Although there is no typical settlement amount victims can receive for a clergy abuse claim; the amounts are generally between $300,000 to $400,000. However, this isn’t a set amount that is awarded for all cases. The settlement amount a victim can receive will vary based on numerous factors.
If you were a victim of clergy abuse and are going to file a claim, there are things you must know. And having an experienced legal team, like our attorneys at White Law PLLC, on your side will ensure your settlement amount is fitting. Continue reading for more information about your case or how a settlement amount is calculated.
What Will Affect Your Settlement Amount?
Throughout all sexual abuse cases, there are various factors that will affect a sexual abuse settlement. Factors that will be considered in each clergy abuse settlement include:
- The nature of the abuse that was sustained
- How long the abuse had occurred for
- The age of the victim
- How the victim’s life was impacted due to this abuse
Who Can You Sue for Clergy Sexual Abuse?
Generally, in clergy abuse claims, there are a few parties that can be held liable. For starters, many will sue the church, whereas others will simply sue the pastor, clergymen, or ministers. However, depending on the circumstances and specifics of the case, the liable party can be more than one entity.
In many cases, a clergy member, pastor, or minister won’t have enough assets to award you the damages you deserve. This is why many victims will also sue the church. You can sue the church only if your state has no statute of limitations on clergy abuse claims, or if you are within the proper amount of time to honor this law.
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What Damages Can You Claim in a Clergy Sexual Abuse Lawsuit?
Similar to other types of sexual abuse cases, clergy abuse claims are treated in the same manner. Victims are still entitled to the damages they have sustained due to someone’s actions. Therefore, many damages you can recover from cases like these are more non-economic losses.
Compensatory damages, or economic damages, are damages that have a monetary value associated with them. Whereas non-economic damages don’t have a set monetary value. You can, however, claim compensatory damages for the cost of medical bills, or any medical treatment you must receive from the abuse sustained.
And, in some cases, victims of clergy sexual abuse can receive lost wages because at times, their trauma will deter them from attending their jobs or visiting the workplace. But, you will generally receive non-economic losses. These losses include:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Emotional trauma
Even though clergy abuse victims have a long road to recovery, the compensation awarded to them can be helpful. And, additional damages can also be awarded, depending on the case and where it gets to.
Can You Receive Punitive Damages in Clergy Abuse Settlements?
Punitive damages are damages that are awarded on rare occasions over various types of lawsuits. These damages are awarded on top of other damages that are paid to the victim, in order to stress that the liable parties’ actions were intentional and grossly negligent.
Usually, these are awarded in order to mitigate or eliminate cases like this in the future. Having the liable party pay a larger amount of money will likely keep the defendant from committing these gross crimes in the future.
In clergy abuse cases, these damages could be awarded if your case goes to court. At times, the jury might award victims with punitive damages, but it is considered rare that the church or liable individual will pay these types of damages.
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What Is the Statute of Limitations on Clergy Abuse Crimes?
There is a statute of limitations on clergy abuse claims, which generally was only a few years from when the abuse occurred. However, around 15 states have recently revised these laws. The revisions make it easier to allow victims of clergy abuse to bring claims to light years after they have occurred.
Among these states, Michicgan was included in the revisions. Now, Michigan has raised the age limit to 28 from 19. This means that victims can file clergy abuse charges up to their 28th birthday instead of their 19th. Or, victims are allowed to file a claim three years after the abuse has occurred.
Reach Out to Us Today About Your Clergy Abuse Settlement!
Based on countless reports, clergy sexual abuse cases are on the rise. And settlement amounts are being paid out in large numbers. We understand that after crimes like these have been committed, victims are unsure of where to go and who to turn to.
If you were a victim of clergy abuse, you could contact us today. At White Law PLLC, we have experience in cases like yours and can ensure you receive the highest settlement possible for your losses.