San Diego Sex Abuse Lawyer

Last updated Dec 11, 2023

If you are a sex abuse survivor, you have the option to seek justice outside of the criminal court system. At Edwards Henderson Lehrman, we help survivors pursue financial compensation in San Diego’s civil courtrooms.

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Key Takeaways

  • The California Child Victims Act allows child sex abuse survivors the chance to file a lawsuit up to five years after the damage is discovered or until they are 40 years old.
  • The California Child Victims Act created a three-year lookback period that, through December 31, 2022, enables anybody to bring a child sex abuse case, regardless of when the assault took place.
  • In addition to holding their abuser accountable and obtaining compensation for the suffering they have endured, a lawsuit can hold potentially negligent institutions accountable for aiding in the crime.
  • A knowledgeable San Diego sex abuse attorney will describe a survivor’s legal options, define their rights, and evaluate the facts of the attack to help increase the likelihood of a successful claim.

Filing a Sexual Abuse Lawsuit in San Diego

Sexual abuse is a harmful act that has a significant negative impact on the well-being of those who survive it. These experiences frequently leave survivors with physical and mental trauma, leading to severe consequences like declining mental health, loss of income or career, and other crippling problems.

If you have experienced sexual abuse, the sympathetic San Diego sex abuse lawyers at Edwards Henderson may be able to assist you in pursuing the justice and financial compensation you may be entitled to by guiding you through the process of bringing a legal claim against your abuser and any other potentially liable parties. To learn more, please get in touch with one of our San Diego sex abuse attorneys for a private and free legal consultation.

Who May Qualify to File a Sex Abuse Lawsuit

A civil action is an important method for obtaining justice open to survivors of sexual abuse. A lawsuit can hold any potentially involved organizations and businesses accountable for their role in facilitating or failing to prevent the crime, in addition to holding the abuser accountable. For instance, if a teacher or other staff member sexually assaults a student, the academic institution may be held accountable if they were negligent in any manner.

It is not necessary for the defendant to first be charged with or even convicted of a crime; the plaintiff (typically the sexual abuse survivor) may file a lawsuit as long as they have suffered losses as a result of a non-consensual act.

Benefits of Filing a Civil Sex Abuse Lawsuit

The well-being of a survivor of sexual abuse may suffer as a result of any act of abuse. Physical and psychological stress might be experienced either immediately after the event or years in the future. Anxiety or concerns about obtaining the justice you deserve may be reduced if you are aware of the steps involved in pursuing a San Diego sex abuse lawsuit. Even though the effects of a sexual attack are corrosive, there is no reason why your path to justice should be the same.

The reduced standard of proof in civil lawsuits is a benefit for survivors seeking justice. In civil lawsuits, the “preponderance of evidence” standard of proof applies; this means that the alleged attacker must be proven “more likely than not” responsible for the wrongdoings against the survivor. This is different from criminal actions which require the accused to be found guilty “beyond all reasonable doubt.”

Further, potentially culpable third parties may also be held accountable for their negligence if they failed to take reasonable measures to prevent abuse from happening. Third-party defendants in sexual abuse lawsuits are often the abuser’s employer or owner of the property or institution where the abuse happened. If your civil sex abuse lawsuit is successful, all possible culpable third parties may have to pay financial compensation in damages for your suffering. This includes compensation for your past and future pain and emotional suffering as well as any relevant financial losses, such as loss of income or therapy expenses.

In addition to the personal advantages a successful lawsuit may provide survivors, it can also help them protect others in the San Diego area. Legal action can make it harder for the abuser to inflict harm on other people and compel any establishment that failed to protect you to adopt better procedures for preventing and reporting abuse. Knowing that you may have saved others from similar experiences can bring with it a special sense of relief.

California Sexual Abuse State Laws

According to California state law, sexual assault is the intentional or unintentional contact with another person’s personal or private parts without that person’s consent or while that person is being confined against their will.

The laws pertaining to child sexual abuse in California have undergone considerable revisions as a result of Assembly Bill 218, commonly known as the California Child Victims Act. Extending the statute of limitations (the period of time after an occurrence in which someone can file a lawsuit) is a crucial component of this act. Prior to this legislation, sexual abuse survivors had only around three years from the time the harm became evident to file a lawsuit or if the abuse occurred when they were children until they became 26. These restrictions have changed since the bill came into effect. Survivors can now file a lawsuit up to five years after the damage is discovered or until they are 40 years old.

Most crucially, the California Child Victims Act contains a three-year lookback period that enables anybody to bring a child sex abuse case, regardless of when the assault took place, through December 31, 2022.

What to Look For When Hiring a San Diego Sex Abuse Law Firm

When seeking a sex abuse lawyer to assist you in your quest for justice, it is important to find a lawyer who is compatible with you and your needs. A skilled San Diego sex abuse attorney will outline a survivor’s legal options, clarify their rights, and assess the circumstances of the attack to decide whether the claim may be filed. Throughout this trying time, an attorney will represent the sex abuse survivor’s legal interests and fight to ensure they are adequately compensated for what they have endured.

The San Diego sex abuse lawyers at Edwards Henderson want to hear your story if you have endured sexual abuse. Our law firm is uniquely suited to assist you due to years of successful litigation experience against powerful people and organizations, including the estate of Jeffrey Epstein. We recognize how challenging it can be to come forward with your sex abuse claims, but our understanding and compassionate San Diego sex abuse lawyers have the skills and experience to help you on your path to justice.

Speak With a San Diego Sex Abuse Lawyer

To determine whether you might be eligible to file a civil sex abuse lawsuit, speak with a knowledgeable San Diego sexual abuse attorney. Your first step toward obtaining justice and closure is to reach out and tell your story. To schedule a confidential, free legal consultation, call Edwards Henderson right away.

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Edwards Henderson is a nationally-recognized powerhouse litigation firm, dedicated to providing its clients with the highest quality legal services and, at the same time, making substantial, positive changes for the common good.

We are skilled litigators and experienced trial attorneys who have effectively pursued civil lawsuits against some of the most powerful individuals, organizations and big businesses on behalf of people, victims and small businesses. In fact, we specialize in handling cases where the power differential is greatest and we can use our experience and resources to even the playing field. Our recent trial results speak for themselves.

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“Brad Edwards handled my tort claim aggressively, attentively, and most importantly, he seemed to take what was maliciously done to me to heart. He handled my case as if it was his own. I cannot recommend him or his expertise enough.”

“I’m so thankful to Ms. Henderson. She went above and beyond for me on multiple cases. Her hard work and dedication to my cases changed my life. She won a lawsuit on my behalf against a high-profile and powerful defendant. Never once did she settle—she fought to the end for me and won, thus giving me my quality of life back.”

“Matt Weissing handled an injury case for my family a few years ago and the results were life-changing. I don’t know where we would be without him. If you want a lawyer who really cares about you and your case, this is him.”