ACWORTH, Georgia. Bill Cosby’s recent sexual assault conviction comes 50 years after the assault took place. In the wake of the #metoo movement, more women are coming forward, sharing their stories of sexual assault and harassment. The psychological and physical damages of sexual assault can be immense. Victims may need years of therapy or counseling after the assault. Unfortunately, not all insurance covers therapy or counseling. Victims may face years of medical bills that they may have to pay out of their own pocket.
Can victims sue for sexual assault? Victims do have a right to pursue damages against their perpetrators. In some cases, pursuing a sexual assault civil case is the only way victims see justice, because the burden of proof in a civil case may differ than the burden of proof for a criminal case. Victims may be entitled to seek damages for medical expenses, therapy, emotional distress, lost wages from missed time from work and other damages. However, if you were sexually assaulted years ago, it could be difficult to pursue a sexual assault case long after the fact, due to statute of limitations limits. According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, a recent court case ruled that victims of child sexual assault will not be able to pursue lawsuits against their accusers. Child sexual assault victims had petitioned that the statute of limitations be extended. Individuals were seeking the right to sue organizations and groups that had permitted sexual assault to go on and groups that had covered up sexual assault crimes against children. The ruling makes Georgia one of the most unfriendly states to survivors of child sexual abuse. Other states are considering extending the statute of limitations for child survivors of sexual abuse in the wake of recent allegations.
Some believe that organizations would be discouraged from hiding sexual abuse, especially if adults can later sue when they are old enough to come forward. After all, a child may not always be in a position to defend him or herself.
However, an old case doesn’t always mean that you won’t be able to settle outside of court. Some of the women who alleged assault from Cosby have been able to receive settlements. One woman received $3.38 million. In the wake of Cosby’s criminal conviction, more women may come forward and seek damages.
According to the New York Times, it can be difficult for women to pursue cases that happened years ago, even in the wake of the Bill Cosby conviction. Cosby’s case is unique because his behavior reflected a pattern of behavior over many years.
At the end of the day, if you have been a victim of sexual abuse or assault, report the incident to authorities and consider your rights. Amanda Hall Injury Law are personal injury lawyers in Acworth, Georgia who assist victims facing a range of damages and injuries. If you have questions, we may be able to provide answers. Visit our firm to learn more about how you can protect your rights.
Amanda Hall Injury Law
Towne Lake Parkway, Suite 200
Woodstock, GA 30188