Sexual Assault Attorneys in Denver Assisting Clients Recover Compensation
Falling prey to sexual assault can cause physical and mental damage that changes your life forever. Sexual assault is a terrible crime, and hopefully, the perpetrator will face criminal prosecution resulting in serious punishment. Sending your abuser to jail can be satisfying in some ways, as it holds them accountable for their actions and ensures that they cannot hurt anyone else for a while, but it does nothing to help you find your way through the aftermath of the assault to get back to some semblance of your life as it was before. Filing a civil case against the perpetrator of the assault may result in financial compensation that can help you afford the medical and mental health care you may need, replace wages lost due to an inability to work, and give you some small measure of restitution for the suffering you have endured. One of the experienced sexual assault attorneys at Greer Law Group can give you the caring, compassionate help you need to hold your sexual abuser accountable.
Call Greer Law Group at our Denver office today at 303-331-6460 to speak to a sexual assault attorney and start to put your life back together.
How Long Do I Have To File a Civil Case for Sexual Assault in Colorado?
Colorado lawmakers understand that coming forward with allegations of sexual abuse is extremely difficult, and sometimes it takes years to build up the courage to do it. Therefore, the Colorado legislature recently removed any limit on the amount of time a victim has to pursue a perpetrator of sexual abuse in civil court, starting January 1, 2022. The bill was signed into law by the Governor in April of 2021. While a victim of sexual assault in Colorado previously had only 6 years to pursue compensation in civil court, this new law removes any statute of limitations for sexual assault crimes that occur after January 1, 2022. Additionally, the statute of limitations was removed for crimes dating back to January 1, 2016, as the original statute of limitations for those cases had not run out; however, incidents of sexual abuse that occurred between January 1, 2016, and January 1, 2022, are subject to slightly different legal requirements in filing a civil case, so it is best to contact a skilled sexual assault attorney immediately if your assault happened during that time period.
What if the Victim of Sexual Abuse Was Underage?
One other new law that was passed in Colorado in 2021 allows victims of sexual abuse who were underage at the time of the incident(s) to file claims against public or private entities that operated or managed youth-related activities or programs, if the organization knew about — or reasonably should have known about — sexual misconduct against minors and the organization “did not take action to address the risks or warn participants.” This includes government entities such as school districts and preschool programs. The law will apply retroactively to cases before, on, or after January 1, 2022, and as far back as January 1, 1960. However, acts that occurred between January 1, 2016, and January 1, 2022, must be filed before January 1, 2025
Sexual assault of those under age 18 is generally referred to as molestation. It can include such acts as touching private parts, taking pornographic pictures, exposing genitalia, inducing sexual acts with the molester or other children, raping a child, or committing incest with a minor family member.
Several categories of professionals are mandated by law to report molestation if they are aware of it or if it is reported to them, including teachers and other school personnel, medical professionals, therapists and counselors, social workers, members of the clergy, film and photo processors, and juvenile and probation officers, for example.
From Whom Can I Seek Compensation in My Sexual Assault Civil Case?
In a civil case for sexual assault, you will most likely want to sue the perpetrator for damages, but you can also sue their employer or the owner of the property where the assault took place. If a business, organization, or institution failed to act on complaints of inappropriate conduct by an employee or failed to have adequate employment screening procedures in place, they may be held liable for their employee’s sexual misconduct. If a business has failed to take reasonable steps to prevent customers or guests from being sexually assaulted or abused, that company may be liable. For example, if a hotel fails to keep room keys in a secured location where random guests cannot access others’ room keys or allows a known sex offender employee access to room keys, the hotel might be held liable for any sexual assault that happens on its premises. Similarly, public or private entities can be held liable for sexual abuse that happened in their facilities if proper precautions have not been taken or complaints ignored. Often, multiple people or entities can be held liable for a sexual assault.
What Kinds of Damages Might I Be Entitled to for My Sexual Assault Claim in Colorado?
In a civil case against the perpetrator of a sexual assault and any other liable parties or entities, there are two kinds of damages you can pursue: economic (sometimes called pecuniary) damages and non-economic (non-pecuniary) damages. In cases of criminal sexual assault, punitive damages may also be awarded, but the plaintiff cannot request these damages in the original complaint. They will be added later by the court, if appropriate.
Economic damages include tangible, easily-documented expenses that you have incurred as the direct result of the harm done to you in a sexual assault. These could include medical bills, lost wages, the cost of travel to and from medical appointments, and any other costs directly caused by the damage suffered in the assault.
Non-economic damages are made up of the intangible losses and damage the assault has caused you. These can include mental and emotional distress, PTSD, loss of a career or future wages, loss of the enjoyment of life you had before the assault, lost relationships, and other forms of pain and suffering that the assault has caused.
Punitive damages may be assessed to the perpetrator by the court as a way of punishing them for their misdeeds and deterring others who might act in a similar way in the future. These damages are added on to the total amount awarded in economic and non-economic damages.
What Do I Have to Prove To Hold the Perpetrator’s Employer Responsible?
If you believe that the perpetrator of your sexual assault’s employer should bear some of the liability for the assault, you will need to prove these 4 things:
- That the employer had a legal responsibility to keep customers and guests safe from harm or injury
- That the business failed to uphold its legal duties and responsibilities
- That the business’s failure to uphold its legal responsibilities caused or contributed to the harm caused to the sexual assault victim
- That the victim suffered harm as a result of the sexual assault
How Can a Sexual Assault Lawyer Help in My Case?
Sexual assault is a horrible crime that can cause deep levels of trauma in the victim. If you have been the victim of a sexual assault, it is likely that you are struggling with the physical, mental, and emotional harm that has been done to you. At a time like this, you need to rest and recover, not try to fight against your abuser or a business that shares some responsibility for the assault. You certainly don’t want to face the perpetrator of your assault to discuss the terms of a settlement or trial, or relive the assault in order to investigate its circumstances. The good news is, you don’t have to. A skilled sexual assault attorney will handle all aspects of your sexual assault case, freeing you of having to continually revisit the assault, do the legal paperwork, or face the perpetrator in court. We can help you determine who the responsible parties are, what to ask for in non-economic damages, and how to go about holding the responsible parties accountable.
The experienced and knowledgeable sexual assault attorneys at Greer Law Group have the compassion to understand your suffering, and the strength to fight for the compensation you deserve. You don’t have to do it alone. We are here to help.
The sexual assault attorneys at Greer Law Group stand ready to take your side and fight for what’s right. You need a champion, and we will be there, every step of the way. Our injury attorneys will do everything in our legal power to get you the compensation you need and deserve. Call us today to start taking your life back. 303-331-6460