Sexual Abuse Injury

Sexual abuse could happen to anyone and is truly one of the most devastating types of abuse for a victim to endure. It is a horrific crime that typically inflicts lasting emotional and physical harm to the victim. It’s important for victims to understand that regardless of what, why, or how it happens— abuse is never the victim’s fault.

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Sexual Abuse Injury


Sexual abuse could happen to anyone and is truly one of the most devastating types of abuse for a victim to endure. It is a horrific crime that typically inflicts lasting emotional and physical harm to the victim. It’s important for victims to understand that regardless of what, why, or how it happens— abuse is never the victim’s fault.

What is Sexual Abuse?

This kind of abuse can occur in many different forms. These offenses are usually identified as any sexual encounters without the consent of all individuals involved.

Sexual abuse is not limited to unwanted physical contact alone. Violations of sexual abuse can include:

  • Indecent exposure
  • Sexual harassment
  • Inappropriate touching or molestation
  • Rape or attempted rape
  • Forcing someone to view or participate in pornography
  • Sexual exploitation of children

Sexual abuse is a type of personal injury. If you or a loved one have been (or currently are) a victim, you’ll want an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side who can help you stop the abuse and pursue your right to dignified recovery and safety. At the Law Office of Jeff Martin & Associates, we believe that victims of sexual abuse deserve justice, and the perpetrators of it should be stopped from being able to commit further harm.

Sexual abuse cases are often quite complex due to the sensitive nature of the details surrounding them. Victims may be hesitant to seek treatment or talk about their injuries out of fear or embarrassment. Especially with statistics showing that most sexual abuse happens by people we know. The abuser might be a friend, relative, co-worker or other casual acquaintance, or even a boss which can complicate the emotions underlying a victim’s recovery process.

The Effects of Sexual Abuse

Depending on the kind of sexual abuse experienced, there could be a range of injuries that a victim suffers as a result. Physical bodily injuries might range from bruises to STIs, while emotional harm could include anxiety, depression, or even PTSD. The emotional trauma often lasts well after any physical scars or signs of abuse have gone.

Medical bills can be costly for any injury, but sexual abuse victims often require more specialized and expensive medical attention. When the victim is suffering ongoing emotional distress, counseling or therapy might be the best option for the support they need to recover. The road to recovery for this type of abuse can have long-term financial implications for the victim’s family that they might not have prepared for. Consulting with legal counsel can help you determine whether you have grounds to file a civil case to hold the perpetrator financially responsible for such costs.

You Can Sue for Sexual Abuse

When a person misuses their position of power or authority to take advantage of someone in their care or charge, this is abuse.

Sexual abuse can happen in a variety of everyday situations, in which we should be able to reasonably trust those around us, including:

  • Churches or other community organizations
  • Daycares and schools
  • Foster care facilities and homes
  • Gatherings with friends, relatives, or neighbors
  • Nursing homes and assisted living facilities
  • Places of employment

When sexual abuse is inflicted by someone who works for a school, church, nursing home, or place of employment that you find yourself involved with, the violation can be shocking. The business or organization where the abuse occurs could potentially be held liable for facilitating an environment that allowed for abuse to happen. With an aggressive attorney, you could sue the business entity along with the responsible party directly. It's what we refer to in law as agency theory.

Generally, the employee is covered by insurance of some sort, or the business organization has enough income that a judgment can be paid. As far as we’re concerned, the responsible parties (both the abuser and the organization) are on the hook for the judgment you deserve and will fight for it as necessary.

Can I Sue a Friend, Relative, Or Neighbor?

If the abuser is not associated with a larger group and is more familiar to you as family or a friend, you can still sue them for the harm or threats they impose upon you. Any judgment for compensation ordered by a judge would have to be paid by the abuser directly. This can lead to wage garnishment, intercepting tax returns, and foreclosure on assets to satisfy the judgment. Knowledgeable attorneys will be able to walk you through your legal options and fight for the justice you deserve.

Contact Us ASAP - Our dedicated team of experienced sexual abuse injury attorneys are here to help you recieve the maximum compensation that you deserve. With a deep understanding of Oklahoma's laws and a commitment to advocating for our clients, we will fight tirelessly to protect your rights and secure the best possible outcome for your case. Don't delay, and let us help you reclaim your peace of mind.


How Do I Know If I Have A Valid Sexual Abuse Personal Injury Case?

If you have experienced sexual abuse, it is important to understand your rights and the legal options available to you. Each state has its own laws regarding personal injury claims, so it is crucial to consult with a lawyer in your area that handle this type of case.

