What is Sexual Assault In Texas?
Texas Penal Code Section 22.011 defines sexual assault as any non-consensual, unwanted sexual contact against another person. While sexual assault often involves penetration, mere contact also falls under the statutory definition in certain circumstances. The code section also notes that sexual assault is without consent if an abuser committed the act under a threat of force, coercion, and manipulation. A sexual assault—also referred to as rape—is often criminally pursued as a second-degree felony.
Can I Sue My Abuser in a Sexual Abuse Lawsuit?
Texas law permits sexual abuse victims to sue their abusers—in addition to criminal charges brought by the state. Grapevine sexual abuse lawyers pursue these cases like personal injury cases in the civil court system. Your lawyer may also seek to extend your sexual abuse lawsuit to include third parties, such as the owner of the premises where your assault took place or others that negligently contributed to the commission of the rape.
What Compensation Can I Receive in a Sexual Assault Lawsuit?
In addition to abuse against adults, sexual abuse lawsuits include child sexual abuse and nursing home sexual abuse. Grapevine sexual abuse lawyers protect victims of all types of sexual abuse by guiding these survivors through lawsuits to pursue damages in civil court.
Texas law permits you to recover for damages you suffered due to your sexual abuse. Damages in a sexual assault lawsuit include economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages include financial, monetary losses related to rape, child sexual abuse, and nursing home sexual abuse cases. Examples of economic damages include the following:
- Medical care and expenses,
- Psychological counseling,
- Lost wages, and
- Out of pocket costs.
Grapevine sexual abuse attorneys gather proof of economic damages through saved receipts, invoices, and other bills showing a financial loss.
Non-economic damages include subjective losses resulting from sexual abuse. These damages are typically more difficult to prove and include the following:
- Pain and suffering;
- Emotional distress;
- Other psychological harm such as anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder;
- Eating disorders;
- Sexual dysfunction; and
- Sleep disorders.
Non-economic damages represent myriad losses that may be exclusive to you and your particular situation and cannot be tied to receipts or invoices. A Grapevine sexual abuse lawyer knows that a lack of physical evidence to support these damages does not make these damages any less critical. Many non-economic damages may create more permanent lasting effects resulting from a sexual assault. Under Texas law, it’s your right to recover compensation for these damages, even if they may be more challenging to establish.
Is There a Statute of Limitations for a Sexual Abuse Lawsuit?
A statute of limitations provides the deadline for when victims of sexual abuse must bring their lawsuit in civil court. Grapevine sexual abuse attorneys understand that the statute of limitations for sexual abuse lawsuits may depend on particular facts.
For example, if you were a victim of child sexual abuse, you have up to 30 years to file a lawsuit. The 30-year clock does not begin running until you turn 18. Therefore, no matter when the child sexual abuse occurred, if you were a minor, you have until your 48th birthday to file a sexual abuse lawsuit.
For adult victims of sexual assault, including nursing home sexual abuse, you have five years from the date of the incident.
Missing the opportunity to pursue compensatory damages against your abuser may feel like abuse all over again. Therefore, it’s essential to contact Grapevine sexual abuse attorneys to ensure you receive the financial justice you deserve.
The Hartley Law Firm provides high-caliber legal representation to injured victims in various matters, including sexual abuse lawsuits. We approach our clients with sensitivity and compassion as they consider pursuing civil action against their abusers. Austin F. Hartley has years of personal injury trial experience pursuing claims of injured clients. Bringing a sexual abuse lawsuit with the right Grapevine sexual abuse attorney on your side is vital to obtaining the compensation you deserve.
Our experienced attorneys also handle other types of injury cases, including:
- Auto Vehicle Accidents
- Trucking Accidents
- Motor Vehicle Accidents
- Property Liability
- Wrongful Death Claim
Contact the Harley Law Firm to schedule a free consultation and find out how we can help you!