West Palm Beach Sexual Abuse Lawyers
Are you or a loved one a survivor of sexual abuse?
The abuser and the organization that enabled this person may be liable for damages you or your loved one suffered, including the cost of medical and psychological treatment. Even though the abuse happened years ago, it may be possible to take legal action.
It is important to discuss the situation with a licensed attorney to determine how we may be able to help you. Gordon & Partners offers a free legal consultation with no obligation to hire one of our West Palm Beach sexual abuse lawyers. We may also be able to connect you with counseling and other support services.
Our firm has been fighting for injury victims for more than 25 years, securing tens of millions in compensation. Founding partner Robert Gordon is Board Certified in Civil Trial Advocacy by the National Board of Trial Advocates.
There are no upfront fees, and we are not paid unless you get paid.
We are here to help. Call today: 1 (855) 722-2552.
Forms of Sexual Abuse
Sexual abuse is usually physical activity, but there are non-physical activities that are also considered sexual abuse. Whether the abuse is physical or non-physical, it is forced and often involves someone the victim trusts or looks up to. In the case of sex trafficking, the abuser may not be someone the victim looks up to.
Common examples of sexual abuse include:
- Sexual intercourse
- Molestation, including molestation over the clothes
- Digital penetration
- Exposing oneself to a minor or child
- Showing a minor pornographic material, such as pictures or videos
- Sending sexually explicit images of oneself to a minor or child
- Sending sexually explicit emails or texts to a minor or child
- Forcing a child to touch himself or herself in a sexual way
- Sex trafficking
If you were the victim of forced sexual activity, the abuser should be held accountable. However, while a criminal conviction may remove the abuser from society, it does not provide compensation for the damages victims often suffer.
That is why you should strongly consider working with a West Palm Beach sexual abuse lawyer. You can file a civil case as well as a criminal one.
While nothing can change what happened, survivors often find filing a lawsuit provides some amount of closure.
Are You or Your Loved One Eligible to Seek Compensation?
Our attorneys can help answer this question in a free legal consultation. We need to review a variety of factors to determine if we may be able to seek compensation on your behalf. Even if the abuse happened when you were a child, you may still be able to file a claim. We understand it often takes a while for survivors to come forward.
Investigating and building a case takes time, so it is important to call a lawyer sooner rather than later. The initial consultation is free of charge.
We are prepared to guide you through the process, keeping you informed and explaining each step. We are aggressive negotiators who are also prepared to go to court to secure maximum compensation.
Gordon & Partners. Millions Recovered. Call 1 (855) 722-2552.
Who Might Be Held Liable for Sexual Abuse?
Sexual abusers need to be held accountable, as do the organizations that supported or enabled their behavior.
This is not only about the victim, but potential future victims. Suing a church or youth organization may not only result in them paying compensation. They may also make needed changes that could help keep other potential victims safe. For example, the organization may implement stricter background checks or take steps to ensure better monitoring of staff members when they are with children or teenagers.
Our goal in taking on these cases is to help victims like you and help protect the vulnerable from abuse.
Some of the types of organizations that may be held liable for sexual abuse include:
- Colleges and universities
- Elementary, middle and high schools
- Churches and other religious institutions
- Daycare centers
- Sports teams, particularly those affiliated with educational institutions
- Gymnastics teams
- Dance clubs
- Summer camps
- Boy Scouts
If the abuser’s employer could have done more to keep you or your loved one safe, they may be liable for damages.
Compensation Sexual Abuse Victims May Be Able to Claim
We know how important compensation can be as victims look to move forward and manage the physical and psychological injuries they are suffering from. If you hire our firm, we are prepared to pursue full compensation, including compensation for:
- Medical expenses to treat physical injuries
- Cost of psychological/mental health counseling
- Prescription medications, such as those used to treat depression and/or anxiety
- Pain and suffering
- Lost enjoyment of life
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
Each claim must be assessed on its own to determine the damages that may be included and their value.
While we know compensation cannot change what occurred, recovering compensation can be very important as victims look to take back their power from abusers and the organizations that sponsored them.
What is the Deadline for Filing a Claim?
This is a complex question to answer because it depends on the age of the victim and the date of the alleged abuse.
Sexual abuse of a minor that took place on or after July 1, 2020 is subject to Donna’s Law, which was signed into law in June 2020. There is no statute of limitations for these claims. This allows victims to come forward when they are ready.
If the abuse took place before July 1, 2020, and the victim was under the age of 16, there is no statute of limitations. However, if the victim was between 16 and 18 years of age, the assault/abuse had to be reported to law enforcement within 72 hours. If not, the victim might be prohibited from filing a lawsuit. In these situations, once the abuse gets reported, claims are subject to a three-year statute of limitations.
This made it difficult for abusers to be held accountable because sexual abuse victims are often afraid or embarrassed about coming forward.
