When a child is abused or sexually assaulted, parents can file a civil lawsuit to expose the perpetrator and prevent harm to other children who may become victims.
Child Sexual Assaults
Children who suffer abuse and sexual assault are often victims of sexual predators who have hurt other children. Perpetrators can be punished for their acts in criminal courts, as well as civil courts. If convicted in a criminal court, perpetrators face fines and prison sentences. If convicted in civil court, perpetrators face monetary damages and public exposure for their crimes. Even without a criminal conviction, filing a civil lawsuit with a child sexual assault attorney can take a predator off the street and protect other children.
Child sexual predators inflict physical and emotional trauma that often have life-long consequences for victims. People who prey on children are often people known and trusted by the child such as relatives, neighbors, teachers, daycare workers, baby sitters, coaches, and ministers. Unfortunately, child sexual predators are found in all walks of life.
Under mandatory reporting laws, schools, healthcare providers, and therapists are required to report child abuse to law enforcement. Schools are required to safeguard and protect children in their care by providing proper training, supervision, and screening of teachers and employees. If they fail to report child abuse or sexual assault to proper authorities, they can be held liable for negligence and any harm that comes to the child.
Filing a Civil Lawsuit
Filing a civil lawsuit against a child sexual perpetrator will not put him/her in jail, but it will expose the perpetrator and hold certain parties responsible for damages. In a civil lawsuit, the court can award monetary damages for medical expenses, physical and emotional suffering, and therapy costs for the child, as well as punitive damages which are awarded to punish the perpetrator for his/her actions. If the abuse and sexual assault happens at the child’s school, daycare center, church, or other organization, those parties may also be held liable for damages through a civil lawsuit.
Since a civil lawsuit only deals with monetary damages, a child sexual assault attorney can ensure maximum damages are awarded through a jury trial or a settlement. The amount of money awarded depends on several factors including the nature and severity of injuries, the perpetrator’s ability to pay, and the statute of limitations to file a personal injury lawsuit, which is usually two years in Nevada.