Sexual Abuse Attorneys Chicago, IL

In Illinois, sexual abuse victims can take their perpetrators to civil court to recover financial compensation for their suffering. Through a personal injury lawsuit, you could obtain compensation for past and future medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other expenses related to the sexual abuse. If your loved one has been the victim of sexual abuse, you may be entitled to financial compensation.

At Stein & Shulman, LLC, we understand how difficult these types of claims can be, and our empathetic lawyers will listen carefully to your story and provide you with the skilled legal representation you deserve. Our lawyers have helped many Illinois clients obtain compensation for their economic and non-economic damages related to sexual abuse. Contact us today to schedule your initial consultation to learn more about how we can help.

The Difference Between Criminal and Civil Sexual Abuse Cases

Being the victim of sexual abuse is devastating and overwhelming. In the aftermath of the abuse, many victims wonder what their next steps should be. More than likely, the sexual abuser will face criminal charges related to sexual abuse in an Illinois criminal court. Many people assume that the criminal trial is the end of the legal process. 

Victims feel a sense of justice when their perpetrators are convicted of sexual abuse and required to go to jail. However, a criminal conviction isn’t the only type of retribution available for sexual abuse victims. Criminal courts cannot force the convicted abuser to financially compensate his or her victim. An Illinois criminal court may force the defendant to pay fines, but those fines do not go to the victim’s recovery. 

Victims of sexual abuse have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit against their perpetrator for damages related to the sexual abuse. Civil lawsuits are intended to hold the perpetrator accountable financially and prevent them from doing further damage to other victims and the community at large. Instead of focusing on the defendant’s crime, civil lawsuits focus on the victim’s damages and the compensation they deserve. 

If you’ve been the victim of sexual abuse, you can seek compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. It’s wise to speak to a Chicago sexual abuse lawyer as soon as possible so you can begin preparing your case before the statute of limitations runs out.

Types of Sexual Abuse Claims

Sexual abuse involves any act in which one person intentionally sexually touches another person without that person’s consent. Sexual abuse often involves one person, and coercing is physically forcing a person to engage in a sex act. Sexual abuse ranges from unwanted sexual touching to rape. Sexual abuse also includes molestation, groping, or any behavior of a sexual nature perpetrated on a victim without his or her consent. Examples of sexual abuse include the following:

  • Rape, including statutory rape, date rape, and acquaintance rape
  • Sexual abuse of a mentally disabled individual
  • Sexual abuse of children
  • Sexual abuse by law enforcement officers
  • Sexual abuse in nursing homes
  • Sexual abuse in schools and daycares
  • Sexual abuse in churches and religious organizations
  • Sexual abuse in community organizations

Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit for Sexual Abuse

As the victim of sexual abuse, you will need to name the perpetrator or perpetrators in your civil sexual avuse lawsuit. In the majority of sexual abuse cases, the victims are acquainted with the perpetrators. Some of the most common sexual abuse perpetrators are family members, spouses, romantic partners, acquaintances, teachers, coaches, and church leaders. 

Naming the perpetrator can be difficult, especially if he or she is a relative or friend. After identifying the perpetrator, you will work with an attorney to gather evidence to prove your claim. Evidence typically includes medical records, witness statements, criminal histories, video, and picture evidence. At Stein & Shulman, LLC, we understand how difficult it is to recover from sexual abuse and will help you gather the evidence and documents you need while you focus on your recovery. Whatever you can tell us about the sexual abuse will help your case. It’s challenging to think about what happened, but the more details you provide, the better your lawyer will be able to gather evidence to support your case.

Holding the Perpetrator Responsible

The experienced personal injury lawyers at Stein & Shulman, LLC, have held many sexual abuse perpetrators accountable in civil lawsuits. In addition to holding the person who committed the acts financially responsible, you may be able to hold their employer or the organization responsible for them accountable as well. For example, if a pastor or priest sexually abused your child, you can pursue legal action against the church. 

Similarly, suppose a perpetrator sexually abused you in a dark parking lot in your apartment complex with no security cameras. In that case, you may be able to hold the owner of the apartment complex liable. Under Illinois law, when a company or organization negligently fails to create a reasonably safe environment, they can be held liable for sexual abuse that occurs on their property. Likewise, when an employer negligently hires an employee with a high risk of engaging in sexual abuse, they can be held liable by the victim.

Successful personal injury plaintiffs are entitled to compensation for all of the damage they endured due to the sexual abuse. They are entitled to economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are damages that have a financial impact on the victim, such as past and future medical bills. Non-economic damages include compensation for emotional distress, diminished quality of life, pain, and suffering.

Contact Our Chicago Sexual Abuse Lawyers Today 

If you or your loved one has been the victim of sexual abuse in Illinois, you may be wondering what legal options are available to you. The experienced personal injury lawyers at Stein & Shulman, LLC can help you hold your abuser accountable for what he has done to you. Our Chicago sexual abuse attorneys have helped many clients obtain the compensation they deserve. Contact our Chicago personal injury law firm today to schedule your initial consultation.