If you or a loved one were sexually assaulted in Chicago, IL, the attacker and other third parties might be financially responsible for the resulting losses.
Even if the perpetrator faces criminal charges, you can file a civil personal injury claim. This will allow you to obtain compensation for medical costs, emotional trauma, and other damages.
An experienced Chicago sexual assault lawyer will fight for the financial recovery you deserve after being abused or mistreated. The legal team at Attorneys of Chicago Personal Injury Lawyers has three decades of combined experience helping personal injury victims throughout Illinois. We’ll help you pursue justice for the sexual misconduct you’ve endured.
Contact our Chicago law firm online or call us at (312) 929 2884 for a free consultation with a compassionate attorney. We’re here to listen to how you were abused and offer legal advice regarding your options for compensation.
How Can a Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Help With a Sexual Assault Case?
Most people assume that once an abuser has their day in criminal court, that’s the end of it. However, even if they’re found guilty, that won’t help you with the financial, emotional, and physical impact of the assault. That’s why Illinois law allows victims of sexual abuse to pursue a personal injury case in civil court.
A criminal case focuses on punishing the defendant for their wrongful acts, whereas a civil case focuses on how those acts affected the victim. The best way to prove your case and get the monetary recovery you need is to hire an experienced Chicago personal injury lawyer.
If you hire Attorneys of Chicago Personal Injury Lawyers for help with your sexual abuse case in Chicago, Illinois, we’ll:
- Provide honest and compassionate legal guidance throughout the process
- Identify every party who shares liability for your sexual assault injuries
- Collect evidence proving your case and the value of your damages
- Negotiate with opposing parties, insurance companies, and others for a settlement that covers all your losses
- Take your case to trial in Cook County if we cannot settle the case for a fair amount
A sexual assault case can be emotional and complex. You’ll benefit from having an experienced Chicago sexual abuse lawyer to protect your rights. Call our personal injury law office today for a free initial consultation to learn more about creating an attorney-client relationship.
How Common Is Sexual Assault in Chicago?
If you’ve been a victim of sexual misconduct, you aren’t alone. Approximately 81% of women and 43% of men in the US report experiencing sexual harassment or assault.
According to the Chicago Police Department’s 2021 Annual Report, there was a 15.6% increase in sexual assault crimes between 2020 and 2021. There were 1,425 incidents reported in 2020 and 1,648 incidents reported in 2021.
Our Law Firm Handles All Types of Sexual Assault Claims
Sexual misconduct can take various forms, ranging from public indecency to physical violence.
It can also be committed by anyone, including:
- Family members
- Teachers or coaches
- Partners or spouses
- Medical professionals
- Church officials
Regardless of where the abuse occurred and who perpetrated it, you deserve compensation for your physical and emotional injuries.
Some forms of sexual assault include:
- Rape, including statutory rape and date rape
- Dating violence
- Sexual assault of a child
- Sexual harassment and unwanted touching
- Sexual abuse in nursing homes
- Sexual abuse of the mentally disabled
- Domestic violence and intimate partner abuse
If you’re unsure whether you have a valid civil claim for damages, contact our personal injury lawyers in Chicago. We’ll discuss what happened and determine your legal options.
Who Can Be Liable for Sexual Misconduct in Chicago?
Most people think only the abuser can be held accountable in a sexual assault case. However, third parties may be named as defendants in some situations.
For example, if the sexual assault occurred on a business owner’s property, they may be liable under premises liability and negligent security principles. Or the perpetrator’s employer may be vicariously liable for its employee’s misconduct.
Some potential third-party defendants in a Chicago sexual abuse case include:
- School administrator
- College or university
- Church or religious institution
- Police department
- Nursing home
- Business owner
- Restaurant or nightclub
- Rideshare company
Your attacker may not have the funds to pay the full extent of your losses. Accordingly, if a third party shares liability, you have a better chance of recovering full compensation if you pursue legal action against them.
What Is the Value of My Chicago Sexual Assault Claim?
