Assaults & Acts of Violence
There is very little that is more personally violating than being a victim of sexual assault. Besides the physical injuries that often result, there are often emotional scars that can last for many years, if not for a lifetime. A number of victims internalize emotional injuries and have no idea where to turn.
Sexual assault means any nonconsensual sexual act. Rape and sexual assault are rarely about passion, rather they are about someone gaining control over their victim. Victims should know it is never their fault if they were sexually assaulted or raped and none of their actions caused a person to assault them.
Obviously, Texans who are victims of a violent crime such as sexual assault can receive some measure of justice through criminal prosecution; however, many victims of these crimes are often completely unaware that they may find a further measure of justice through the civil court system.
Filing a civil lawsuit for sexual assault injuries allows victims to not only bring a lawsuit against their attackers directly, but also against any other parties that may have caused or contributed to the assault. For example, if the assault occurs on another’s property, it may be possible to establish premises liability. According to the laws in Texas, property owners have a legal duty to take reasonable precautions to prevent crime on the premises, like providing gates and locks, security personnel, bright lights in certain areas, or even surveillance cameras. If the owners of the property were negligent in failing to provide proper security for their property, they can be held accountable for the resulting damages.
The right attorney can look at the facts, determine who may have been negligent, and use this information to fight for the maximum amount possible to try and alleviate injuries, financial loss, and mental suffering. These civil suits can be brought no matter what the outcome was in the criminal case. The burden of proof is lower in a civil case as well, so this may help bring some measure of justice to a victim if the criminal case was unsuccessful. Additionally, in some instances, the spouse of the assaulted party may also file a civil suit as well for their loss of sexual intimacy, fear, and resentment caused by the attack on their spouse.
Unfortunately, after many years of representing sexual assault victims, we have found that perpetrators tend to be repeat offenders, often because victims are reluctant to go to court. While no amount of compensation can make everything right or erase the damage to a sexual assault victim, it can help them regain control of their life, including providing them with the money they need to pay for items such as medical bills, ongoing counseling to help them with the healing process, and lost wages. Also, the knowledge that they can possibly find some measure of justice in civil courts will often give them more courage to break their silence and bring these criminals to justice, thus preventing perpetrators from hurting anyone else.
A knowledgeable and skilled Texas personal injury attorney will conduct a thorough investigation of the circumstances that surrounded and led up to the sexual assault, including a review of security measures, as well as interviews of any witnesses such as security guards or other people who can testify as to the level of security. They will also look closely at police reports, as well as the record of security on the premises, as there may be other previous crimes perpetrated on the premises. While it may be painful to relive the experience, working with an attorney to fight for justice can be an important part of the healing process.
Houston Sexual Assault Attorneys
If you or a loved one has been the victim of a sexual assault, it should be reported as soon as possible to ensure the criminal process goes to work and prevents someone else from being attacked. The experienced Houston sexual assault attorneys at Adame Garza LLP can look over the circumstances surrounding your claims and advise you on the best way to proceed with a possible civil case, so that you can be compensated for your injuries, as well as your pain and suffering. Contact us today for a free consultation.