Skilled Molestation Attorneys Serving San Diego, California
Unfortunately, child sexual abuse is nothing new. And yet it has been diligently covered up by many organizations and institutions, leaving victims alone with the harm that was done to them, often suffering years, if not a lifetime, in silence and shame. Many victims of child molestation spiral into depression, substance abuse, and suicidal thoughts after being victimized by abusers. If you or your child has been the victim of childhood sexual abuse, you may be able to hold your abuser accountable through a civil lawsuit. The San Diego molestation lawyers at Winer, Burritt & Scott, LLP have dedicated their careers to the representation of molestation victims and their families and may be able to help you recover compensation for your abuse and your damages.
Fortunately, as we are seeing recently, survivors of childhood sexual abuse have been coming forward to hold their abusers accountable. We have seen this through allegations and convictions of abuse and cover-ups by many high-profile organizations and institutions. For every brave survivor of molestation who comes forward, it gives other survivors a voice and sets serious legal precedents to hold other perpetrators accountable.
How Civil Claims Differ From Criminal Charges
While child sexual abuse is unlawful, and those who perpetrate it can be convicted of serious crimes, penalties, registration as sex offenders, and even jail time, there is also legal recourse available to victims in the form of civil lawsuits.
A criminal case will be brought by the state through the district attorney. In a criminal case, the court determines the criminal liability of the abuser depending on the available evidence, and, if the defendant is convicted, he or she will face punishment in the form of fines, mandatory sex offender registration, and possible jail time. While putting a child molester in jail may help families and victims know that the abuser is put away for the duration of their sentence, they have little influence over a sentence or the penalties imposed.
“WB&S have successfully filed and won cases against organizations and entities such as religious institutions, school districts, youth groups, medical professionals, athletic leagues, more. Our San Diego molestation attorney is skilled in litigating your abuse case against these organizations and their insurance carriers.
A civil lawsuit is a claim brought directly against the abuser by the victim. Instead of holding the abuser criminally accountable, a civil lawsuit will seek to recover compensation for the victim and their family, focusing on their welfare and healing instead of the punishment of the abuser.
The serious emotional wounds left by sexual molestation are never insignificant and often require years of ongoing support by medical and mental health professionals. Many high-profile cases involving the Catholic church, Boy Scouts of America, large universities, and U.S.A Gymnastics have been civil suits that have recovered compensation for these costs and damages, including:
- Any medical costs that were related to the abuse
- Any therapy or counseling that was sought or will still be required
- Victim relocation, if necessary
- Non-economic damages such as emotional trauma and pain and suffering
If you are a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, contact the experienced San Diego molestation lawyers at Winer, Burritt & Scott, LLP to understand your legal options.
The Difficulty Of Bringing A Claim Against An Abuser
For those who have experienced childhood sexual abuse, bringing a claim against the abuser can be an overwhelming decision. While some victims may feel empowered and see it as an important step in their healing, others may find it opens many wounds and exposes them to privacy concerns.
Some of the advantages to filing a civil claim can include:
- Acknowledging the abuse and confronting the abuser
- Getting compensated for the financial costs of dealing with the abuse
- Getting compensated for pain and suffering and emotional trauma
- Taking away the abuser’s power that secrecy has enabled
- Putting others in the community on alert
But pursuing compensation from a sexual abuser can also be a painful process for victims and their families. Many sensitive things may come up during a civil claim, and it is critical for those who represent victims to make sure that their needs and privacy are considered at all times and in all matters.
Getting Compassionate Legal Advice
At Winer, Burritt & Scott, LLP, our skilled team of San Diego molestation lawyers offer compassionate representation understanding the unique needs of molestation victims and their families. We take a tailored approach to every client to ensure that we are sensitive to their needs each step of the way and take all precautions to protect their rights and privacy. If you are a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and are struggling to pick up the pieces, we are here to provide assistance. Call us or contact us on our website to schedule a free, confidential consultation to discuss your case.