Sex Abuse Victims Lawyer Aggressively Pursues Justice
Grand Rapids civil attorney pursues compensation and closure
Sexual abuse is demeaning, even dehumanizing, and survivors often carry emotional scars for life. If you are a victim, you have a right to bring the abuser to justice. At The Fiorletta Law Group, PLLC, I help survivors of sexual abuse and assault pursue compensation for the harm they’ve suffered. As a sex abuse victim’s attorney, I provide compassionate counsel while aggressively pursuing the outcome you deserve.
Michigan laws covering lawsuits by victims of sexual assault
Under Michigan law, a victim of sexual assault can bring criminal charges against an abuser up to 15 years after the event. However, if you want to seek monetary damages for the abuse, you must act sooner. Unlike some other states, Michigan has not passed a special statute of limitations for civil sexual abuse cases. Sexual abuse claims must be brought within the standard personal injury limitations periods, which are:
- Within two years of the abusive act
- Within five years of the act, if the perpetrator lived with the victim
- By the victim’s 19th birthday, if the victim was under 18 years old at the time
Although an abuser’s criminal conviction can serve as evidence in a civil lawsuit, pressing a criminal case may be impractical and counterproductive. First, it means drawing out the process and having to go through two trials instead of one. Second, your evidence may be sufficient to win in civil court, where the standard is “preponderance of the evidence,” but it might not be enough to convince a criminal court jury “beyond a reasonable doubt.” Finally, attorneys’ fees and other expenses of a criminal trial might exhaust the defendant’s assets, so that even if you win a judgment at the civil trial, you may not be able to collect. For these reasons, it’s generally better to sue in civil court first and let prosecutors decide whether there’s enough evidence to pursue a criminal case.
Common sexual abuse scenarios
Sexual abuse often may be committed by someone the victim trusted in such venues as:
- Boys and girls clubs and other youth organizations
- Scout troops
- Healthcare providers
- Summer camps
- Sporting programs
Abusers who hold prominent positions, such as Dr. Larry Nasser of USA Gymnastics, can abuse multiple victims over the course of many years because their standing in the community shields them from accusations. But, as occurred in the Nasser case, all it takes is one brave voice to speak out, and the floodgates of complaints are opened.
Helping victims overcome shame and doubt and to pursue justice
As a survivor of sexual abuse, you are entitled to full compensation for any economic losses you’ve suffered, as well as for your physical pain and mental suffering. But just as importantly, you’ll be able to regain your voice, confront your abuser and gain the closure you need to put your pain behind you.
Many victims delay coming forward because the abuse has crushed them under a weight of shame. They also may fear that they won’t be believed or that they don’t have strong enough evidence to prevail. I want you to know that when you retain my services, you get a compassionate counselor and a fierce advocate who is willing to fight for the justice you so badly need. I am not only an accomplished personal injury attorney but also a seasoned criminal law attorney in Grand Rapids.
Contact a Michigan lawyer for sexual abuse victims for a free consultation
The Fiorletta Law Group, PLLC in Grand Rapids represents survivors of sexual abuse in civil lawsuits throughout Michigan. Call 616-717-1334 or contact me online to schedule a free consultation.