What is a Statute of Limitations?
The time frame which allows an individual to file a civil or criminal action claim is known as a "statute of limitations." Depending on the type of claim, time limits may vary. Read on to learn more about the statute of limitations on sexual assault claims in California.
How Long Do Sexual Assault Survivors Have to File a Claim in California?
On September 30, 2018, The California State Assembly passed Assembly Bill 1619. The bill extends the statute of limitations from three years to 10 years or gives victims the right to pursue damages up to three years after discovering an assault — whichever date is later.
In addition, bill AB 1510 was passed on October 2, 2019, to address sexual assault and sexual abuse by physicians at student health centers. The bill states that survivors can seek damages for:
“Sexual assault or other inappropriate contact, communication, or activity of a sexual nature between January 1, 1988, and January 1, 2017, that would otherwise be barred prior to January 1, 2020, solely because the applicable statute of limitations has or had expired, and would authorize a cause of action to proceed if already pending in court on the effective date of the bill or, if not filed by the effective date of the bill, to be commenced between January 1, 2020, and December 31, 2020.”
In other words, both bills support sexual assault survivors by giving them more time to file a claim. To learn your rights to pursue a sexual assault claim and the statute of limitations relevant to your case, contact a sexual assault lawyer.
What Types of Damages Can Sexual Assault Survivors Recover?
Survivors of sexual assault may find difficulty speaking out against their perpetrator for many different reasons — and no amount of money can make the experience go away. The long-term effects of sexual assault can be physically and emotionally painful. However, many sexual assault survivors who seek justice in holding their perpetrators accountable for their horrible acts may be able to find closure through a sexual assault claim. Seeking monetary damages can help survivors get the help they need to move on with their life. Here are some examples of recovering damages in a sexual assault claim:
Economic damages are quantifiable and include things that directly impact a person’s finances. Sexual assault survivors may be able to receive compensation for:
- Medical bills (doctor’s visits and other medical treatments and therapies related to the sexual assault)
- Lost income
- Loss of future earning potential
Non-economic damages cannot be measured monetarily. However, your lawyer can help you recover the following in a sexual assault claim:
- Pain and suffering (physical and emotional injuries)
- Loss of enjoyment of life (not able to do the things you once enjoyed, such as hobbies)
- Damage to reputation (the impact of a survivor’s reputation among peers or in their community)
- Loss of consortium (the effect of the sexual assault on relationships or marriage)
- Humiliation (feelings of shame or embarrassment that resulted from the sexual assault)
- Emotional distress (the psychological impact of the sexual assault)
Who Can Be Held Liable in a Sexual Assault Case?
One may think that the only party held responsible for a sexual assault is the perpetrator. However, when any party violates duty of care in California, and that party’s negligence caused harm to another individual, that party can be held liable. For example, someone who was assaulted in an apartment complex may hold the owner responsible since the apartment building owner must provide the public with a safe environment. In addition to apartment building owners, owners of the following can also be held liable for sexual assault:
- Parking lot owners
- Health clubs/gyms
- Office buildings
- Retail establishments
In other cases, hospitals and other medical centers can be held responsible for sexual assault that happened on their premises. Colleges and Universities can also be named in civil sexual assault lawsuits if a student is sexually assaulted while on campus (or under exceptional circumstances off campus as well).
We Are Here to Help Sexual Assault Survivors Seek Justice.
Even though the #MeToo movement has spread awareness about the prevalence of sexual assault, these heinous crimes are still happening every day. Sadly, survivors are often victim-blamed or not believed. At , we want survivors to know that we believe you and the sexual violence you endured was not your fault. Finding the strength to speak out against your abuser is an emotionally painful experience — and when you are ready to tell your story, we are here for you.
Speaking out and holding your perpetrator accountable for their criminal actions can help bring you closure. When you need support, our lawyers are ready to listen and guide you when going through a difficult time. At , we’ll be your advocate to protect your rights.
When faced with the challenges of pursuing a sexual assault claim, we are here to help you seek justice so you can move forward with your life.
Contact us today at (833) 456-3529 to learn your rights.