Sexual Abuse Lawyers San Antonio
Sexual assault is a serious crime in Texas that can carry severe punishments like a lengthy prison sentence. However, a criminal case will not provide the compensation that a victim needs. A civil lawsuit can be an important part of the process and can help victims find the justice and the resources that they need to move forward.
At Ketterman Rowland & Westlund, our experienced and compassionate sexual assault attorneys understand how life-shattering sexual assault and its consequences can be. We’re honored to help those who have been harmed by sexual assault work toward the closure and compensation they need. Our work as a firm has been recognized by America’s Top 100 Lawyers, National Trial Lawyers, Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum, and leading groups such as BestLawyers. Our powerful, experienced lawyers are ready to help you.
If it’s time to bring a civil lawsuit for sexual assault, contact us. We offer a free, 100% confidential case evaluation. Our compassionate attorneys are here to listen to you and hear your story so we can provide advice about your best legal options.
To schedule your appointment, call us or use our online form today. We’re here to help.
How Our Attorneys Help Victims of Sexual Assault
Sexual assault is a crime. However, it is also a matter that may also be pursued in a civil lawsuit against the perpetrator. As a victim of sexual assault, abuse, or harassment, you have the right to force the person that assaulted, abused, or harassed you to stand up in court and be held accountable for their actions. If you need to bring a civil lawsuit against the person who assaulted you, the sexual assault attorneys at our firm are here to help.
In criminal court, the perpetrator must be proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. However, in a civil lawsuit, the standard of proof is much lower. In a civil suit, the jury may only have to believe it is more likely than not that the perpetrator committed the act. Even if the perpetrator is not charged criminally – or is found not guilty or pleads to a lesser charge – you may still file a civil suit for sexual assault, abuse, or harassment.
Many victims of sexual assault may be reluctant to file suit against their attacker. They may just want it all to go away. That’s understandable. However, often the best way to begin the healing process may be to fight back. Our sexual abuse attorneys are here to help you do just that. We will handle your case with sensitivity, fight for your rights, and work to find the justice and compensation you need to help you recover after an attack.
When it’s time to bring a sexual assault lawsuit, an experienced lawyer can help in many ways. From gathering critical evidence and holding those responsible accountable, to negotiating a settlement or advocating for you in court, a sexual assault lawyer can handle everything the lawsuit needs while you focus on your recovery.
Some of the important ways a lawyer can help include:
- Investigating the circumstances of the attack. Sexual assault cases can be complicated, so it’s important to have all of the evidence your case needs. While you are recovering, a lawyer can listen to you and gather police reports, witness information, and many other important sources of information. A sexual assault lawsuit is built on detailed procedures and evidence, so it’s important to have an experienced and knowledgeable lawyer involved in the process.
- Determining who could be held responsible for the sexual assault. Third parties may be liable in a sexual assault lawsuit when they owe you a duty to keep you safe but fail to do so. For example, health care facilities, businesses, and other organizations may have failed in their duties to keep you safe and may be liable for the harm you have suffered. A hotel or apartment building may be liable since they provided inadequate security. A lawyer can investigate the circumstances of the assault and help you determine who could be held responsible.
- Evaluating your injuries and help you decide on the compensation you deserve. A sexual assault can leave victims with serious injuries and lasting harm. Evaluating them and calculating compensation for these injuries can be a challenging process that requires knowledge of the law and an understanding of the case. An attorney can discuss your injuries with you and prepare a lawsuit for the damages that you deserve.
- Conducting any negotiations. In some cases, victims may be able to negotiate a settlement with those responsible for the sexual assault or their insurers. This is particularly true when third-parties failed in their duties to keep you safe. These negotiations can be time-consuming, highly technical, and emotionally draining. An attorney knows how to negotiate a settlement from a position of strength, can represent you throughout the process, and can work to secure the justice and compensation that you deserve.
- Litigating your case. If your case needs to go to court, a sexual assault attorney knows how to handle the process. A court case relies on complex legal and evidentiary rules, as well as strict rules on filings and court procedure. An attorney can handle everything your case needs and represent you and fight for your recovery in any proceedings.
- Serving as your advocate. One of the most important ways that an attorney can help is by acting as a zealous advocate for you and your right to compensation. Sexual assault can leave victims exhausted, in pain, and wondering what the future holds. A sexual assault lawyer can take the burden of your suit off of you while you focus on healing.
