Las Vegas Sexual Assault Lawyer
Sexual assault is a crime in which one person attempts or completes sexual acts against another person, without the victim’s consent or against his/her will. Sexual assault also involves abusive sexual contact. Sexual assault is a devastating crime that can inflict significant financial, emotional, and psychological harm on the victim. Panish Shea & Boyle LLP is committed to making perpetrators pay for the damages they cause victims. We represent clients in civil sexual assault claims in Las Vegas, Nevada.
About Civil Sexual Assault Claims
Like all states, Nevada’s justice system has a criminal and a civil branch. The point of the criminal courts is to ascertain whether a defendant committed a crime, and if he/she did, what the penalties should be. The goal of the civil courts is to compensate accident and assault victims for the harms that others caused them, either negligently or intentionally. A civil claim can compensate sexual assault victims for damages such as:
- Medical bills during treatment for sexual assault injuries. This includes emotional injuries and necessary therapies. A lawsuit can result in payment for all past and future medical costs relating to the sexual assault.
- Lost wages. A lawsuit can reimburse a victim for his or her lost income from missing time at work during recovery. It can also provide income for lost earning capacity if the employee missed work opportunities because of the incident.
- Pain and suffering. Nevada laws also permit sexual assault victims to seek recovery for their physical pain, emotional suffering, post-traumatic stress, depression, anxiety, mental anguish, and other non-economic damages.
- Punitive damages. Sexual assault claims, like other civil cases involving violent crimes, often result in punitive damages for the plaintiff. These are additional damages the court might award to teach the defendant (and others in the community) a lesson: The law will not tolerate abusers.
The value of your civil sexual assault claim will depend upon the extent of your injuries and other damages, as well as the perpetrator’s actions. Strengthen your case and improve your odds of receiving compensation by calling 911 and reporting the incident as soon as it occurs. Create a file with all the information you have about the assault. Notify your employer if it happened at work. Then, contact the Las Vegas sexual assault lawyers at Panish Shea & Boyle LLP to discuss your rights during a confidential evaluation. The sooner you speak to our attorneys, the sooner we can start your fight for justice.
Proving Your Sexual Assault Civil Claim
A sexual assault claim hinges on a victim proving the defendant owed him/her a duty of care but breached that duty and caused harm. Most sexual assault civil lawsuits will happen after or during a criminal case against the perpetrator. A sexual assault conviction can help prove the defendant’s malicious actions, but it does not necessarily guarantee compensation for the victim. The plaintiff must still prove all the elements of a personal injury claim.
Not all courts will allow assault victims to use a guilty verdict in a criminal case as evidence in a civil case (a process called “collateral estoppel”). In most cases, however, a victim can use a conviction as proof against the defendant. Even if a criminal case does not exist against the defendant or the court didn’t convict him/her, a plaintiff could still have grounds for a civil claim.
The burden of proof for a civil lawsuit is lighter than in a criminal lawsuit. Instead of needing to prove guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt,” the plaintiff only needs to prove that the defendant “more likely than not” committed the assault. A Las Vegas sexual assault lawyer’s help in proving your civil claim can remove the burden of proof from your shoulders.
You have enough to worry about as the survivor of sexual assault. You don’t need a legal battle weighing on your mind. Trusting Panish Shea & Boyle LLP with your case can give you peace of mind during the claims process. We’ll keep you updated about the status of your case every step of the way, communicate openly about your rights, and do everything we can to secure maximum financial compensation from the assaulter. Contact us today for a free, confidential consultation.