Long Island Sexual Assault Lawyer
A sexual assault is defined as being the victim of any unwanted physical contact. This includes touching, fondling, molestation, or rape. Unfortunately, hundreds of thousands of people fall victim to sexual assaults each and every year. Victims of sexual assaults are exposed to immense amounts of physical and emotional damage. Because of such trauma, people often feel too ashamed and frightened to speak about their horrific experiences. Experts estimate that approximately 80 percent of sexual assault victims are hesitant about disclosing that they have been assaulted. At Goldstein and Bashner, our Long Island sexual assault lawyers want to provide victims with competent and compassionate legal guidance so that they can be assisted through a truly difficult and challenging time.
Further, it is important to know that there are organizations and people that can help you. The first thing you should do is report the incident to the police as soon as possible. The quicker you report the assault, the more you will remember the details of the experience. Also, your case will be stronger and you can reach out for help and start the healing process.
What to Do Following a Sexual Assault
- Go to the police. It is advised that victims to not shower or change their clothes. Doing so may eliminate valuable forms of evidence and will thus make your case much harder to prove.
- Seek immediate medical attention. Assault victims should look to get treatment for any injuries that they may have sustained. Also, victims may want to get tested for STDs and obtain emergency contraceptives. Make sure to keep records for any medical treatments that you have received.
- Look to family and friends for emotional support. Being the victim of a sexual assault is a truly traumatic experience. Close family and friends can help victims get through the challenging times that often follow an assault.
- There are many organizations that can help, including RAINN (Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network) and Safe Horizon.
- Obtain legal advice from an experienced sexual assault attorney in Long Island. Assault victims may be able to file criminal charges and bring about civil lawsuits against the assailant as well as other parties who may be responsible for the attack.
Who are the Defendants in Civil Sexual Assault Claims?
One essential but often overlooked part of a sexual assault civil claim is the proper identification of all defendants. While it is obvious that the perpetrator of the incident is liable for any resulting harm, the fact is that other parties may have had a duty to keep a survivor safe.
Examples include schools, churches, or social organizations that watch over children. If a teacher, guidance counselor, member of the clergy, or another person with authority over children commit these terrible acts, their employer may also be liable to provide compensation.
It may even be possible to pursue a landowner under the theory of premises liability. Bars, restaurants, and other businesses have a duty to keep their customers safe. A lack of proper lighting, a failure to provide proper security staff, or a broken lock on a common area door may all serve to embolden an attacker. A Long Island sexual assault attorney could help to identify all parties that may share liability following a sexual assault.
What Compensation is Available to Sexual Assault Survivors?
There is no doubt that the aftermath of a sexual assault can have a traumatic effect on every part of a person’s life. The purpose of a civil claim for damages is to collect compensation that may allow the survivor to move forward with their life. As a result, a claim for damages must make its best effort to describe and document a person’s losses.
At the center of the claim is the physical damages. Any form of sexual assault may involve traumatic physical injuries, and a claim will demand compensation for all related medical care. Additionally, sexual assaults also have a profound psychological impact on a person. A claim can demand payments for mental health treatment as well as compensation for all lost quality of life and emotional trauma. A Long Island sexual assault attorney could help to craft demand packages and legal complaints that seek proper compensation for a person’s losses.
Is there a Time Limit to Seek Compensation Following an Attack?
New York Civil Practice Law & Rules §213-c states that most victims of sexual assault in Long Island have 20 years following the attack to bring a claim for damages in civil court. Furthermore, the statute continues to state that this extended statute of limitations applies to the victims of rape, criminal sexual acts, incest, and aggravated sexual abuse.
This extended statute of limitations serves two purposes. First, it allows people who have experienced severe emotional trauma to gather the courage needed to pursue their attackers for compensation. Second, it allows the criminal justice process to run its course. Since a conviction in criminal court for a sexual attack is strong evidence in a civil claim for damages, a Long Island sexual assault attorney could help choose the proper timing to bring a claim for compensation.
Our Long Island sexual assault lawyers are here not only for expert legal support but have also been able to be a close confidant and source of guidance, help and information for our clients. Most important, we fight to obtain maximum compensation for any physical or emotional damages that our clients suffered. We make sure to find and go after all parties that are at fault.
At Goldstein and Bashner, we have extensive experience in dealing with sexual assault cases in the New York and Long Island areas. We have helped to serve victims as both a close companion and as competent legal advisers. Our Long Island sexual assault lawyers have helped numerous assault victims overcome the terrible wrongdoings that they have had to encounter. In doing so, we have assisted victims in recovering monetary compensation for the physical and emotional injuries that they may have sustained.