The civil justice system exists to correct wrongs. In a contract dispute, correcting a wrong may mean rescinding the contract or requiring one party to pay damages to another. In a personal injury case like a sex abuse case, there are multiple types of resolutions. However, the most common outcome is financial compensation for the pain and suffering caused by the abuse.
What is Pain & Suffering in a Civil Sex Abuse Case?
This is perhaps the most difficult question to answer in a civil sex abuse case. That is because sex abuse varies and the nature and extent of the victim’s suffering varies from person to person. There is no set formula, no way for a court or jury to decide what the pain and suffering is in a given case.
Rather, it is dependent on the evidence in the case. There are many facets of a sex abuse victim’s pain and suffering. Therefore it is important to gather evidence relating to how the victim coped or was unable to cope, as well as the following:
- drug use,
- alcohol use,
- sexual behavior,
- sexual dysfunction, and
- nature/quality of relationships.
Evidence of these things often comes in the form of a counselor’s testimony, and testimony of family members, friends, spouses, children, etc. School records, medical records, employment records, etc. may also be important to establish the history. Such records may also corroborate important details. For instance, the school records of a child who was sexually abused may show that prior to the abuse, the child performed well in school and after the abuse began, there was a sudden drop in performance.
Again, because the nature of sex abuse is so very personal, the evidence in a civil sex abuse case will vary. Ultimately, a judge, jury, arbitrator or mediator will weigh the evidence and decide whether and how much to award a sex abuse victim. It is important to note that the vast majority of cases never end up in trial. Over 90% of civil cases will be settled by way of a mutual agreement between the parties.
- Sex Abuse Victims – Top Three Questions About Filing a Civil Lawsuit
- Pennsylvania Criminal & Civil Statute of Limitations for Child Sex Abuse
Civil Sex Abuse Lawyer & Former Prosecutor. FREE Consultations. 800.220.7600
If you would like to speak to a sex abuse lawyer and former prosecutor about a civil sex abuse case, please call Brian Kent at 800.220.7600. Brian offer free consultations to victims of sex abuse.
**This website does not provide legal advice. Every case is unique and it is crucial to get a qualified, expert legal opinion prior to making any decisions about your case. See the full disclaimer at the bottom of this page.