Surviving sexual abuse can leave you in a difficult, traumatic situation. However, that does not mean you do not have options. As a sexual abuse survivor in Michigan, you may have legal options to take action.
Following sexual abuse, you have opportunities to identify the party who harmed you. You may also seek medical care to help you through this time. That medical care can be evidence if you choose to file a lawsuit.
All these steps may sound difficult alone, but with legal support, you have certain resources on your side. When you need legal options for survivors of sexual abuse, we are here to help. Below are a few steps you can take today as you reach out to a Michigan sexual abuse lawyer.
Steps You Can Take Following Sexual Abuse
If you have just faced sexual abuse, you may be hurt and confused. Where do you start? This can be difficult and traumatic, but you have opportunities to act.
Taking certain steps to protect yourself is vital. That includes your physical, mental, and legal well-being. Ensuring that you have the right support can make a big difference in your case.
So what can you do in the aftermath of sexual abuse? Below are a few ways you can take action for your case. If you are unsure where to start or need help, your attorney is always there to provide guidance and support to ensure you take the right steps.
Seek Medical Attention
One of the first and most important steps you can take when you have suffered through sexual abuse is to seek out medical care. When you have been sexually abused, you may have suffered severe injuries caused by the at-fault party. Worse, you may not even feel them until they worsen if you do not pursue medical help now.
Seeking medical attention as soon as possible can also help preserve evidence. Going to the hospital as soon as possible after the abuse can provide a more specific timeline for the lawsuit and can provide needed information about your physical health, which can, in turn, inform your damages. It can also provide key evidence to support your case.
Press Criminal Charges
Following sexual abuse, one of the first steps you may take is contacting the police. This is especially important if the ongoing presence of the abuser further endangers your safety. A police presence can help you gather evidence, have more witnesses to the scene, and give you options to press charges.
Remember, however, that there is a difference between criminal charges and civil litigation. In civil lawsuits, you may be able to receive financial compensation but not criminal penalties such as imprisonment. Fortunately, you may be able to seek out both, as these types of cases do not overlap.
File a Lawsuit
Once you have taken care of your health and pressed charges, you may have grounds for a lawsuit. Civil litigation can provide the financial support you need when you are hurt and suffering following another person’s negligence. Your lawsuit can help support you financially as you take steps to overcome the sexual abuse you have suffered.
Unfortunately, civil lawsuits can also be complex and nuanced. A mistake can lead to you losing your chance to get compensated. Because of that, you may need to leave the specifics of your civil case to your sexual abuse attorney.
Your Fight Is Our Fight
What If I Am a Survivor of Child Sexual Abuse?
Sadly, sexual abuse frequently affects children. You may have suffered child sexual abuse as a child or believe your child is being abused now. That can be a devastating experience for both a child and their family.
Fortunately, children who have suffered sexual abuse also have legal options. If you suspect that another person is abusing your child, you can seek legal action. Your attorney can help you act as your child’s guardian throughout the courtroom process and ensure they get the help they need.
If you suffered sexual abuse as a child and decades have passed, you may still have some options. Laws surrounding past child sexual abuse, especially sexual abuse by clergy members, are changing. Talk to your attorney about how much time has passed since your sexual abuse and determine whether you have the opportunity to seek compensation.
Time Limits for Sexual Abuse Claims
Remember that your case may be subject to certain statutes of limitations, or time constraints. That means that you only have a certain amount of time to file your case. If you fail to file within the allotted time, your case may be dismissed, and the judge may bar you from receiving compensation.
For those who have suffered sexual assault or rape, you may have more time to file your sex abuse lawsuit. Michigan law has recently changed to give you 10 years to file a civil suit. That gives you more time if you choose not to sue when the incident happened.
Likewise, the laws for child sexual abuse time limits have also changed. Victims of child sexual abuse may sue until they are 28 years old. That means they have time to become adults who can file their own lawsuits and pursue compensation.
We know how to get our clients the results they need in the toughest legal arenas.
Contact an Attorney for Your Sexual Abuse Legal Options
When you have suffered sexual abuse, you may be overwhelmed and devastated by what happened. You may be unsure where to turn and who to trust during this time. Fortunately, our team can help.
At White Law PLLC, you have experience and resources on your side in the courtroom and out. Our team is dedicated to helping sexual abuse victims get the support they need and representing them in court to seek the damages they are due. We work hard to provide legal options for survivors of sexual abuse in Michigan so that they can focus on their physical and mental well-being.
Remember that we offer free consultations if you are unsure of your legal options. You can speak to our attorneys before you make any decisions about your claim. When you are ready, contact us by calling or filling out our online contact form.
We’re Experienced. We Care.
We Exceed Client Expectations.