Sexual abuse can be an extremely traumatic and horrifying experience, and it is certainly never one the victim deserves. While the criminal justice system will work and fight for justice on your behalf in most cases, there remain some wrinkles in established practices and law that may obstruct efforts to seek justice in cases involving sexual abuse crimes. A Ohio sexual abuse lawyer can help you identify and attempt to avoid these obstacles. Distinguished personal injury attorneys can help you work towards a solution that may provide you with much-needed closure and compensation.
Criminal vs. Civil Cases
For all criminal cases, the justice system mandates a very high standard of proof for convictions and charges to stand. To use more common terms for this principle, a defendant’s culpability for a crime must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt before they can be found guilty or sentenced for a crime.
In civil court, however, the standard of proof can often be much lower. In some types of civil cases, the court operates under the assumption that, more likely than not, the damaging situation under review did in fact occur. Since accusations of sexual abuse can often depend heavily on personal testimony and experience, some sexual abuse cases may have greater success and result in more compensation in civil court rather than criminal court.
Statute of Limitations for Sexual Abuse Cases
In sexual abuse cases involving only adults, a prospective plaintiff has one year from the date of the original incident to file their case. If the subject of the abuse is a child or a person who was abused as a child, the statute of limitations changes. In these circumstances, the plaintiff has three years from the day they turn 18 or three years from the day the abuse was first discovered to file their suit. Parents also have the right to bring a civil lawsuit on behalf of a child, if the child is underage and suffered from sexual abuse.
Sexual Abuse Laws in Civil Trials
Ohio sexual abuse lawyers know that the law does not just distinguish rape as a sexual assault offense. Any sort of unwanted touching, fondling, or sexual contact qualifies as sexual assault, and may entitle a p son to legal compensation for their loss.
A plaintiff in a sexual abuse case can be compensated for both physical and non-physical damages. These may include medical bills and other such costs related to recovery from the abuse, loss of psychological and emotional well-being, and general pain and suffering.
Sexual Assault Cases in the Workplace
Specific additional laws come into play if the sexual abuse occurred at a person’s place of employment. The person who suffered the abuse can file a formal complaint against their employer through Ohio’s Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The deadline for filing such a complaint is 300 days after the incident.
After reviewing the claim, the EEOC can choose to sue on the injured person’s behalf or, if they deny the claim, allow the person to sue privately. If a person chooses to proceed with their suit, they must take the case to court within 90 days of receiving notice from the Commission in order to remain eligible for compensation.
Contacting an Ohio Sexual Abuse Attorney
If you or someone you love has suffered from sexual abuse, a Ohio sexual abuse lawyer is willing and able to help. Whether you want to go to trial or settle out of court, a qualified and considerate sexual abuse attorney can advise you on the best options to pursue and guide you through the process of filing suit.