Establishing Liability in Long Island Sexual Assault Cases
If you have experienced sexual abuse, you could be entitled to compensation through a civil claim in addition to anything you have recovered in a criminal case. An assailant may not be the only person responsible for the horrible incident. If others could have done something to stop the event from taking place, they could be held liable with the help of a dedicated sexual assault attorney.
A Long Island lawyer could help you with establishing liability and seeking damages in your sexual assault case. They could also provide assistance with the legal process of filing a claim so that you can focus on healing in this difficult time.
What Constitutes Liability in a Sexual Abuse Case?
Establishing liability in a criminal case could be a different process than in a civil case. For instance, consider a young woman student who was raped on her college campus. Afterward, the assailant is identified, and a case is brought against him in a criminal court. Liability would fall on the abuser in this case. However, this is only one of the legal tracks a sexual assault case could take.
If the alleged attacker is found or pleads guilty to the crime, this could create grounds for a civil case against that person and other liable parties as well. Even if the assailant is found innocent in a criminal case, the plaintiff could still bring a civil case before the courts if the preponderance of proof is different enough to warrant a separate case.
If the victim chooses to hire a Long Island legal representative, they could help ensure that the guilty criminal is also a defendant in a civil case for monetary damages, as well as establish other parties as liable.
Liable Third Parties
Other than the assailant, there could be other liable parties in a Long Island civil case, such as somebody who was sexually assaulted in the parking garage of a major shopping center. The property owner and management company of the shopping center could be liable for negligence if it is shown that they knew or should have known criminal activity was likely to occur in their parking facility.
Evidence Necessary to Establish Liability in Long Island
The evidence a plaintiff must show to establish liability in a civil case may make it more challenging to receive fair compensation for your sexual assault damages without the help of skilled legal counsel in Long Island. Often in sexual abuse cases, witness and medical expert testimony is used as the main piece of evidence against the assailant.
The victim’s testimony stating their experience could be a powerful tool in proving the assailant’s guilt if they can provide circumstantial evidence of the abuse. A medical expert’s testimony could also be beneficial if they can corroborate the victim’s story with evidence such as confirming certain marks and bruises are concurrent with sexual abuse and results of a rape kit.
Evidence against the assailant could be in other forms as well, such as forensic material. Forensic evidence that is used more often in criminal cases, including blood and semen, could be used in a civil case if necessary, but liability is usually determined by testimony.
Cases Against Third-Party Entities
For sexual abuse cases against entities and third-parties responsible for criminal behavior, consider a school setting. The kind of evidence a plaintiff would have to show must prove that the school board knew this teacher or authority figure was a problem. They would have to show that a person in a position of authority, a teacher, or even other students are willing to testify that the school was alerted to this person’s bad behavior. They could also look at school records to see if there have been other problems with this particular teacher in the past.
A school setting is just one example of a sexual abuse case, but this could happen in any type of environment. It could happen in situations such as:
- Foster care situations
- Group homes
- Apartment buildings
- Parking garages
Wherever the attack occurred, the plaintiff must show through testimony and sometimes documentary evidence that the owners of a property, an employer, or a third party knew or should have known that an assault was likely to happen.
Hire a Long Island Attorney to Help You Establish Liability in a Sexual Assault Case
None of this is easy to prove, especially after suffering something as devastating as sexual abuse. This is where a dedicated attorney could help. They could collect evidence to prove the assailant’s guilt and any liability of a third-party. Call a Long Island lawyer today to help you establish liability in your sexual assault case.