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What Every Victim Needs to Know About Filing a Child Sexual Abuse Lawsuit

Filing a civil lawsuit for childhood sexual abuse is different from filing a criminal lawsuit. While criminal lawsuits aim to punish the abuser, civil lawsuits work to compensate the survivors of sexual abuse for their damages.

There are more than 683,000 children each year who fall victim to child abuse and assault. Unfortunately, there is a significantly lower number of child abuse lawsuits filed each year. Experts believe that many abuse cases go unreported because sexual abuse survivors don’t know how to file a lawsuit or don’t want to discuss their past.

While we understand that speaking to someone about your past trauma is a challenge, it’s important to realize that you deserve justice.

Filing a Claim

If you’ve been a victim of sexual abuse, you have the right to pursue compensation for your injuries and damages. By making a claim through the civil court system, you may be able to receive compensation for:

  • Medical costs

  • Loss of current and future wages

  • Pain and suffering

  • Emotional damage

How Long Do I Have to File?

Under current California law, a sexual abuse survivor has until the age of 26 to file a claim, or within three years of discovering injuries related to that claim. However, under California’s new bill AB 218, which is scheduled to go into effect January 1, 2020, survivors will have until the age of 40, or within five years of discovering injuries stemming from their abuse.

AB 218 will also allow for a three-year window to bring forth old claims that would have otherwise been tossed out due to expired statutes of limitation.

Do I Need to Work With a Sexual Abuse Attorney?

Due to the complex nature of childhood sexual abuse cases and the amount of required evidence, pursuing a civil claim alone will be a significant challenge. At Crane Flores, our team of compassionate sexual abuse and assault attorneys has represented victims of sexual abuse for decades. Put your trust in us to protect your rights and future.

Call (805) 628-4967 today for more information on how we can help you pursue the justice you deserve. You may also contact us online to schedule a free, confidential case evaluation.