Any unwanted, non-consensual sexual contact can have a profoundly negative impact on a person’s physical and emotional health and well-being. The very idea of filing a civil claim to fight for compensation can feel understandably overwhelming to those who have been subjected to violence of a sexual nature, but the sexual abuse attorneys from Thomas Law Offices want to stress that you are not alone.
Filing a civil lawsuit is a legal process that allows an individual to pursue justice and recover compensation for the harm they suffered as a result of sexual violence. When you choose to work with us, your legal team will be comprised of sexual assault lawyers who have the experience and knowledge necessary to advocate on your behalf.
When you contact our Lexington office, we’ll schedule you for a free, no-obligation consultation in a confidential setting.
Our attorneys recognize that you have been through something horrific that no one should ever be subjected to, and we will discuss your legal options with the compassion, care, and understanding that your case deserves.
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What Constitutes Sexual Assault in Kentucky
Kentucky defines sexual assault as the offensive or unwanted touching or contact of one person by another, without their consent, and with or without the use of force. As a crime, this is called sexual abuse and may be considered a first-, second-, or third-degree offense depending on a variety of factors, such as the age of the victim.
Rape is criminalized as a felony, as outlined in KY Revised Statutes 510.040, 510.050, and 510.060. As defined by the state of Kentucky, rape is considered to be non-consensual sexual intercourse, with or without the use of force. Sexual intercourse refers to the penetration of a person’s sex organ by another person’s body or an object manipulated by another person.
It is important to note that you can file a civil lawsuit against someone who sexually assaulted you even if they were never found guilty of a crime, charged with a criminal offense, or even arrested.
Speak with a Lexington sexual abuse attorney today to determine whether you have legal standing to file a sexual assault lawsuit.
Life After a Sexual Assault
According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), out of every 1,000 acts of sexual assault, only 310 are ever reported to the police. Of these, only 50 result in arrests. Even fewer are ever charged with a crime or brought to court for their crimes.
With these statistics, it is easy to see why many victims in Lexington are hesitant to file police reports.
Many victims of sexual violence are left to carry the burden of what happened to them on their own. Violent, unwanted, and non-consensual sexual acts can create a lifetime of trauma for someone to bear.
In the immediate aftermath of a rape or assault, victims often deal with injuries that range from minor to severe, including:
- Dislocated bones
- Broken bones and bone fractures
- Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
Not every individual who has been through sexual assault or rape will suffer physical injuries. For most victims, the most lasting harm of an act of sexual violence is the mental, emotional, and psychological anguish that follows:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Suicidal thoughts or ideation
- Suicide attempts
- Dissociation or feelings of being detached from one’s body
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also reports that approximately three million women have experienced a rape-related pregnancy.
Legal Options for Victims of Sexual Abuse and Assault
In Lexington, KY, adult victims of sexual assault, as well as survivors of sexual abuse that occurred when they were a child, may bring forth a lawsuit in the civil court system.
We cannot undo the harm that you’ve already suffered. What we can do is help set you on the path toward healing. One aspect of that is holding your attacker civilly liable for what they did to you. The other is determining what monetary compensation you are owed.
When our attorneys discuss compensation with a victim of sexual assault, we are cognizant of the fact that we are discussing assigning a monetary value to the worth of a civil claim involving a traumatizing event. It can be difficult for some individuals to think of what happened to them in terms of financial compensation.
In civil cases, compensation is a tool available to those who suffered harm because of another’s negligent or wrongful actions. This compensation is intended to help address your losses and damages, both monetary and non-monetary, including:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Mental anguish
- Emotional distress
- Physical pain and suffering
How Working With a Lexington Sexual Assault Lawyer Helps
We understand that meeting with sexual abuse attorneys can be an overwhelming and scary experience. Many victims are coming to us after being unable to speak with the police, or with the experience of confiding in a friend or loved one only to not be believed.
We want to stress that the Lexington sexual abuse attorneys of Thomas Law Offices are here to listen to what you have to say. We know that you were the victim of an unthinkable crime, and our goal is to help you fight for the justice and compensation you are owed.
When we work with victims of sexual assault or abuse, our attorneys do everything in their power to build the strongest possible civil claim.
Your Lexington sexual abuse attorney will fight for your right to compensation by:
- Investigating what happened. We understand how painful it can be to revisit an act of harassment or abuse. As sexual abuse attorneys, we strive to thoroughly investigate each and every claim of abuse with care and respect to those who were hurt. We rely on a variety of sources of evidence, including expert witness testimony, police reports, medical records, and more.
- Working within the statute of limitations. Kentucky allows for only a limited period of time to file a civil lawsuit against the perpetrator of a sexual assault. Our attorneys ensure that all cases are filed before the deadline so that your legal right to take action does not expire.
- Determining all liable parties. The individual who harmed you might not be the only at-fault party. It is not uncommon for our attorneys to discover that had a business, school, or other entity had more prudent safety measures, the circumstances that led to your attack could have been prevented.
- Negotiating a settlement. Those who have been through a traumatic experience such as harassment, sexual assault, or rape often prefer to stay out of court, and understandably so. However, negotiating a settlement can be both time-consuming and emotionally draining. Your attorney will step in and handle all negotiations on your behalf, allowing you to focus on your life and recovery.
- Preparing for court. Ideally, both you and your attorneys want your case to stay out of court. Unfortunately, that’s not always possible. Even as we strive to negotiate for a settlement, we will prepare for the possibility of your case going to trial. This approach allows us to be prepared for any eventuality.
How Long Do I Have to File a Sexual Abuse Case?
An adult victim of sexual assault has only one year from the date the attack or incident occurred to file a sexual assault claim.
This is an exceptionally short period of time to contact an attorney, build a case, and then file a lawsuit.
Although it can be difficult to come forward about what happened to you, we urge you to contact an experienced sexual assault lawyer before the calendar closes on your right to take legal action.
There is a separate statute of limitations for survivors of childhood sexual abuse, which is as follows:
- Within five years of the act of abuse or the last act in a series of ongoing abuse committed by the same perpetrator,
- Within five years of the age of majority (18), or
- Within five years of discovering the abuse, whichever date is latest.
Our Sexual Abuse Attorneys Are Standing By
No one should have to endure what you’ve been through.
Thomas Law Offices is dedicated to holding perpetrators of violent sexual acts accountable for their actions, which not only secures a sense of justice and compensation for those they hurt, but also discourages others from engaging in similar behavior in the future.
If you’re ready to discuss what happened to you with someone who believes what you have to say, call our office or contact us online. We’ll schedule a private, free consultation with a compassionate Lexington sexual assault lawyer.