can a victim file a civil claim

Approximately every 98 seconds, someone becomes a victim of sexual assault somewhere in the United States. Rape and sexual abuse are a growing problem in our society. The mental, emotional, and physical trauma and suffering have a lasting effect on victims.

After someone experiences sexual abuse, it is crucial that they reach out to law enforcement as soon as possible. The unfortunate truth is that the vast majority of sexual assault and rape cases go unreported. Many victims hesitate to report their attacks due to embarrassment, fear, and even shame. Although police can investigate the crimes, and the District Attorney can prosecute, the criminal prosecution process does very little in terms of fairly compensating victims. 

Filing a Civil Personal Injury Claim After Being Assaulted 

After a victim is attacked and assaulted, law enforcement will act to bring the perpetrator to justice. The accused may be arrested and charged for their actions. While the criminal process is pending, victims are able to bring forth civil claims against wrongdoers who bear legal accountability for their experiences. Some liable parties include establishments like schools, businesses, apartments, medical facilities, hospitals, government entities, and churches.

Theories of Liabilities

To prevail, victims must prove that the perpetrator engaged in negligence or reckless actions. The term negligence is used in a legal sense to describe when people fail to adhere to the applicable standard of care based and breach the legal duty owed to another person. On the contrary, reckless conduct includes instances where people consciously disregard an unjustifiable risk and commit actions that grossly deviate from the standard of care. There are different avenues victims can pursue to get civil justice.

The first theory of civil liability surrounding a sexual assault case includes negligent security. Under this law, property owners owe others certain legal duties. Depending on the circumstances, civil lawsuits can be pursued against property owners when they fail to adequately secure the area for tenants and guests.

The second theory of liability surrounds negligent hiring practices. In general, hospitals, companies, schools, and other businesses and entities must act reasonably under the circumstances, including proper background screenings when hiring prospective employees. When businesses fail to properly screen future workers to verify they are safe and qualified for a position, they can be held liable for their actions. Working with a responsive personal injury attorney will ensure you get the justice you deserve.

Our Team at Monsees & Mayer PC Can Help You

Our Missouri sexual abuse attorneys at Monsees & Mayer PC have extensive experience helping victims protect their legal rights after suffering abuse at the hands of an offender. Our responsive attorneys provide competent and effective legal representation to ensure attackers are held accountable for their actions. Contact our personal injury law firm in Missouri at (816) 361-5555 at your earliest convenience to discuss legal options available for you.