Reasons Why You May Want To File A Civil Lawsuit After A Sexual Assault
If you have been sexually assaulted, then you should know that you have the right to seek out damages for the assault. This occurs during a civil lawsuit that is filed by yourself or by your attorney. There are a few reasons why you may want to do this. Keep reading to learn about a few of them.
A Criminal Case May Not Go To Court
Even if you do everything correctly as a victim, the district attorney in your area may choose not to file charges against the person who sexually assaulted you. There may simply not be a large amount of evidence against the perpetrator. Also, if you choose not to testify in court, then the district attorney may feel as though he cannot win with the physical evidence alone.
In the scenarios, you do have the option of filing a civil lawsuit. Civil cases are completely separate from criminal ones and they do not rely on a high evidentiary burden. In other words, you will merely need to prove that the assault most likely occurred and that your story is more than likely true. This is called a preponderance of evidence instead of beyond a reasonable doubt.
Additionally, since you cannot sue for sexual assault directly, you may not need to go through the grueling testimony process like you would in a criminal case. You will instead be suing for the damages associated with assault, false imprisonment or the infliction of emotional distress.
You Do Not Feel That Justice Has Been Served
If your case did end up going to court, then you may feel as though the assault perpetrator got off too light. This is something that may happen if a plea deal is offered or if the judge and jury decided on minimal jail time or probation. In this scenario, you can go after the individual monetarily.
There are several types of damages that you can ask for in relation to the assault. These include payments for medical bills, time off of work, counseling, emotional distress, and ongoing mental anguish.
Keep in mind that you can also sue a third party who may have been partially responsible for the incident. For example, if the assault occurred at work, then you can sue your employer for not providing a safe work environment. If it happened at a hospital or at a business, then you can sue these places as well.
If you want to know more about sexual assault and the types of civil lawsuits that you can file, speak with a sexual assault attorney.