If you are unsure if you still have time to file a claim, call Gordon & Partners today. Our West Palm Beach sexual abuse lawyers are here to help.
Free Case Review. 1 (855) 722-2552.
Physical and Psychological Injuries from Sexual Abuse
Sexual abuse can result in physical and psychological injuries victims may never fully recover from. For example, victims may suffer from:
- Sexually transmitted infections
- Unwanted pregnancy
- Damage to the genital area
Other physical injuries may include bruises, abrasions or lacerations.
While some of the physical injuries heal over time, the psychological damage from the abuse may affect the victim for a long time. Victims may suffer depression or anxiety and struggle to maintain healthy relationships. Other psychological issues that could result from abuse include:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Sleep disorders
- Sexual dysfunction
- Getting involved in abusive relationships
Victims often develop unhealthy or dangerous coping mechanisms, such as alcoholism, drug addiction, eating disorders and self-harm.
Compensation from a civil lawsuit may allow victims to get the help they need to try to address these issues. Professional help can be critical as victims attempt to work on their emotional and psychological health.
Signs of Abuse to Watch for
Victims of abuse are often too scared or ashamed to come forward. They may also fear retaliation from the abuser or people not believing their claims.
That is why it is so important for friends and family members to watch for signs a loved one may be suffering abuse. Your support may encourage the victim to come forward and begin the healing process. The younger the victim, the more important it is for adults to notice signs of abuse and investigate.
While it may be easy to notice some physical signs, they might not always be there. Abuse is often discovered because of emotional and psychological issues that manifest themselves physically.
For example, if a child or teenager does not want to be left alone with certain people, it may be a sign of abuse. When children return to an earlier stage of development, it may be a sign of trauma. For example, thumb sucking, bedwetting or refusing to change clothes may be signs of abuse.
Excessive conversation about sexual topics could also be a sign of abuse. For example, maybe the victim was exposed to pornographic material.
Physical signs of abuse may include:
- Pain during urination
- Pain during bowel movements
- Damage to the genital area
- Bleeding in underwear
- Chronic stomach pain
If you or a loved one are a victim of sexual abuse and are unsure what to do next, give us a call today to schedule a free legal consultation.
Recent Sexual Abuse Settlements
In recent years, there have been many high-profile sexual abuse cases that have resulted in massive settlements for victims. This includes cases in Florida.
For example, in October 2017, the Palm Beach County School Board settled a case concerning an elementary teacher’s abuse of four female students. The settlement was for $3.58 million. The next month, a jury awarded $49.3 million to a 16-year-old student who was raped by a former high school teacher.
One case that garnered national attention involved Michigan State University sports doctor Larry Nassar, who was accused of sexually abusing hundreds of women and girls. In 2018, the university agreed to a $500 million settlement.
In 2021, the University of Southern California agreed to an $852 million settlement of hundreds of lawsuits against school gynecologist George Tyndall, who was accused of abusing patients at the student health center. In 2018, the university agreed to a settlement of more than $200 million of a federal class action involving former patients of this gynecologist.
Cases like these demonstrate how widespread the problem of sexual abuse is. They also emphasize the importance of legal action, as it can help facilitate change that may protect other potential victims from abuse.
Resources for Sexual Abuse Victims in Florida
There are various resources for victims of sexual abuse and assault in Florida. For example, the Florida Council Against Sexual Violence (FCASV) provides a wide range of services to victims of abuse and assault. When victims contact FCASV, crisis counselors can put them in touch with the local certified sexual assault program.
If abuse of a child is suspected, it can be reported via the Florida Abuse Hotline: 1-800-96ABUSE.
The Palm Beach County Victim Services & Certified Rape Crisis Center has five locations throughout Palm Beach County. The West Palm Beach office is located at 4210 N Australian Avenue. Advocates at these offices provide emergency services 24/7. This may include:
- Accompanying you to medical or investigative procedures
- Helping with emergency restraining orders
- Helping with referrals for therapy, medical treatment and social service
- Connecting you with therapeutic groups for adult survivors of sexual assault/incest
- And more
Call Our West Palm Beach Sexual Abuse Lawyers
Talking to an experienced attorney can be an important step in the recovery process. Not only can an attorney help you determine legal options, but he or she may be able to help you find support services to help you with the trauma you have experienced.
Gordon & Partners offers a free legal consultation to sexual abuse victims. Call today to learn more about how we may be able to assist you. Our firm has a proven track record, and our attorneys have decades of combined experience advocating for the injured.
Our firm works on contingency, which means no upfront fees. There are also no fees while working on a case.
Our office in Palm Beach Gardens is just 15 minutes from the Palm Beach County Courthouse.
Licensed. Local. Lawyers. Call 1 (855) 722-2552.
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