most other civil cases, there is a time limit in which sexual abuse lawsuits must be filed. In North Carolina, under updated law passed in 2019, legal action for sex abuse cases involving a minor victim may now be brought until the victim reaches the age of 28. In addition, a victim may also file a civil lawsuit against a defendant up to two years after a criminal conviction of related felony sexual offenses while the victim was a minor. For all other sexual abuse cases, the statute of limitations is three years from the date of the last act of abuse.
If you have questions about the statute of limitations in North Carolina or wonder whether you can still file a claim, do not hesitate to contact our attorneys by calling 919-781-1107 or submitting a free consultation form online.
Type of Compensation Available to Sexual Abuse Survivors
The victim in a civil claim may be entitled to various types of compensation. However, there are two types of damages: compensatory and punitive damages.
Compensatory damages intend to reimburse the survivor for their losses, and may include compensation for:
- Medical expenses. All previous and future medical expenses, including therapy and counseling with a psychologist or psychiatrist. Treatments in an in-patient or out-patient setting are included.
- Pain and suffering. All past and future emotional harm perpetrated by the institution or individual, as well as the burden you will endure as a survivor. Loss of quality of life or enjoyment of life are examples of pain and suffering. Post-traumatic stress disorder would be included in this category of damages.
- Lost wages. You could pursue a claim for these economic losses if the incident caused you to miss work for counseling, healing, or to avoid the perpetrator.
We know that no amount of money will ever erase the horror you have endured as a survivor of sexual abuse. However, we also know that one of the biggest obstacles to making a full physical and emotional recovery possible is the financial cost.
Punitive damages are frequently used in abuse cases as a means of punishing the defendant. If a judge believes that the survivor of sexual abuse has not gotten enough compensation given the circumstances or if the defendant's conduct was exceptionally heinous, they may order punitive damages in addition to compensatory damages. Punitive damages may be awarded to the defendant for gross carelessness, intent to injure, malice, or illegal activities.
Together, We'll Seek Justice and Help You Find Closure.
Henson Fuerst is committed to fighting vigorously on behalf of survivors of sexual abuse. We strive to make sure your voice is heard, not silenced. Let us help you—call (919) 781-1107 or fill out our free initial consultation form.
Talk with us for Free.
The Henson Fuerst attorneys are always ready to talk to you about your case at absolutely no cost to you. We’ll answer questions that you may have and help you get back on your feet.
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