North Carolina Sexual Abuse Attorneys
The attorneys at Auger and Auger are committed to supporting the victims of sexual abuse. Regrettably, when a victim musters the courage to report the sexual abuse suffered as a child, it may be too late to access the criminal justice system due to the expiration of the statute of limitations. However, the victim may still have the ability to bring legal action against the perpetrator and/or against the institution legally responsible for hiring or supervising the perpetrator and protecting the child victim.
We protect victims of sexual abuse by attacking sexual abuse at the institutional level, stopping the problem at its source and making organizations responsible for acts of their employees on the job. Our goal as attorneys for sexual abuse victims is to obtain civil justice, which means financial compensation in an amount that recognizes the extent of the harm done to our clients and sends a message that their conduct will not be tolerated.
What Exactly Is Sexual Abuse?
Sexual abuse is defined as any sexual activity that occurs without consent. This encompasses sex acts where the victim is unable to consent because of age. Sexual abuse can occur against both adults and children. Sexual abuse extends from the molestation of children to sexual assault and abuse of young men, women, the disabled, and elderly.
It has been reported by www.victimsofcrime.org that “1 in 5 girls, and 1 of 20 boys, is a victim of child sexual abuse.” The New York Times adds that “nearly one in five women surveyed said they had been raped or had experienced an attempted rape at some point, and one in four reported having been beaten.” In a world with such prevalent sexual abuse and violence, perpetrators of these crimes must be punished to the fullest extent of the law. In addition, institutions that house and/or conceal such abuse need to be shown that such behavior is not tolerated in order to curb the abuse and make organizations responsible for the actions of their employees.
Cases We Handle:
- Sexual abuse against children, which encompasses sexual abuse by clergy and priests, teachers, coaches, foster parents, family members, day care facilities and Boy Scout leaders.
- Sexual abuse by professionals, which encompasses sexual abuse by therapists, psychiatrists, doctors and elder care/nursing home staff.
- Sexual abuse by officials of authority, which encompasses sexual abuse by police and other governmental employees.
- Sexual abuse caused by negligent security, which encompasses sexual assault caused by inadequate security precautions in parking lots, apartment complexes, places of business, and hotels.
Understanding the Statute of Limitations
When you plan to file a case for sexual abuse, you must file your claim within the statute of limitations. North Carolina has not enacted a statute of limitations specifically related to civil claims arising from sexual abuse. Instead, the standard limitations period applies that is applicable to all personal injury actions.
This statute of limitations is three years from the time bodily harm becomes apparent, or three years from the time when the bodily harm reasonably should have become apparent. If the victim is under 18 at the time when the injury happens, the statute of limitations begins running when the child turns 18 and extends for three years from this date. In all circumstances, no actions may be filed more than 10 years from the last wrongful action that occurred.
While the state legislature does not have a special law related to abuse cases, the courts in North Carolina recognize that abuse victims sometimes take a long time to come forward and to feel empowered enough to file a civil lawsuit, especially when the abuse occurred when the victim was a child.
In Leonard v. England, the court held that when a victim repressed memories of childhood sexual abuse, the discovery rule applied and in Soderlund v. Kuch, the court indicated the discovery rule could also apply in cases where extreme emotional distress resulted from the conduct of the defendant. When the discovery rule applies, the statute of limitations does not begin running until the date of discovery of the injury, rather than the date the wrongful conduct happened.
Auger & Auger Helps Victims Recover Monetary Damages
At Auger and Auger, our job is to obtain monetary damages from parties responsible for any and all types of sexual abuse and assault. “Once contacted, our team will begin working on your claim and gathering evidence to help prove your case, locate the persons and/or institutions responsible and then file the lawsuit seeking damages for medical treatment, pain and suffering and emotional trauma. We will leave no stone unturned and fight for your rights!” Attorney Herbert Auger.
If you or a loved one is a victim of sexual abuse, please consider legal action and call us at (800) 559-5741 to receive a free consultation from a top rated NC Sexual Abuse Attorney.
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