Sexual Assault Attorneys
Sexual assault is any form of unwanted or nonconsensual sexual activity or behavior. Unfortunately, sexual assault and abuse is becoming a frequent occurrence in American society. According to the NC Department of Justice, every 98 seconds a sexual assault is committed. Survivors of rape and other forms of sexual assault may be able to recover compensation for their injuries – both physical and emotional – in a civil lawsuit. Because civil claims are separate from criminal cases and carry a lower burden of proof, victims may be able to win a civil claim even in situations where the perpetrator was found not guilty or was not charged.
Our sexual assault lawyers have a vast amount of experience in helping sexual abuse victims retrieve compensation. If you or a loved one was sexually assaulted or abused, don’t fight this alone. Contact us now to find out how we can defend your rights.
Because most perpetrators don’t have resources to pay compensation in a civil case, and any insurance they may have typically doesn’t cover intentional acts like sexual assault, it is often necessary to look to another responsible party. For example, this may include a business that provided inadequate security, a company that failed to screen its employees’ criminal background, or a professional like a psychiatrist or a teacher who was legally required to report a specific threat but failed to do so.
Another potential case involves victims who are in law enforcement custody or undergoing a medical procedure when the assault occurs. In fact, Riddle & Brantley has successfully represented victims of sexual assault who were forced to engage in sexual activity while they were in jail or prison. Examples include:
- A $5 million verdict in a case that involved a former Wayne County sheriff’s deputy who forced jailed women to have sex with him in a detective’s office.
- A $750,000 verdict in a case that involved an N.C. Department of Corrections officer who engaged in a forced sexual relationship.
To discuss your situation in a confidential claim review, contact the sexual assault lawyers at Riddle & Brantley now. We believe that Justice Counts for victims of sexual assault, and we are committed to obtaining civil justice for the suffering inflicted by these types of crimes.
What Is Sexual Assault?
In the broadest sense, sexual assault includes any type of nonconsensual sexual activity. Rape and attempted rape are perhaps what first comes to mind when discussing sexual assault, but the category includes many other forms of unwanted sexual conduct.
Sexual assault also includes activities such as:
- Unwanted groping, fondling, or sexual battery.
- Unwanted or unlawful sexual intercourse
- Any form of sexual gratification that is without consent
- Coercion of the victim to perform sexual acts on the perpetrator.
- Sexual activity with someone who is unable to consent due to impaired consciousness caused by drugs, anesthesia, drunkenness and the like.
- Sexual activity with someone who is too young to consent, this can also include any form of statutory rape. This often includes child molestation cases (victim of molestation, etc.).
These are just a few of the many activities that may be considered sexual assault.
Compensation for Victims of Sexual Assault
If a person used you for selfish sexual arousal you may be able to bring a separate civil claim against the perpetrator regardless of the outcome of the criminal case. However, even if the victim is successful in such a claim, it may still be impossible to recover compensation if the perpetrator lacks assets to pay a judgment, and insurance may not provide coverage for a perpetrator’s intentional acts.
This means that victims of sexual assault or sexual harassment must frequently look to other parties whose negligence may have played a role in the incident – and who also have the resources to pay compensation in a successful claim.
Our attorneys can fully investigate your situation and determine all potential sources of recovery.
Possibilities include, for example:
- An apartment complex that provided inadequate security in the parking lot where the sexual assault occurred.
- The law enforcement or correctional agency that employed the officer who sexually assaulted a person in custody.
- An employer who negligently hired or retained an employee who sexually assaulted another employee.
- The school system that employed a teacher who had sex with an underage student.
- The psychiatry practice that employed a psychiatrist who failed to report a specific threat of sexual assault as required by law.
- The hospital that employed an anesthesiologist who sexually assaulted a patient who was under anesthesia.
These are just a few examples of situations in which a third party may be held responsible for paying compensation to a victim of sexual assault.
A successful sexual assault personal injury claim may entitle the victim to recover damages such as:
- Payment of medical bills related to injuries sustained in the assault, including costs related to psychiatric treatment and counseling.
- Compensation for pain, suffering and emotional distress.
- Lost wages due to missed work.
- Punitive damages.
What Makes a Solid Civil Claim for Sexual Assault Injuries?
In most sexual assault cases, the only witnesses are the victim and the perpetrator. In these situations, it is essentially one person’s word against another’s, leaving it up to the judge or jury to determine who is more believable. Although the burden of proof in civil cases is lower than in criminal cases, this type of “he said, she said” evidence may not be enough to secure compensation.
Other forms of evidence that may help bolster a civil claim for injuries suffered in a sexual assault include:
- Physical evidence, such as clothing, fibers and similar items from the crime scene.
- Medical evidence, including the perpetrator’s DNA found in substances that are often collected in a rape kit.
- A history of similar conduct, including the perpetrator’s previous convictions for sex crimes or implication in other forms of sexual misconduct.
- Testimony from mental health providers regarding the victim’s symptoms of emotional trauma.
- Testimony from relatives, co-workers, and friend regarding the victim’s behavior and emotional state after the incident.
Discuss Your Situation in a Confidential and Free Consultation
The compassionate and caring personal injury attorneys at Riddle & Brantley are here for you whenever you are ready to discuss your situation. Rest assured that the consultation is absolutely confidential and free.
Because Justice Counts, we are dedicated to obtaining just compensation for victims of terrible crimes involving sexual assault. You may be entitled to compensation for the suffering you have endured.
Having four offices throughout North Carolina in Goldsboro, Raleigh, Kinston, and Jacksonville, our attorneys are able to help victims of sexual attacks across the entire state. We are ready to talk with you whenever you are ready to discuss your situation, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Just call us or fill out our online contact form for a free consultation that comes with no obligations.