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Temecula Sexual Abuse Attorneys

San Diego car accident lawyersSexual abuse causes lasting trauma for victims of any age, reaching deep into every facet of a survivor’s life. Sadly, for years the California legal system failed sexual abuse survivors by imposing unrealistically short time limits for them to seek justice and compensation against their abusers and others who fostered their abuse. By the time many had mustered the courage to confront their abusers by coming forward, the time limits for taking legal action had long since expired.

Fortunately, recently California law has changed to give sexual abuse survivors renewed and improved rights to hold abusers and abuse-enablers accountable in court. At Gomez Trial Attorneys, we represent Temecula survivors of sexual abuse when they decide the time has come to seek justice and compensation for themselves. Contact us today for a free, confidential, no-obligation case evaluation with our compassionate Temecula personal injury lawyers.

About Our Temecula Law Firm

Gomez Trial Attorneys practices personal injury law throughout Southern California, including Temecula. Our mission is to protect and enforce the legal rights of injured victims of other people’s wrongdoing. From our offices throughout the region, we routinely represent brave survivors of sexual violence who want to hold their abusers, and anyone who enabled, covered up, or turned a blind eye to abuse, financially accountable.

We feel our lawyers have an impressive track record of success on behalf of our injured clients and their families, many of whom have suffered life-altering traumas. We take pride in making sure people who do wrong pay for the harm they cause; such as a $1.25 million jury award we recently secured in a sexual assault case.

The matters we handle on behalf of sexual abuse survivors in Temecula constitute some of our most important work. We approach these cases with diligence, determination, and compassion, knowing our clients need straightforward and accurate legal advice to guide them through an intensely personal process and to achieve the justice they deserve.

Sexual Violence Plagues Our State

A report from the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault (CALCASA) detailing annual incidents of sexual violence in the state painted a tragic picture. By its estimate, more than 300,000 children and more than 600,000 adults endure rapes or other sexual assaults every year. This violence comes at a massive economic cost—CALCASA pins it at around $140 billion annually—but dollars and cents cannot portray the suffering inflicted on each and every one of the survivors of this abuse. Just some of the lifelong harms done by sexual violence include high rates of substance abuse, low quality of life, persistent sexual health complications, and struggles with depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, and suicide.

Temecula Sexual Abuse Survivors Have Rights

Survivors of sexual abuse in Temecula often do not realize that they have significant legal rights under California law. In most cases, they have a right to expect criminal prosecutors to bring their abuser to justice, and to decide whether to participate in the prosecutor’s efforts.

Because of recent changes in California law, many of them also have important legal rights to take legal action for money damages against not just their abusers, but also anyone whose wrongful actions aided, facilitated, enabled, ignored, or covered up that abuse. At Gomez Trial Attorneys, we represent sexual abuse survivors in seeking that sort of compensation.

Changes to California Law Extend and Revive (For Now) Time Limits for Filing Lawsuits

In the past, Temecula sexual abuse survivors might have found to their dismay that they had run out of time to file a lawsuit for money damages against abusers and others. But in a large number of cases, that is no longer so. In fact, some abuse survivors may have new legal rights to enforce that they had previously written off, because of changes to California law that extended and opened time limits for taking legal action.

Currently, in California, a survivor can take legal action for against abusers and others seeking compensation within the following time periods:

  • Survivors of sexual violence in childhood can file a lawsuit “within 22 years of the date the [survivor] attains the age of majority or within five years of the date the [survivor] discovers or reasonably should have discovered that psychological injury or illness occurring after the age of majority was caused by the sexual assault, whichever period expires later.” In addition, all California survivors of childhood sexual abuse, no matter how long ago the abuse occurred, currently have until December 31, 2022 to take legal action against their abusers and others. After that date, this special “window of opportunity” will close, however, so any survivor contemplating legal action for abuse that occurred more than 22 years ago should act promptly to protect their rights.
  • Survivors of sexual violence in adulthood occurring on or after January 1, 2019 can file a lawsuit “within 10 years from the date of the last act, attempted act, or assault with intent to commit an act, of sexual assault” against the survivor, or “within 3 years from the date the [survivor] discovers or reasonably should have discovered that an injury or illness resulted from an act, attempted act, or assault with the intent to commit an act, of sexual assault” against the survivor. Survivors of assaults occurring before that date have three years to file suit.

In short, do not assume that you have run out of time to take legal action against your abuser or anyone whose actions enabled the abuse that harmed you. We encourage any survivor, no matter their age, to contact Gomez Trial Attorneys as soon as possible to learn about their potential rights.

Survivors May Hold Multiple Parties Liable for Temecula Sexual Violence

Some survivors of sexual abuse doubt the value of taking legal action because their abuser has little or no money to pay damages (particularly when the abuser sits in jail, for example). However, multiple individuals or entities could have legal liability to a survivor for sexual abuse the survivor suffered, which may substantially increase a survivor’s chances of recovering compensation.

Every sexual abuse case we handle is different, but at Gomez Trial Attorneys we typically explore whether any or all of the following types of parties might have legal liability to our client for damages:

  • The individual perpetrator of abuse;
  • Anyone who unreasonably failed to stop abuse from happening; and
  • Corporations, institutions, and organizations, including schools, churches, businesses, or scouting groups, that failed to protect our client from abuse.