In the state of Oklahoma, there are specific criteria that must be met for a sexual abuse personal injury case to be considered valid. These include:

  • Age of the Victim

In Oklahoma, the statute of limitations for filing a sexual abuse personal injury claim is different depending on the age of the victim at the time of the abuse. If the victim was under 18 years old when the abuse occurred, they have until their 45th birthday to file a claim. If the victim was over 18 years old, they have two years from the date of the abuse to file a claim.

  • Type of Abuse

The type of abuse that occurred is also a factor in determining the validity of a sexual abuse personal injury case. Oklahoma recognizes four categories of sexual abuse: rape, forcible sodomy, lewd or indecent acts with a child under 16, and forcible oral sodomy. If the abuse falls into one of these categories, it may be considered valid for a personal injury claim.

  • Evidence

To have a strong case for sexual abuse personal injury, there must be evidence to support the claims. This can include physical evidence such as medical records or DNA testing, as well as witness testimony or other documentation.

  • Negligence

If the abuse occurred in a setting where negligence was present, such as a school, church, or other organization, this can also contribute to the validity of a personal injury claim. Negligent parties may be held liable for their lack of action in preventing the abuse from occurring.

If you believe that your case meets these criteria, it is important to consult with a lawyer as soon as possible. They can assess your situation and determine if you have a valid sexual abuse personal injury claim in the state of Oklahoma. Remember, every case is unique and it's best to seek professional legal advice for your specific situation.


What Can I Expect From A Sexual Abuse Personal Injury Claim?

Filing a sexual abuse personal injury claim can be a daunting and emotionally challenging process. However, with the help of an experienced lawyer, you can expect to receive support and guidance throughout the legal proceedings.

Some common steps in a sexual abuse personal injury claim include:

  • Initial Consultation

Once you have found a lawyer who is skilled in sexual abuse cases, they will schedule an initial consultation with you to discuss your case in detail. This is an opportunity for you to ask any questions and provide your lawyer with all the necessary information.

  • Investigation

Your lawyer will then begin investigating your case, gathering evidence, and talking to witnesses if needed. They may also consult with experts in the field of sexual abuse or psychology to build a strong case on your behalf.

  • Negotiations

In many cases, a settlement may be reached before the case goes to trial. Your lawyer will negotiate with the responsible party's insurance company on your behalf to ensure you receive fair compensation for your damages.

  • Trial

If a settlement cannot be reached, your case may go to trial where both parties will present their arguments and evidence to a judge and/or jury. Your lawyer will advocate for you in court and fight for your rights.


What Types Of Damages Can I Receive From A Sexual Abuse Personal Injury Claim?

Every case is unique, so the types of damages awarded in a sexual abuse personal injury claim may vary.

However, some common types of damages that may be received include:

  • Medical Expenses

If you have incurred any medical expenses because of the abuse, such as therapy or medication, you may be entitled to compensation for these costs.

  • Pain and Suffering

Sexual abuse can have long-lasting emotional and psychological effects, which is why damages for pain and suffering may also be awarded in a personal injury claim.

  • Lost Wages/Income

If you had to miss work or lost your job due to the abuse, you may be able to receive compensation for your lost wages or income.

  • Punitive Damages

In some cases, if the responsible party's actions were particularly egregious, punitive damages may also be awarded. These are meant to punish the wrongdoer and deter others from committing similar acts in the future.


How Is Liability Determined In A Sexual Abuse Personal Injury Case?

Liability in a sexual abuse personal injury case is determined by the responsible party's actions and their level of negligence. In the state of Oklahoma, there are two types of liability that may be established: primary and vicarious.

Primary liability refers to when the actual abuser is held responsible for their actions. This can include an individual who committed the abuse or an organization/employer who was aware of the abuse and failed to take proper action.

Vicarious liability, on the other hand, refers to when a third party is held responsible for the actions of another. This can include an employer or organization being held liable for the actions of their employee or volunteer.

To establish liability in a sexual abuse personal injury case, evidence must be presented to show that the responsible party acted negligently or failed to take proper action in preventing the abuse from occurring. This can include failure to properly screen employees or volunteers, failure to report suspected abuse, or failure to provide a safe environment for victims.


Who Can Be Held Liable In A Sexual Abuse Case?

In the state of Oklahoma, there are several parties that may be held liable in a sexual abuse personal injury case:

  • Individual Perpetrators

The most obvious party to be held liable is the individual perpetrator of the abuse.

  • Organizations/Institutions

If the abuse occurred within an organization or institution, such as a school, church, or youth group, they may also be held liable if negligence can be proven.

  • Government Entities

If the abuse occurred in a government-run facility, such as a juvenile detention center or foster home, the government entity responsible for overseeing these facilities may also be held liable.

