How the Civil Justice System Operates in Civil Sex Abuse Lawsuits
The civil justice system decides the rights and responsibilities of the parties in a lawsuit. Whether it’s a civil sex abuse case or a contract matter, the civil justice system rights wrongs by awarding financial compensation to the injured party. The at-fault party will be required to pay an agreed upon amount as part of a settlement, or the at-fault party will be court ordered to pay an amount decided in a trial.
Related: Civil Sex Abuse & Assault Lawsuits in Pennsylvania – Who are the Parties?
Financial Compensation in Civil Cases
Ultimately, financial compensation is the end result, and that is because courts are generally unable to enforce anything else. For instance, in a civil sex abuse case, a court would be unable to ensure that the at-fault party underwent mandatory counseling. The court system does not have the ability to force a party to take such kinds of affirmative actions. The court system does, however, have the ability to execute financial judgments.
Claims in Civil Sex Abuse Lawsuits
In an injury or tort lawsuit in Pennsylvania or New Jersey, the injured or aggrieved party is entitled to make a claim for all damages, both economic and non-economic, so long as they are reasonably tied to (caused by) the wrongdoer. In a civil sex abuse lawsuit, the victim can make a claim for the following:
- medical bills,
- psychological treatment bills,
- economic losses (lost wages), and
- pain and suffering.
Related: What to Know About Getting Justice in Sex Abuse & Assault Cases in PA
Medical and Psychological Treatment Bills
Victims in sex abuse lawsuits can make claims for all medical and psychological treatment bills, so long as they are reasonably related to the sexual assault or abuse. In order to tie specific medical/psychological treatment to the case, it will be necessary to review the records themselves. In addition, victims may make claims for all past expenses or those that have already been incurred, as well as any reasonably expected future expenses.
Economic Losses (Lost Wages)
In cases in which a victim is unable to resume work duties as a result of sex abuse or sex assault, the victim may make a claim for lost wages. These claims are common in cases in especially horrific sex abuse and sex assault cases. For instance, a lost wage claim would be made where the victim of a horrific sexual assault suffered major injuries which resulted in permanent disability. Like with medical/psychological treatment claims, lost wage claims may include claims for future lost wages, i.e., loss of future earning ability.
Pain & Suffering
In a civil sex abuse case, pain and suffering is unique to the individual and often depends on the following:
- the nature of the incident,
- the extent of the abuse (isolated incident, prolonged, etc.),
- the age of the victim when the abuse began,
- the nature and extent of any physical injuries, if any, and
- how the abuse/assault affected the individual.
More: Help Fight for Victims of Child Sex Abuse and Molestation
Civil Sex Abuse Lawyer – Representation by a Former Prosecutor
If you would like to discuss a civil sex abuse case with Brian Kent, please call our office at Click To Call. Our main office is located in downtown Philadelphia, and we also have offices throughout PA and NJ (Cherry Hill, Iselin, Atlantic City).
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