Texas Law Protects Sexual Assault Victims
Under Texas law, sexual assault is a serious crime that is often prosecuted as a felony. Many sexual assault cases are prosecuted as second-degree felonies, but in some cases, they may be prosecuted as a more serious first-degree felony. This happens in some circumstances, including those when aggravated sexual assault takes place. Aggravated assault happens when the perpetrator knowingly or intentionally carries out the act, when they carry out the act with violence, or when the victim is a minor. A conviction on a sexual assault charge carries a potential punishment of years in prison and fines up to thousands of dollars.
Texas law also allows civil lawsuits for victims to hold their attackers financially responsible – as well as third parties whose negligence set the stage for the assault. The burden of proof in a civil lawsuit is lower than the burden in a criminal proceeding, so it can be a critical way for victims to find the justice they need and a critical way for victims to find the resources they need to help them recover.
Texas is focused on helping sexual assault victims find the resources they need to heal after an attack. If it’s time to start a lawsuit for a sexual assault, contact a sexual assault attorney today. An attorney can review your case, advise you on next steps, and work to hold the perpetrators and others responsible for their role.
Compensation to Help You Recover After an Attack
Our sexual assault lawyers know how to build a civil lawsuit for justice and compensation. A civil lawsuit can be filed under many different types of torts and may result in compensation for medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other forms of compensation.
Medical expenses and the costs of your treatment can be too much to deal with while you’re healing. Sexual assault can lead to significant medical expenses for the treatments you need. A sexual assault lawsuit can help you recover the cost of your treatment and the cost of any future treatment or care that your injuries need.
A civil lawsuit can also help you recover the lost wages that the sexual assault has cost you. Victims of crimes are often unable to return to work after they’ve been harmed, and this time away from work can deprive them of income that is vital for their day-to-day lives. After a sexual assault, a lawsuit can help you recover the wages that you lost because of the attack and the harm that the attack may do to your future earnings.
After a sexual assault lawsuit, there may also be compensation available for the physical pain and mental anguish that a victim suffers. Sexual assault is a serious crime that can leave you physically harmed and emotionally traumatized. This pain and suffering can lead to lasting harm in your life including taking away activities you once enjoyed and causing significant problems such as depression, fear, and anxiety.
If it’s time to file a sexual assault lawsuit, these and other categories of compensation may be available in your case. A sexual assault attorney can listen to you, build your case, and help you pursue the compensation that you deserve.
Who May Be Held Liable for Sexual Assault?
In a civil lawsuit, there are many categories of defendants who may be held liable. The perpetrators, negligent third parties, and individuals with reporting requirements are just a few. Many of these groups can be important sources of compensation when you’re recovering from a sexual assault.
The perpetrators of a sexual assault may be held personally liable for their actions. Perpetrators may already be in jail or may be going through the justice system. In some cases, authorities may not have pressed charges against them, but you can still bring a sexual assault civil lawsuit against them since the civil matter is separate from criminal charges. An attorney can gather all evidence and records related to the assault, file a lawsuit, and work to hold them accountable for what they’ve done.
Third parties may also be held liable in a sexual assault lawsuit. In many situations, third parties such as nursing homes, hotels, hospitals, apartment complexes, and other organizations may be held liable when their failures led to or allowed the sexual assault. For example, nursing homes must hire, train, and monitor their staff. If the staff members engage in a sexual assault, it may be because the organization has failed in their duties. Similarly, hotels and apartment complexes are required to provide adequate security and lighting to keep their guests safe from harm. When they don’t, they may be liable for the injuries that you suffer as a result.
In addition to organizations, many individuals such as health care workers and teachers have legal obligations to report sexual assaults and abuse if they suspect them. When they fail to do so, they may be liable for the injuries that you sustained. A lawyer can investigate what happened, whether these individuals acted inappropriately, and hold them accountable for their failures.
Contact Our Texas Sexual Assault Attorneys
People who have faced the unfortunate tragedy of sexual abuse may find triumph by coming forward, telling the authorities, and receiving help. This courage is what drives the sexual abuse attorneys at Ketterman Rowland & Westlund to represent these individuals and aid them with their healing process. No matter what has happened in the past, know that you do not have to suffer in silence any longer.
At Ketterman Rowland & Westlund, we understand how serious sexual assault is, and we’re here to help you find the closure you need. Sexual assault is a serious crime, and a civil lawsuit can be an important part of a victim’s recovery process. If you or someone you love was sexually assaulted, it may be time to consider a civil lawsuit. We offer a free case evaluation and we’re here to answer any questions you may have. Call us today or use our online form to get in touch.