Sexual Abuse Attorney in Washington, DC
Helping Victims of Abuse in their Fight for Justice
Sexual abuse refers to any unwanted sexual behavior committed by one person upon another. While abuse can and does include sexual assault, it is often used to describe sexual misconduct in certain types of situations, including:
- Ongoing sexual harassment, including abuse by people in positions of authority
- Abuse in institutional settings (i.e. schools, youth groups, religious organizations, etc.)
- Sexual abuse of minors (child sexual abuse)
- Sexual abuse of elderly or vulnerable individuals, including nursing home abuse
When people abuse their positions of trust and authority to commit sexual abuse, they can be held accountable in criminal court, where they often face life-altering charges and penalties. However, sexual abuse is not easy to prosecute, especially after time has passed following an incident or ongoing abuse. As such, many sexual abuse survivors turn to the civil justice system to make their voices heard and secure the justice and compensation they deserve.
Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. is a nationally regarded personal injury law firm that fights for victims who have been injured and wronged, including victims of sexual abuse and assault. By leveraging decades of combined experience and the insight of Board Certified Civil Trial Law Specialists – a distinction held by just 3% of all practicing lawyers – our attorneys fight to ensure all parties are held accountable for their unacceptable actions and failures. This includes not only perpetrators of abuse, but also any employers and organizations that failed to prevent it and protect victims.
Liability in Civil Sexual Abuse Cases
Civil lawsuits involving sexual abuse concern whether a defendant is liable for the damages victims and survivors have suffered. While these defendants may include the wrongdoer themselves, there can be difficulties in recovering from an individual perpetrator, especially when they do not have the available funds to compensate survivors. As such, many sexual abuse lawsuits are filed against institutions and organizations that employed the wrongdoer, such as:
- Schools, day cares, and summer camps
- Nursing homes or assisted living companies
- Coaches, athletic departments, teams, or sports leagues
- Hospitals and other health care providers
- Religious organizations
- Youth groups
- Law enforcement agencies
- Corporations or other businesses that tolerate known sexual harassment or assault
These institutions and organizations have a legal responsibility to ensure the safety of their members, especially minors, elderly adults, and other vulnerable individuals who may not be able to defend themselves. When they fail to take reasonable measures to protect those in their charge, they can be held liable for resulting damages, including the economic losses, pain and suffering, and emotional injuries survivors of sexual abuse endure.
Failures & Negligence
The individual facts and circumstances of a case will influence how a defendant may be held liable for causing and / or preventing sexual abuse. Generally, these lawsuits focus on the ways these organizations failed to uphold their legal duties, including:
- Failing to properly screen and evaluate new employees during the hiring process
- Failing to properly address and investigate claims of sexual misconduct
- Negligently retaining employees with a history of sexual misconduct issues or claims
- Failing to provide adequate supervision
- Neglect in protecting vulnerable individuals in their care
- Willfully concealing reported sexual abuse or shielding wrongdoers
By demonstrating the failures of those in charge, sexual abuse survivors have an opportunity to hold them financially liable for their damages. Legal action can also further their sense of justice, raise awareness about patterns of abuse and unacceptable practices committed by public or private organizations, and help prevent others from suffering similar harm in the future. Our attorneys know sexual abuse lawsuits are difficult and emotional endeavors for survivors, and work tirelessly to protect their rights and well-being when brining these commendable actions.
Learn More About Your Rights During a FREE Consultation
Sexual abuse lawsuits are important to victims who deserve justice and compensation for the tremendous harms they have suffered. They are also important vehicles for change and awareness that can better protect public safety, and ensure steps are taken to prevent abuse from happening to others. If you wish to learn more about pursuing a sexual abuse lawsuit with the help of an attorney from Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C., contact us for a free and confidential consultation. We serve clients throughout the region from office locations in Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia.