Have you been the victim of sexual assault in Miami? Are you struggling with the physical, emotional, and financial costs of the abuse? It’s important for you to understand that you can hold your abuser responsible for their actions. You have the right to file a lawsuit to demand financial compensation. Money won’t won’t make everything better, but it can certainly help.
At Lavent Law, our Miami sexual assault injury lawyers are prepared to help you fight for the money you deserve. Call us today to schedule your free consultation and learn more.
Sexual Assault in Miami
Sexual assault is a serious problem across the nation and right here in Florida. According to the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, approximately 42 percent of women and 20 percent of men in Florida have been the victim of some form of sexual assault (other than rape) at some point in their lives. One in seven Florida women have also been the victim of rape.
In 2015, there were more than 10,700 reported sexual assaults in the state of Florida. The majority of these sexual assaults were classified as either forcible rapes or forcible fondling. Unfortunately, the majority of sexual assaults, particularly those that are relatively minor, go unreported. The true count of sexual assaults each year is likely much greater. If you are the victim of an assault, your first step should be to go to the police. You should consider speaking to a personal injury lawyer in Miami so that you can get the compensation you deserve.
Understanding Sexual Assault
Sexual assault is a broad term that refers to unwanted sexual touching that is harmful and/or offensive. Examples of sexual assault can include:
- Inappropriate touching
- Penetration with an object
- Oral sex, and more.
In Florida, sexual assault can be classified as both a crime and an intentional tort. An intentional tort is a wrongful act committed purposefully that can have civil consequences. This means that a person who commits sexual assault can face criminal charges and be named as a defendant in a civil lawsuit. Criminal and civil proceedings are separate from one another. The result of a criminal matter will not necessarily have an impact on your civil personal injury case. You can still win your civil case even if your attacker is not convicted of a crime. At the same time, a conviction can be helpful in providing additional evidence of abuse.
Filing a Sexual Assault & Battery Injury Lawsuit in Miami
The state of Florida does not explicitly recognize sexual assault as its own intentional tort. In fact, the state only recognizes seven intentional torts. However, four of those torts can be used to pursue damages after a sexual assault. If you have been the victim of a sexual assault, you may be able to recover compensation by filing a civil lawsuit for assault, battery, false imprisonment, and/or intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Assault occurs when another person threatens to touch you in a harmful or offensive way. They must have the present ability to carry out that threat. You do not have to be physically touched, but you must have suffered a legitimate fear that you would be harmed.
Example: Dan approaches Sue at a party and begins to invade her personal space. He moves his hands close to her breasts, tells her how much he wants to touch her, and makes her very uncomfortable. She is backed into a corner and legitimately feels as if he will touch her in a very inappropriate way. Sue may have a case for civil assault.
Battery occurs when another person intentionally makes harmful or offensive contact with you without your consent.
Example: Dan corners Sue at the party and begins to grope her backside. She did not agree to let him touch her in such an intimate way. He has intentionally touched her in an offensive manner and caused her to suffer harm.
False imprisonment occurs when you are intentionally and unlawfully detained or confined by another person without your consent.
Example: Dan approaches Sue at a party and tries to get her to agree to have sex with him. She says no and walks away toward the bathroom. Dan pulls her into a nearby bedroom and locks the door. He pins her down and begins to force himself on her. Dan has no authority to confine Sue to this room or pin her down. Sue did not consent to go into the bedroom with Dan.
Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress
Intentional infliction of emotional distress occurs when you suffer emotional distress because of another person’s outrageous and extreme conduct. Florida courts have explained that conduct will be considered outrageous and extreme if it goes “beyond all possible bounds of decency.” The person must have known, or should have known, that their conduct would likely inflict severe emotional trauma.
Example: Dan forces Sue to have sex with him at a party, knowing that she was not interested in him at all. He knew, or should have known, that his conduct was extreme and would be likely to cause her to suffer from extreme emotional distress.
Sexual Assault Injuries in Miami
Sexual assault describes a wide range of behaviors that involve unwanted harmful or offensive sexual contact. It’s not uncommon for victims of sexual assault to suffer physical injuries. Commonly reported injuries after a sexual assault include:
- Soft tissue damage
- Broken bones
- Head injuries
- Sexually transmitted infections and diseases
- Spinal cord damage, and more.
Seek medical attention immediately if you have been injured because of a sexual assault. Injuries that are undiagnosed or untreated can become worse over time.
Damages Available to Sexual Assault Victims in Miami
A sexual assault can change your life in moments. Your physical injuries may fade with time, but emotional and psychological injuries can stay with you forever. The costs of a sexual assault should not be underestimated. If your injuries are severe, you may face extraordinary medical bills. Injuries, whether physical or emotional, can also force you to miss time at work. Without a steady income, it can be incredibly difficult to pay for things like therapy and rehabilitation. Filing a personal injury lawsuit against your attacker can help you cope with the costs of your sexual assault injuries.
At Lavent Law, our sexual assault injury lawyers will aggressively pursue compensation for:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium, and more.
Call our Miami office today to schedule a free consultation with our experienced legal team. We’ll review your case and answer any questions you have.
How Our Miami Sexual Assault Injury Lawyers Can Help
You have the right to hold the person who sexually assaulted you personally responsible for any harm they have caused. However, the last thing you need to do is navigate a personal injury lawsuit on your own. You need time to focus on your physical, emotional, and psychological recoveries. When you hire an attorney to handle your case, you give yourself the time you need to get better. Hiring an experienced lawyer will also increase the likelihood of maximizing your recovery.
Here’s what you can expect when you hire the Miami sexual assault injury lawyers at Lavent Law:
- A detailed assessment of your case to determine the best cause of action for your lawsuit
- A thorough investigation designed to gather evidence to support your case
- Proper valuation of your injuries and personal injury case with the help of local experts
- Aggressive negotiations supported by hard evidence, witness statements, and expert support, and
- A commitment to reject lowball offers and try your case in front of a jury.
Our goal is to fight to help you recover the money you deserve after a sexual assault. Our aggressive approach to your case will help you maximize the financial settlement or award you receive. Call us today to schedule your free case assessment and learn more.
Miami Sexual Assault Injury Lawyers
Sexual assault can change your life forever. You have the right to hold your abuser responsible for their actions. Contact Lavent Law to learn about the benefits of filing a civil personal injury lawsuit for damages. With our help, you can recover compensation for medical bills, therapy, lost wages, and any emotional distress you’ve experienced. You only have a limited amount of time to file a civil lawsuit for sexual assault, so call to schedule your free consultation today.