We wish to emphasize that Temecula sexual abuse survivors may have rights against one or more of the parties listed above even if no one ever faced criminal charges stemming from the acts of abuse. Contact Gomez Trial Attorneys today to discuss, confidentially, who might have legal liability to you or a loved one for the harm resulting from sexual violence.

Compensation Potentially Available for a Temecula Sexual Abuse Survivor

We cannot predict, in advance, how much money a Temecula sexual abuse survivor might have the opportunity to recover through taking legal action. Every case has its own unique circumstances that can affect its outcome.

Still, generally speaking, survivors who pursue legal action against the parties who harmed them can typically seek compensation for:

  • Medical and other costs relating to physical and emotional injuries relating to abuse;
  • Pain, suffering, and diminished quality of life traceable to the sexual abuse, which may include the sorts of lifelong difficulties common for sexual abuse survivors that we have described above; and
  • Punitive (or “exemplary”) damages, if allowed under California law, such as the legal right of childhood sexual abuse survivors to seek “treble damages” (three times the survivor’s other financial damages) against their abuser or anyone who covered up that abuse.

In addition to seeking monetary damages, sexual abuse survivors in Temecula sometimes wish to see other forms of justice done. For example, survivors of a workplace sexual assault may want to obtain a legal order forcing their former employer to change how it trains and educates employees about sexual violence. Lawyers call this type of outcome a non-monetary remedy.

The team at Gomez Trial Attorneys understands the importance of that sort of remedy to some of its clients, and works with them to ensure that any legal action it takes on clients’ behalf seeks to meet their individual goals for taking the brave step of seeking justice and accountability for abuse.

How a Sexual Abuse Injury Attorney Can Help

Hiring a lawyer may not rise to the top of the list of priorities or concerns for a Temecula sexual abuse survivor. Some do not know about their rights to seek compensation from abusers and enablers. Others want to avoid the traumatic memories of abuse, or do not believe that taking action can succeed or make a difference. At Gomez Trial Attorneys, we seek to assure our clients that their actions can and do matter, and we work tirelessly to serve their legal interests. Our representations of these courageous clients often include:

Identifying Who Has Liability for Sexual Violence

Sexual abuse causes harm (or, “personal injury”). Under California law, abuse survivors have the right to seek compensation for that harm against not just abusers, but anyone whose wrongful decisions or actions enabled or covered up abuse. At Gomez Trial Attorneys, we recognize the potentially critical importance of identifying each and every individual or entity who may owe financial compensation to our client.

A school district, church, healthcare service, scouting organization, or athletic club might have failed to perform an adequate background check, dismissed credible claims against perpetrators without conducting proper investigations, or simply moved known perpetrators to other parishes, troops, or teams. We work to uncover who allowed a sexual predator to abuse you or your child and then hold that person or entity accountable. The more such parties, the better our clients’ chances of recovering the money they deserve.

Pinpointing potential parties with liability can require asking our client to revisit and describe abuse, which is never easy. We frequently tell our clients that they should have a strong support network, which may include a therapist or counselor, in place before we begin that process. We aim to uncover important facts, but our caring attorneys’ ultimate priority is to protect your wellbeing.

Negotiating With Parties for Agreed-Upon Compensation

Gomez Trial Attorneys makes sure our clients understand that they have ultimate control over how a matter proceeds. Our job as lawyers is to work in our clients’ interests, after having advised them about their options. We will never take any action to pursue or resolve a case without a client’s authorization.

In many of our sexual abuse injury matters, clients authorize us to negotiate with representatives of parties who have legal liability, in hopes of achieving an agreed resolution (or settlement) of the client’s case. We work with our client to set the priorities for these negotiations, which may include

  • Obtaining maximum financial compensation
  • Securing a public acknowledgment of wrongdoing
  • Implementing change

We fight for our clients’ interests and needs. Our client then decides (with our advice) whether to accept or reject any settlement offer we secure.

We encourage Temecula survivors of sexual violence to contact our compassionate team to discuss their priorities for pursuing legal action against abusers and others. Rest assured that our team treats each survivor with dignity, and respects their individual choices and goals for taking any sort of legal action.

Litigating in California Courts

Many sexual abuse injury cases end in a settlement, as described above. But not all of them. Sometimes our clients opt against a settlement (or an acceptable one simply does not materialize), and instead decide to take the case to court and to present the evidence for damages to a judge and jury.

The team at Gomez Trial Attorneys always stands ready to advocate for its clients in a California courtroom. Ours is a group of experienced, compassionate, award-winning trial lawyers. We have the skill and emotional intelligence to present challenging sexual abuse matters to judges and juries in a manner that gives our clients a clear, firm voice that demands justice and accountability.

Call Our Temecula Sexual Abuse Injury Attorneys

Today, more than ever before, Temecula sexual abuse survivors have legal options for seeking justice and accountability from their abusers and anyone who enabled their abuse. Yet, these options will not remain available forever. Survivors may need to take prompt action to preserve their legal rights.

Contact the compassionate, diligent sexual abuse injury lawyers at Gomez Trial Attorneys online or (619) 237-3490 for a 100 percent confidential, no-cost, no-obligation case evaluation today.

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