West Palm Beach Sexual Assault Attorney
Our Personal Injury Attorneys Can Represent You
Sexual assault and battery victims do not often report their attacks for many different reasons, and our lawyers understand that. The overwhelming majority of sexual battery around the world is inflicted against women. Often, those who have been victimized by sexual battery or assault may feel too embarrassed to press charges against the accused. They might even feel like they “deserved it”.
The reality is that sexual battery and assault is never deserved. This is not only a serious crime in Florida, victims can also sue their Defendants and other responsible parties in civil court.
Our personal injury law firm has represented dozens of violent sexual assault victims as a personal injury case. Our objective is to obtain compensation for our victims by holding the responsible parties insurance company liable. We accomplish this by establishing liability on the part of the Defendant, and file a lawsuit against the Defendant’s available insurance company (or, in rare cases, against the Defendant personally.)
How can a lawyer help me if I’ve been raped or assaulted?
A personal injury lawyer who practices in the area of law that protects the victims of sexual battery or rape can play a very important role in your recovery following an attack.
First, we can help connect you with the proper authorities to investigate the battery or the assault and possibly help bring charges against the perpetrator. If the attacker is unknown, we can assist in investigation the matter to try and determine who the Defendant might or could be.
Second, we can help you file a legal claim against the Defendant or other associated Defendants in the civil court of law. The purpose of a civil claim is to hold the attacker accountable for his or her actions and secure restitution for the pain, suffering, and mental and physical agony an attacker has inflicted upon you.
Third, we are advocates for the rights of the sexually assaulted. Our attorneys have represented victims of sexual assault of various backgrounds, circumstances, and outcomes. We have been featured in national and international press and media for high-profile sexual battery cases. Our lawyers have also spoken at women’s and victim’s rights seminars and workshops about the law and the civil protections for those who have been raped or assaulted. You want a lawyer with experience, compassion, and dedication to fighting for your rights.
The circumstances of any sexual assault personal injury lawsuit will be the determining factor on who the named Defendant(s) in the lawsuit will be. Below are some general frequently asked questions regarding sexual assault or abuse, and how a personal injury law firm can help.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Is rape the same as sexual battery in Florida?
Under Florida law, sexual battery, synonymous with “rape”, is punishable as a felony, which may be upgraded depending on the circumstances of the action. For example, sexual battery on a minor can constitute a capital felony, with a possibility of life in prison as punishment. Marital rape is also a serious offense in Florida. There is no protection for a Defendant who commits sexual assault or battery to use the existence of marriage as a defense. Penalties are extremely harsh for any sexual assault or battery criminal proceedings brought by the State of Florida.
Remember, in a criminal case, the Defendant is held accountable to the State. In a civil case, which is the kind of law our firm specializes in, the Defendant is held accountable for his or her actions with a monetary payment to be paid directly by the Defendant, or possibly by their liability insurance company.
- Is assault the same as rape?
According to Florida law, “sexual battery” is when physical contact is made during a sexual attack, while “assault” occurs when an attacker makes a threat or otherwise intimidates a victim, and the attacker is believed to be capable of carrying out such an attack. Each offense under Florida law carries both a criminal and civil penalty. Penalties vary according to the circumstances of the incident.
- Do I have to press charges to bring forward a civil lawsuit in a rape or sexual assault case?
No, your attacker does not have to be criminally prosecuted or even investigated by the police in order for you to bring forward a civil lawsuit against him or her. As a strategy, however, our attorneys may assist you in filing formal criminal charges against the attacker, depending on the unique circumstances of each case.
- What can I recover from a civil lawsuit against a sexual attacker?
Florida law allows for the victims of sexual battery and assault to recover monetary compensation for both economic and non-economic damages. In civil law, economic damages include past, present, and future medical treatment reimbursement for injuries that resulted from the sexual attack, mental health counseling and treatment, and lost income. Non-economic damages include pain and suffering, and mental anguish.
Sometimes, you may have more than one Defendant in a sexual battery case. Third-party Defendants may be introduced into the case, in addition to the attacker. These Defendants can be the owners of the property (or their insurance company) on which the rape or assault took place, such as college campuses, for example. Another example of a third-party Defendant might be the owner of a bar or tavern who over-serves someone who the commits an attack, or the landlords who own the rental property a victim may occupy at the time and place of the attack.
A reputable and experienced sexual abuse attorney will offer a free no-obligation initial consultation to help you understand your rights as a victim of sexual battery or assault afforded to you under Florida law. That is what we do. Call 561-444-4440 today to speak with a specialist who can help you find out if you have a viable personal injury case against a Defendant sexual attacker.
- What are some other reasons why I should hire a lawyer?
Personal injury attorneys operate on what is called a “contingency fee basis”. What this means is that we do not charge you as a client up-front for any costs or fees to handle your case. Rather, if and only if we reach a settlement or obtain a verdict for your case, will we deduct our fees and costs from the settlement or verdict. In other words, we do not charge fees or costs unless we secure compensation for you and your case.
Our attorneys work with medical doctors and psychologists who may provide you with the treatment you need to recover from a traumatic episode like that of a rape or assault. They too may treat you on contingency basis, so that you can get the help you need immediately. We also adhere to a strict Attorney-Client Privilege policy. We pride ourselves on presenting a trust between our firm and our clients.
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