Understanding Damages Available in Sexual Assault Lawsuits

by | Feb 9, 2024 | Assault, Sexual Assault, Sexual Harassment, Uber Sexual Assault

Sexual assault is a deeply traumatic experience that can have long-lasting physical, emotional, and psychological effects on survivors. In addition to any criminal proceedings that may occur, survivors also have the option to pursue a sexual assault lawsuit against their assailants. In such cases, damages are sought as a form of compensation for the harm inflicted upon the survivor.

At Kherkher Garcia, our sexual assault lawyers work closely with our clients to assess their damages and ensure fair and just compensation. Below, our lawyers explore the damages that are often available in sexual assault lawsuits. Our hope is that we can shed light on the ways that survivors can seek justice and compensation for the trauma they have experienced.

While no amount of monetary compensation can truly repair the damage done by sexual assault, it can be extremely helpful for survivors as they recover and look to the future.

Damages Available in Sexual Assault Lawsuits

Damages in sexual assault lawsuits can encompass various aspects of the survivor’s suffering and losses. Some of the damages that are often available in these lawsuits include:

Compensatory Damages

Compensatory damages are intended to reimburse survivors for the losses they suffer due to the assault. These damages can include economic and non-economic damages.

  • Economic Damages: This includes tangible financial losses such as medical expenses incurred for treatment related to the assault. It may also include therapy costs, lost wages due to inability to work, and any other out-of-pocket expenses directly resulting from the assault.
  • Non-Economic Damages: These damages cover intangible losses such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of consortium (the negative impact on relationships with partners or family). Quantifying non-economic damages can be challenging, as they are subjective and vary greatly from case to case.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages, also known as exemplary damages, are intended to punish the perpetrator and deter similar conduct in the future. Unlike compensatory damages, which aim to make the survivor whole again, punitive damages are meant to send a message and hold the perpetrator accountable for their actions. Courts may award punitive damages in cases where the defendant’s conduct was particularly egregious or involved malice, recklessness, or intentional wrongdoing.

Statutory Damages

Some jurisdictions have specific laws that allow for the recovery of statutory damages in sexual assault cases. These damages are predetermined amounts established by law and are awarded in addition to compensatory or punitive damages. Statutory damages serve as a form of additional compensation and can vary depending on the laws of the jurisdiction where the lawsuit is filed.

Future Damages

In cases where the survivor’s injuries may have long-term or permanent effects, courts may award damages for future losses. This can include:

  • Future medical expenses
  • Ongoing therapy or counseling costs
  • Loss of future earning capacity if the survivor’s ability to work is compromised due to the assault

Loss of Consortium

Loss of consortium damages are awarded to compensate a survivor’s spouse or partner for the negative impact the assault has had on their relationship. This can include loss of companionship, affection, sexual relations, and other aspects of the relationship that have been adversely affected by the assault.

Legal Fees and Costs

In many cases, survivors may be entitled to recover reasonable attorney’s fees and court costs incurred in pursuing the lawsuit. This serves to alleviate the financial burden on survivors seeking justice and ensures they have access to legal representation throughout the legal process.

It is important to note that the availability and extent of damages in sexual assault lawsuits can vary. Some factors include the jurisdiction where the lawsuit is filed and the specific circumstances of the case. Additionally, pursuing a civil lawsuit for sexual assault can be a complex and emotionally challenging process for survivors. Seeking the guidance of experienced legal professionals and support from advocacy organizations can be invaluable in navigating this process and ensuring survivors’ rights are protected.

How Lawyers Help Victims Obtain Justice in Sexual Assault Lawsuits

In the aftermath of a sexual assault, victims often face a daunting and emotionally taxing journey toward justice. Navigating the legal system can be overwhelming, and survivors may feel powerless or unsure of how to proceed. This is where the expertise and advocacy of a skilled lawyer becomes invaluable. Below are some of the ways that a skilled sexual assault lawyer can help victims obtain justice in sexual assault lawsuit cases.

Providing Legal Guidance and Support

Lawyers specializing in sexual assault cases offer survivors a beacon of support and guidance from the outset. They provide a thorough understanding of the legal process, explaining the survivor’s rights, options, and potential outcomes. By demystifying complex legal procedures and terminology, lawyers empower survivors to make informed decisions about their case.

Investigating and Gathering Evidence

A crucial aspect of building a strong case involves collecting evidence to support the survivor’s claims. Lawyers undertake thorough investigations, working alongside law enforcement agencies and private investigators to gather evidence such as:

  • Witness statements
  • Medical records
  • Forensic evidence
  • Relevant documentation

This comprehensive approach strengthens the survivor’s case and increases the likelihood of a successful outcome.

Advocating for the Survivor’s Interests

Lawyers serve as fierce advocates for their clients, tirelessly fighting to protect their rights and interests throughout the legal process. They represent survivors in negotiations with insurance companies, opposing counsel, and in court proceedings, ensuring that their voices are heard and their needs are prioritized. By zealously advocating for the survivor’s interests, lawyers strive to achieve the best possible outcome for their client.

Navigating Legal Proceedings

Sexual assault lawsuits can involve complex legal proceedings, including pre-trial motions, depositions, and court appearances. Lawyers guide survivors through each step of the process, providing reassurance and support along the way. They handle all aspects of the case on behalf of the survivor, from filing paperwork to presenting arguments in court, allowing survivors to focus on their healing journey without the added stress of legal proceedings.

Seeking Compensation and Justice

Lawyers work tirelessly to secure compensation and justice for survivors of sexual assault. They pursue damages on behalf of their clients, seeking to hold the perpetrator accountable for their actions and provide the survivor with the financial resources they need to rebuild their lives. Whether through settlement negotiations or courtroom litigation, lawyers employ strategic tactics to maximize the survivor’s recovery and ensure that justice is served.

Providing Emotional Support and Empathy

Beyond their legal expertise, lawyers also offer much-needed emotional support and empathy to survivors. They create a safe and supportive environment where survivors can share their experiences without fear of judgment or re-traumatization. Lawyers understand the profound impact that sexual assault can have on survivors and strive to provide compassionate advocacy every step of the way.

Getting Help with a Sexual Assault Lawsuit

The role of a lawyer in sexual assault lawsuits is multifaceted and indispensable. From providing legal guidance and support to advocating for the survivor’s interests and seeking justice, lawyers play a pivotal role in helping victims obtain the closure and compensation they deserve.

At Kherkher Garcia, we are passionate about protecting our clients, their rights, and their best interests. Our sexual assault lawyers are compassionate and skilled legal advocates that survivors can trust. We work with clients every step of the way to navigate the path to justice with confidence and empowerment.

If you need help understanding your legal rights after a sexual assault, please know that Kherkher Garcia is here for you. Our team of lawyers have decades of experience assisting clients in all manner of assault and injury cases. We can help you find the right path toward justice and compensation for what you have experienced.

Get started by calling us at 713-333-1030 for a free case evaluation. You can also submit our confidential online contact form to connect with one of our lawyers.

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Bret Stanley

Bret Stanley

Firm Partner and Trial Lawyer

This article was written and reviewed by Injury Trial Lawyer and Firm Partner Bret Stanley. Bret is a practicing injury lawyer with more than 12 years experience. He has won Millions in Settlements and Verdicts for his clients. Bret’s practice areas have focused on helping clients with rideshare sexual assault, product liability, pharmaceutical device and drug claims, mass tort litigation, catastrophic personal injury litigation, complex insurance litigation, and Jones Act / Maritime Injury litigation.

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