No matter what the circumstances, sexual assault is a traumatic event with long-lasting negative consequences. If you have suffered sexual assault in or around Philadelphia, the skilled, compassionate attorneys of Cooper Schall & Levy can help you recover. We are committed to holding your attacker and anyone who facilitated the heinous act accountable. We will file a civil lawsuit and fight aggressively for your right to substantial compensation, whether or not criminal charges have been brought by the state.
You can depend on our decades of experience and history of successful legal outcomes to provide you with the support you need. We will fight to bring you maximum damages for the horrible experience you have endured while protecting you from further distress. Contact us now so we can begin to strategize while you concentrate on healing.
Why Sexual Assault Cases Are More Commonly Reported in the 21st Century
It is only in recent decades that sexual assault is more consistently recognized as the violent crime it is, particularly in situations in which the victim is far less powerful than the perpetrator.
Although people of all genders, sexual orientations, and gender identities can be (and are) victims of sexual assault, the more women are able to hold power and speak up in our culture, the greater their opportunity to report violence and be believed. Only now are environments that long tolerated sexual assault being forced to re-examine their formerly accepted practices.
The #MeToo movement has shone a spotlight on sexual assaults in high places, proving that sexual assaults don’t only occur in back alleys or poorly lit parking garages. Sexual assaults are frequently reported in:
- Financial and educational institutions
- Government offices
- The entertainment industry
- The military
- News outlets
- Religious organizations
- Professional and recreational sports
The sad truth is that recent statistics show that every 68 seconds someone is sexually assaulted in the United States. Ten percent of these victims are male.
Why So Many Victims of Sexual Assault Turn to Civil Remedies
There are several reasons victims of sexual assault turn to personal injury, rather than law enforcement for justice. Among them, victims:
- Fear retaliation by the perpetrator
- Feel their own reputation will be damaged
- Fear public humiliation
- Fear losing financial support for their family provided by their attacker
- Feel they won’t be believed (often because the perpetrator is wealthy and/or famous)
- Feel their loved ones will be harmed if they report the crime
Statistics show that 74 percent of completed and attempted sexual assaults against females remain unreported, often because there are no witnesses to validate the victim’s claim and/or there is no DNA evidence. It is possible that an even greater percentage of males than females do not report sexual assaults because they feel emasculated by the attack.
How a Civil Lawsuit Against Your Attacker Can Bring You Justice
Although winning a civil lawsuit against the person who harmed you and/or those who allowed or even encouraged this depravity, a significant negotiated settlement or positive verdict will give you the satisfaction that comes of:
- Having public acknowledgment of your attacker’s guilt
- Receiving the substantial monetary compensation you need and deserve
- Having your attacker punished financially & reputationally for his/her heinous misconduct
- Greatly decreasing the risk that your attacker will sexually assault someone else
In the end, a win on the part of our sexual assault attorneys will give you a sense of closure so you can begin to put the matter to rest and move on with your life. Moreover, you will not have to pay any attorneys’ fees until we win you damages.
Why It Is Easier to Prove a Sexual Assault Case in Civil Court
Even if the perpetrator was not convicted, you have a greater chance of winning a civil claim because the burden of proof is considerably lower than in a criminal case. Instead of having to prove guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt,” we only have to persuade the jury that there is a “preponderance of evidence” on our side.
How the Statute of Limitations Works in Cases of Sexual Assault in PA
Although there is a 2-year statute of limitations for filing a sexual assault civil lawsuit in Pennsylvania, exceptions are made. The first exception is possible if there has been fraudulent conduct or concealment, i.e. the defendant attempted to conceal the crime, typically by threatening the victim.
Another exception is the discovery rule, which gives the victim 2 years to file a lawsuit after the assault is discovered or recalled due to buried traumatic memories or because the victim was mentally incompetent at the time of the assault.
Our Sexual Assault Attorneys Can Also Target Complicit Third Parties
In some cases, our legal team is able to pursue a civil suit against another party who bears partial responsibility for the sexual assault. The other party might be a person or entity (institution, business, religious, or government agency) that:
- Did not provide proper supervision
- Failed to provide adequate security measures
- Failed to protect a vulnerable individual or group
- Encouraged or participated in the assault
Damages Cooper Schall & Levy Will Fight to Win
Our sexual assault attorneys understand the enormous pain you have experienced and the long journey you have ahead of you. We will use our well-honed litigation skills to win you monetary compensation for:
- Medical and psychological treatment
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering, including PTSD
In a case like yours in which the harm that came to you was malicious and intentional, we may also be able to persuade the court to award you punitive damages designed to punish the defendant and discourage others from engaging in similar egregious misconduct.
Contact Our Experienced Sexual Assault Attorneys Now
Although we cannot undo the wrong that has been done to you, years of fighting for the rights of sexual assault victims have taught us that we can help you restabilize — financially as well as physically and emotionally. We will do everything in our power to bring you the peace of mind that comes from seeing that justice is done. Contact us now for a consultation regarding your case.