Sexual assault or molestation is one of the most painful and difficult experiences a person may endure. It can have a long-lasting impact on a survivor’s mental and physical health, therefore victims can and should sue their abusers to the extent allowed by law. Whether the abuse occurs just once or multiple times, you have the right to seek justice, and that’s what makes an Oregon sexual abuse injury attorney so important.
At The Gatti Law Firm, we can help you hold perpetrators accountable for their horrid actions in court. No amount of money can replace what is stolen from a sexual abuse survivor, but survivors may need medical treatment and therapy, which can be surprisingly expensive. We have substantial experience representing sexual abuse victims, and we’re ready to stand up for you.
Call (503) 543-1114 or contact us online for a free consultation.
Types of Sexual Assault
There are many types of sexual assault that you can be victimized by whether you are a man, woman, or child. Sexual assault refers to any type of sexual advance that occurs without the victim’s consent. This can also include times when the victim is unable to consent, including due to intoxication. Sexual abuse or assault includes rape and attempted rape, but it can also be as “simple” as inappropriate touching or kissing, as well as other forced sexual behaviors. Here are some examples of sexual assault:
- Forced sexual acts of any kind
- Groping or unwanted touching
- Any undesired and non-consensual penetration of the victim
- Sexual exploitation
Situations in which sexual abuse or assault can occur include:
- Elderly patients in nursing homes who are abused by staff members
- Schools employees who prey on children
- Churches whose clergy commit abuse
In those situations, nursing homes, schools, and churches can be held legally responsible for the abuse, particularly when previous abuse has occurred. The organization may have failed to conduct background checks or maintain safe conditions, which resulted in sexual abuse. Sadly, there are cases where organizations recognize the abuse but fail to take any steps to correct the misconduct.
Challenges for Sexual Abuse Victims
Time Limits for Filing
All cases have time limits within which one must file a lawsuit, known as statutes of limitations. These are strict time limits that, once passed, can bar you from filing. Sexual abuse can be such a traumatic event that many victims repress the memory of injury, making it difficult to file a lawsuit on time. In Oregon, there are several different time limits that may impact the victim. These limits depend on various factors, such as:
- Age of the victim when he or she was allegedly abused
- Whether the victim was conscious during the act
- The time between when the victim discovers the link between the abuse and the damage he / she faces
Each case carries specific nuances as to the time limit to file. Other factors can also be considered, such as whether a government employee or entity is involved. In a case such as this, the victim has up to 180 days to file a Tort Claim Notice under state law and 270 days from the date of alleged abuse if the victim is a child.
There is also what’s known as “delayed discovery,” which allows a victim to pursue litigation within 3 years of the date that their memories of the abuse are discovered. An attorney with experience working within these time limits can give you the best chance for success.
Every state also has specific restrictions and exceptions to the statute of limitations for each type of lawsuit. In general, the statute of limitations for filing a claim of rape or another sexual abuse claim is 2 years after the date of the incident. If the victim is a child, the law allows this individual to bring a claim forth until they turn 40 years of age or 5 years after the victim knew or had reason to know of the connection between their injury and the abuse, whichever comes last. This exception can be found under ORS. 12.117.
Insurance can also be an issue in a sexual abuse case. While an attorney may be able to obtain insurance funds from the organization, many insurance policies eliminate or restrict the amount of insurance coverage for this type of claim. In some circumstances, the insurance carrier will outright deny a claim that they are actually required to cover.
An attorney with experience dealing with insurance policies can help you recover just compensation. The most important step you can take is to ensure that you are safe from the attacker and then get legal help from a competent sex abuse lawyer in Oregon.
Time Limits for Filing
Every state has a specific statute of limitations for each type of lawsuit. These are strict time limits that, once passed, can bar you from filing. The statute of limitations for filing a claim of rape or another sexual abuse claim is 2 years after the date of the incident. There are, however, some exceptions. If the victim is a child, the law allows this individual to bring a claim forth until they turn 40 years of age or 5 years after the victim knew or had reason to know of the connection between their injury and the abuse, whichever comes last. This exception can be found under ORS. 12.117.
Guidance You Can Rely On & Trust
We are committed to obtaining justice for sexual abuse survivors, regardless of their age, background, or the circumstances of their abuse. Our legal team can fight relentlessly to secure the compensation and closure you deserve. If you or a family member has been victimized, please contact our Oregon sexual abuse attorneys at The Gatti Law Firm.
Call our experienced & compassionate attorneys at (503) 543-1114 today.