When determining what your sexual abuse claim is worth, we’ll need to evaluate various factors, including:
- The types of injuries you sustained and their severity
- The emotional impact of the sexual misconduct and how it has impacted your life
- Your medical expenses, costs of treatment and counseling, and lost income
- Whether you’re able to continue working in the same capacity as before the attack
- The nature and severity of the defendant’s actions (or inactions)
- The parties involved in your case
By some estimates, a survivor’s lifetime cost of rape is $122,461, including medical bills, loss of productivity, and other losses. However, your Chicago sexual abuse claim may be worth more or less, depending on the specific facts.
What Compensation Can I Receive in a Chicago Sexual Abuse Case?
Your attacker may be facing criminal charges, and the criminal court may order them to pay you restitution. Even so, this payment is separate from damages in a civil case.
Victims of sexual assault in Chicago are entitled to file a personal injury lawsuit and pursue compensation for their financial losses and trauma.
Economic damages incurred due to sexual violence may include:
- Medical expenses for the treatment of physical injuries
- Therapy and counseling
- Reasonable out-of-pocket expenses
- Lost wages and job benefits
- Diminished earning capacity
Chicago sexual abuse victims may also have substantial non-economic damages, such as:
- The development of psychological disorders, such as PTSD, anxiety, and depression
- Physical pain and suffering
- Permanent impairment or disability
- Reduced quality of life
In some Illinois sexual abuse and assault cases, the court may award punitive damages. They are reserved to punish defendants who act with an evil motive or reckless indifference to the safety or rights of others.
How Do I Prove My Civil Sexual Assault Case?
Sexual assault is considered an intentional tort, meaning the abuser’s sexual acts were intentional versus negligent. These cases may allege multiple causes of action, including assault, battery, false imprisonment, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
However, if a third party is responsible, the cause of action will likely be negligence. For instance, if a business owner failed to implement adequate security measures and you were attacked on the premises, they may share liability. It will depend on the level of criminal activity in the area and whether they should’ve foreseen that an attack would occur.
You must prove the following elements in a sexual assault case based on negligence:
- The defendant owed you a duty of care and breached it, such as if they failed to provide adequate lighting in a high-crime area
- The breach of duty led to your attack
- You sustained damages
We’ll gather evidence – such as surveillance, police reports, medical records, DNA evidence, and eyewitness statements – proving your sexual assault claim.
Common Injuries Sustained By Sexual Assault Victims
Sadly, on top of violating your rights and personal space, a sexual assault can also lead to physical injuries.
Attorneys of Chicago Personal Injury Lawyers represents sexual abuse victims who have suffered:
- Dental injuries
- Broken bones and fractures
- Soft tissue injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
- Genital injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Neck injuries
- Back injuries
- Spinal cord damage
- Unwanted pregnancy
The emotional injuries stemming from a sexual attack can be just as debilitating. For example, you may develop post-traumatic stress disorder or phobias, significantly affecting your daily life.
How Long After a Sexual Assault Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Illinois?
Sexual assault victims in Chicago will typically have two years to file a civil lawsuit for damages. The clock starts to run on the date of the sexual misconduct or date of death in the event of wrongful death.
However, there may be exceptions that provide more or less time. For instance, if the victim of the sexual abuse is a child, they may have up to 20 years to take action. In Illinois childhood sexual abuse cases, the statute of limitations starts to run when the victim turns 18 (or the date the victim discovers their injury caused by the abuse).
Additionally, the statute of limitations may be paused if the defendant is involved in criminal proceedings. Contact an experienced Chicago sexual abuse attorney to preserve your legal right to hold the at-fault party financially responsible.
Contact Our Chicago Sexual Assault Attorneys for a Free Case Assessment
Are you or someone you love a victim of sexual assault? Did you sustain financial losses, injuries, and trauma from the incident? If so, you shouldn’t have to take on these losses alone. Your attacker and any third parties who allowed the abuse to happen may be liable for your damages.
Contact Attorneys of Chicago Personal Injury Lawyers and benefit from a team of lawyers who have recovered tens of millions of dollars for victims. We offer a free case evaluation to discuss what happened. Call now at (312) 929 2884 and see how our sexual abuse lawyers in Chicago can help.
If you need confidential emotional support or resources, contact the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) hotline.
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