October 17, 2023
Understanding Sexual Abuse as a Personal Injury Claim

Sexual abuse of any kind is a heinous crime, and California prosecutors tend to seek convictions in these cases very aggressively. The state will handle criminal charges for all types of sexual abuse and sexual assault, and the defendant, if found guilty, could face years in prison, heavy fines, and a host of other severe penalties.

However, the criminal case may only yield restitution to compensate the victim, and it is likely that they have other losses that will not be repaid through the criminal court system. In these situations, victims must know their legal rights and how they can recover from these experiences as fully as possible. Guenard & Bozarth, LLP, can help file a personal injury claim in California for the sexual abuse you experienced.

How to Build Your Personal Injury Case

The objective of a personal injury claim is for the injured party of another party’s negligence or illegal misconduct to secure compensation for the resulting damages. While many personal injury cases filed in California arise from acts of negligence, or failure to use reasonable care in specific situations, these claims may also arise from intentional and illegal misconduct like sexual assault.

To succeed with any personal injury claim in California, the plaintiff must prove the defendant directly caused actual harm and then produce evidence showing the full extent of their damages. In a sexual abuse case, the defendant is likely to face criminal court proceedings, and the victim’s civil claim will unfold separately. An experienced attorney can explain how these two cases may overlap.

Claiming Compensation in Your Personal Injury Suit

The plaintiff in a sexual abuse case can claim recompense for all economic damages the defendant inflicted. These are likely to include immediate and future medical expenses, including the expense of mental health counseling the victim may require. Many victims of sexual abuse experience a wide range of adverse mental health conditions that can take years to treat.

Suffering sexual abuse can also interfere with a victim’s ability to earn income through work. They may claim recompense for lost wages and lost future earning power if the incident has permanently impacted their ability to earn income in the future. An attorney can help their client accurately calculate any such projected future losses and add them to the civil suit.

The plaintiff in a personal injury claim also has the right to seek pain and suffering recompense, and California law does not limit how much they are allowed to claim. Due to the extremely harmful nature of sexual abuse, both physically and mentally, the victim could potentially recover more compensation for their pain and suffering than the total of their economic damages.

There are strict procedural rules you must follow to file a personal injury claim successfully in California, and an experienced attorney can be an invaluable asset for these efforts. Guenard & Bozarth, LLP, routinely assist California clients with all types of personal injury claims, including those filed for illegal misconduct like sexual assault. The sooner you connect with an attorney, the more likely you will be to maximize your recovery.


Q: What Is the Burden of Proof in a Sexual Assault Case?

A: There is a different burden of proof required for proving guilt in a criminal case than is required for proving fault for injuries in a personal injury case. The prosecution must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt to convict an individual in criminal court for sexual assault. To prove fault in a personal injury case, the plaintiff must prove the defendant directly caused their claimed damages.

Q: What Are the Penalties for Sexual Assault?

A: Any form of sexual assault can lead to severe penalties upon conviction, including fines, jail time, and mandatory registration as a sex offender, possibly for life. The defendant will also owe restitution to the victim, and the victim will have grounds to file a separate civil claim against them. This civil claim could leave the defendant liable for medical costs, income lost, and the victim’s pain and suffering.

Q: How Much Compensation Can I Claim for Sexual Assault?

A: Under California’s personal injury laws, you have the right to seek full repayment of all economic losses you went through because of a defendant’s negligence or illegal misconduct. In a sexual assault claim, you may be able to recover compensation for immediate and future medical expenses, lost income, and as much pain and suffering recompense as you believe to be reasonable to reflect the serious nature of the harm you suffered.

Q: Should I Hire an Attorney for My Personal Injury Case in California?

A: Hiring a personal injury attorney to help with any civil claim will not only dramatically improve the chances of winning the case but also your chances of maximizing your final award. Your legal team can streamline your proceedings, shortening the time it takes for you to recover, and they may reveal channels of compensation you did not know were available to you, enhancing your final award significantly.

Q: What Will It Cost to Hire a Personal Injury Attorney for My Sexual Assault Claim?

A: The team at Guenard & Bozarth, LLP, can provide the legal representation you will need for your impending civil suit without adding to your financial concerns. We take these cases on contingency, so our client only pays our firm a fee if and when we win their case. Their contingency fee is a portion of the total amount we recover on their behalf, and there is no fee if we are unable to obtain compensation.

Experiencing sexual assault of any kind can be life-changing, and while the state will handle criminal prosecution of the defendant, it is up to you to file a civil claim to seek compensation for your damages. Guenard & Bozarth, LLP, can represent you in this difficult case, so contact us today and set up a free consultation with our team to learn more about the legal services we offer.






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