Deadline Approaching for Child Sexual Abuse Lawsuits in New York
Some New York residents who were victims of sexual abuse as children have until August 13, 2020 to file a lawsuit against their abusers under a special provision of New York’s Child Victims Act. This act specifically removes the statutes of limitations for bringing a civil lawsuit filed by a victim of childhood sexual abuse against an abuser by allowing such lawsuits to be filed regardless of how long ago the alleged abuse occurred. After that date, any new lawsuits by childhood sexual abuse victims must be filed before the victim’s 55th birthday.
Under the New York Child Victims Act, the criminal prosecution of an abuser can commence at any time prior to the victim’s 28th birthday.
Unlike a criminal case, which does not compensate a victim for the long-term effects of their abuse, in a civil lawsuit the victim asks the court to order an abuser to pay damages (“compensation”) to his or her victim. New York law allows a victim to seek both “economic” and “non-economic” damages.
Economic damages are those that can be measured in “dollars and cents,” such as the costs of repairing or replacing damaged personal property, lost income as a result of an injury, and the anticipated costs of current and future medical expenses. On the other hand, non-economic damages are those that cannot be assessed a monetary value such as the “pain and suffering” felt by a victim or the inability to participate in family or social activities. New York law also allows, in certain circumstances, a defendant to be ordered to pay “punitive” damages, although these damages are not awarded in every successful lawsuit.
If you were a victim of sexual abuse as a child (in New York, a “child” is anyone under 18 years of age) and that abuse occurred within the State of New York, you have the legal right to file a lawsuit against those responsible for your abuse. Due to the complex legal issues that can arise in such lawsuits, such as the statutes of limitations and the Chapter 11 bankruptcy filings by several of the state’s Roman Catholic dioceses, we always recommend that you contact a child sexual abuse victim’s lawyer with years of experience managing sexual abuse cases. One such lawyer is the child sexual abuse lawyer at The Doan Law Firm, a national law practice with offices located throughout New York and the country.
When you contact our firm, you case review and first consultation with our childhood sexual abuse lawyer are always free of charge and do not obligate you to hire us as your legal counsel. Should you decide that a lawsuit is in your best interest, and that you would like for us to represent you in court, we are willing to assume full responsibility for all aspects of preparing your childhood sexual abuse lawsuit for trial in exchange for an agreed-upon percentage of the final settlement we are prepared to win for you.