• Home
  • Firm Blog
  • Pennsylvania Civil Sex Abuse Law: Should you file a civil lawsuit?

July 23rd, 2014

Pennsylvania Civil Sex Abuse Law: Should you file a civil lawsuit?

What should victims of sex abuse know about filing a civil lawsuit?

Question: What should victims of sex abuse know about filing a civil lawsuit in Pennsylvania?

Answer: Sex abuse and assault is a stain on society that leave long lasting marks. Some victims of sex abuse or assault never recover at all. Many become addicted to drugs and alcohol and have a series of failed relationships. In fact, many victims often report an inability to maintain a trusting and healthy relationship. The difficulties victims face can be alleviated. Victims can obtain justice by filing civil lawsuits.

Below are three main points a sex abuse victim who is considering a civil lawsuit should consider.

What are the goals of the lawsuit?

The end result of a civil sex abuse lawsuit is ultimately financial compensation. That’s how the civil justice system works. Many victims are mentally and emotionally unprepared when it comes to resolving a civil lawsuit. Many are uncomfortable putting a financial number on the abuse and how it has affected them. Before making the decision to go through with a lawsuit, victims must be prepared to discuss financial compensation.

Are you prepared to discuss the details of the abuse and how it has affected your life?

Victims of sexual abuse or sexual assault who want to know about filing a lawsuit often want to know how many times they will have to talk about the abuse and who they will have to talk to. In civil sex abuse lawsuits, aside from the victim’s lawyer and legal team, the victim will also have to testify at a deposition and potentially a trial. This means talking about the abuse and effects of the abuse in front of complete strangers, including judges, court staff, lawyers, and ultimately a jury of 12 citizens. Related: Resolving a Civil Sex Abuse Lawsuit

Are you prepared to go to trial?

While the majority of civil cases are resolved by way of settlement, victims must be prepared to take their cases to trial. This is especially true in sex abuse cases which involve multiple defendants. For instance, in a priest sex abuse case which is filed against the perpetrator priest as well as the local archdiocese, the case very well may end up going to trial. Certain types of defendants will fight tooth and nail, such as church organizations and school organizations, which means that a given case is likely to be tried. Read more about defendants in a civil sex abuse lawsuit.

It is important to note that filing a civil lawsuit is not always in the best interests of a specific victim. Every sex abuse and assault case is unique, and due to individual differences and preferences, filing a civil lawsuit may not be in the victim’s best interests. In addition, legal issues which affect the chances of success must be considered. The last thing a sex abuse victim should do is file a lawsuit in a case which will ultimately be dismissed due to the statute of limitations. Therefore, it is important to have the case evaluated properly by a civil sex abuse lawyer who will be able to identify and analyze legal issues and who will give advice based on the victim’s best interests, not the lawyer’s own interests.

Access our sex abuse & assault law library.

Civil Sex Abuse Law Firm in PA & NJ

If you would like to discuss a civil sex abuse case with Guy D’Andrea, please call our office at Click To Call.

DISCLAIMER: This website does not create any attorney-client relationship or provide legal advice. It is crucial to speak to a qualified lawyer prior to making any decision about your case. Read full disclaimer at the bottom of this page.