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Some of the most enduring and scarring traumas that a person may ever have to endure can be the product of sex abuse. While these incidents are certainly cause for contacting the police, the resulting injuries and traumas can also serve as the basis for a personal injury claim.

A Charlotte sex abuse lawyer may be able to help parties to seek justice in a civil courtroom. A hardworking attorney could help to evaluate how the incident has affected a person’s life and to demand appropriate compensation for the resulting losses.

Pursuing a Claim Centered Around Childhood Trauma

North Carolina Statute §1-52(16) states that plaintiffs have three years following the onset of a personal injury to demand compensation in a civil courtroom. However, the fact remains that many victims of childhood sexual abuse are either not aware of these incidents as they occur or are unable or unwilling to speak out.

Thankfully, recent action by the North Carolina Legislature may soon grant these victims an extended time to demand payment. Senate Bill 199, The Safe Child Act, expands on the time limits that apply to most personal injury claims. Specifically, the new law grants plaintiffs who endure sexual abuse while under the age of 18 an extension to file a personal injury claim. The new law leaves the window for a civil lawsuit open until the victim reaches 28 years of age. This new law now allows the victims of sexual abuse who endured these incidents as children to pursue their attackers for civil damages as adults. A Charlotte sex abuse lawyer could help people who suffered abuse as children to demand appropriate payments as adults.

Connections Between Criminal Sexual Abuse and Civil Claims for Damages

Any form of sexual abuse is a violation of the state’s criminal laws. A person who believes that they have been the victim of sexual abuse should immediately contact local law enforcement. However, as powerful as criminal courts can be to investigate and punish abusers, they do not have the ability to order defendants to provide compensation for physical or emotional injuries. Plaintiffs must pursue separated but related civil lawsuits on their own.

These lawsuits may draw upon the results of criminal cases as evidence in civil claims for damages. In fact, a conviction in criminal court for abuse serves as evidence of abuse per se in a civil case. The defendants cannot argue that the abuse did not happen but may still contest the appropriate level of necessary compensation.

Of course, the abuser may not be the only liable party in these civil claims. Many businesses, schools, and other entities may be jointly liable for the actions of their employees or members. For example, a school is responsible for keeping students safe, as is a hotel that allows guests to stay in rooms. If these entities fail to provide safe security that allows a sexual attack to occur, these defendants may be just as liable as the attacker. A Charlotte sex abuse lawyer could help people to connect the criminal and civil portions of their claims to pursue all liable defendants for proper payments.

Reach Out to a Charlotte Sex Abuse Attorney Today

Every person who experiences sexual abuse has the right to demand justice. This includes both criminal justice that may result in prison time and monetary justice necessary to help them to move on with their lives. The only way to accomplish this goal is to file complaints in civil courts against attackers and any other parties who may have allowed the abuse to take place.

An attorney could help any person to evaluate their legal options. New laws the state now allow adults to pursue claims that stem from abuse that occurred while in childhood. Of course, adult victims of sexual abuse also have the ability to demand payment. A Charlotte sex abuse lawyer stands ready to handle your claim with persistence and compassion. Contact a lawyer today to learn more.