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By Dean Caras.
A rape or sexual assault is one of the most horrifying experiences a person may ever experience. The criminal justice system punishes the perpetrators of sexual misconduct, and hopefully the police will be able to obtain a conviction and an appropriate sentence against the offender. For victims of sexual assault, however, oftentimes this is not enough. Sexual abuse victims may experience injury or hospital bills, along with lasting mental trauma as a result of their attack. In these cases, Illinois law allows victims of sexual misconduct to take legal action to obtain monetary compensation against their abusers as well as businesses and organizations who contributed to the abuse.
Types of Sexual Abuse and Assault Lawsuits
Sexual abuse and sexual assault is a broad term that can be used to describe a large number of criminal charges such as rape, molestation, aggravated sexual assault, and criminal sexual conduct among others. In general, sexual assault is defined as using real or threatened violence as a way to unwillingly force an individual to engage in sexual acts. This type of incident occurs frequently, though not only, in:
- Ridesharing or taxi services
- Nursing homes
- Music Festivals
- Apartment buildings
- Buses and trains
- Fitness centers
Who Can Be Held Liable for a Sexual Assault?
Parties other than the person who actually committed the crime may also be liable in a civil sexual assault suit. Taking action against an actor that was negligent is often a smart decision. In addition to potentially increasing the compensation a victim may receive, this also holds the negligent organization accountable for the role that they played. These parties can include:
- An employer of the criminal if the sexual misconduct occurred on the job
- Any person or entity that aided or encouraged the attack
- The person or entity responsible for the premises where the attack occurred (for example the owner of a building that failed to maintain adequate security precautions)
- Any person or entity with a duty to protect against the attack (for instance, a hospital that allows an attack against its patient)
Damages from Sexual Assault
Regardless of the nature of the assault and regardless of whether criminal charges were brought, sexual assault can leave victims temporarily and permanently scarred. No amount of money can repair the psychological and physical damage that sexual assault often causes, but seeking compensation for damages can help with the healing process as well as provide for medical treatment related to the assault. Caras Law Group has years of experience in handling sexual assault cases in Chicago, and our team of lawyers will fight to help you secure compensation for your injuries.
If you believe yourself or a loved one has been a victim of sexual abuse or sexual assault, please contact Caras Law Group immediately for a free consultation and case evaluation from a Chicago sexual assault attorney. Do not let your case go unheard. Attorney Dean Caras and his associates will work to seek justice. Sexual abuse and sexual assault should never go unpunished.
Verdicts Won for Our Clients:
Rape at Mental Health Ward: $1 million settlement for a female patient that was raped by another patient in a mental health ward. We showed that the hospital violated its own regulations by failing to provide a hall monitor to prevent patients from entering each other’s rooms, allowing the female patient to be raped.
Sexual Molestation: $800,000 recovery for a woman who was molested by another patient at a Chicago area hospital. Attorney Dean Caras was able to prove that the hospital did not provide adequate security, nor did they comply with their own guidelines regarding patient interaction.
- Harvard College Faces Probe for Alleged Mishandling of Sexual Assault Cases
- White House to Press Colleges to Do More to Combat Rape
- RAINN – Effects of Sexual Assault
- US Dept. of Health & Human Services: Violence Against Women
- Sexual Assaults in Psychiatric In-Patient Units
- Chicago Tribune: Kids Sexually Assaulted At Psychiatric Hospitals
- ABC News – Sexual Abuse Rife in Psychiatric Hospitals
- Reporting Rape, and Wishing She Hadn’t