  • Parents/Guardians

If the perpetrator was a minor at the time of the abuse, their parents or guardians may also be held liable if they knew or should have known about the abuse and failed to act.


How Long Do I Have To File A Sexual Abuse Claim In Oklahoma?

As mentioned earlier, the statute of limitations for filing a sexual abuse personal injury claim in Oklahoma varies based on the age of the victim at the time of the abuse. It is important to note that these time limits can also be affected by certain factors, such as delayed discovery or tolling of the statute.

Delayed Discovery refers to situations where a victim may not have realized they were a victim of sexual abuse until many years after the incident(s) occurred. In these cases, the statute of limitations may be extended to allow for the victim to file a claim.

Tolling refers to situations where the statute of limitations is paused or "tolled" due to certain circumstances, such as when the perpetrator leaves the state or goes into hiding. Once these circumstances are resolved, the statute of limitations will resume.

In Oklahoma, the possible time limits for filing a sexual abuse personal injury claim are as follows:

  • For victims under the age of 18 at the time of abuse: they have until their 28th birthday to file a claim.
  • For victims between ages 18 and 21 at the time of abuse: they have 3 years from their 21st birthday to file a claim.
  • For victims over the age of 21 at the time of abuse: they have 2 years from the date of discovery to file a claim or within 12 years from the victim's 18th birthday, whichever comes first.

It is important to consult with a lawyer as soon as possible to determine the applicable statute of limitations in your specific case. Do not delay, as missing the deadline could result in you being unable to file a claim and receive compensation for your damages.


What Should I Do If I Am A Victim Of Sexual Abuse?

If you are a victim of sexual abuse in Oklahoma, it is important to take the following steps:

  • Seek Medical Attention

First and foremost, seek medical attention for any physical injuries or emotional distress caused by the abuse. This will not only ensure your health and safety but also document any evidence that may be useful in a personal injury claim.

  • Report the Abuse

It is important to report the abuse to the proper authorities, such as the police or child protective services. They can investigate and gather evidence that may be useful in your case.

  • Seek Support

Do not go through this alone. Seek support from trusted family members, friends, or a therapist who can help you cope with the trauma of sexual abuse.

  • Consult with a Lawyer

If you are considering filing a sexual abuse personal injury claim, it is important to consult with a lawyer who is experienced in handling these types of cases. They can guide you through the legal process and help you seek justice and compensation for your damages.


How Is A Sexual Abuse Case Handled Differently From Other Personal Injury Cases?

Sexual abuse personal injury cases are handled differently than other personal injury cases in Oklahoma due to the sensitive nature of the subject matter. These cases require a high level of sensitivity and understanding from all parties involved, including lawyers, judges, and juries.

One key difference is that sexual abuse cases often involve minors as victims, adding another layer of complexity to the legal proceedings. In these cases, the court may appoint guardian ad litem to represent the best interests of the child.

Additionally, sexual abuse cases often involve extensive psychological evaluations and expert testimony to determine the extent of damages suffered by the victim. This can further complicate the case and require more time and resources from all parties involved.

Furthermore, due to the traumatic nature of sexual abuse, victims may have a difficult time reliving the details of their abuse in court. This can make it challenging for them to testify and can also affect the amount of compensation awarded, as non-economic damages such as pain and suffering are often difficult to quantify.


Can I Sue for Emotional Distress Caused by Sexual Abuse?

Yes, victims of sexual abuse in Oklahoma can sue for emotional distress caused by the abuse. Emotional distress refers to the psychological impact and trauma suffered because of the abuse, such as anxiety, depression, PTSD, and other mental health issues.

To successfully sue for emotional distress, it must be proven that the abuse was a significant factor in causing the distress. This can be done through medical records, expert testimony, and other evidence.

It is important to note that in Oklahoma, there is a limit on the amount of compensation that can be awarded for non-economic damages such as emotional distress. As of 2021, the cap for non-economic damages in personal injury cases is set at $350,000. However, this limit does not apply to cases involving intentional torts, such as sexual abuse.


What Evidence Is Required To Prove A Sexual Abuse Case?

To prove a sexual abuse personal injury case in Oklahoma, the following evidence may be required:

  • Medical Records: These can include records from any medical treatment sought after the abuse, as well as any follow-up appointments or evaluations.
  • Police Reports: If the abuse was reported to the police, their reports can provide important details and evidence for your case.
  • Witness Testimony: If there were witnesses to the abuse, their testimony can be crucial in proving your case.
  • Expert Witnesses: As mentioned earlier, sexual abuse cases often require expert witnesses, such as therapists or psychologists, to testify about the lasting impact of the abuse on the victim.
  • Personal Testimony: Your own testimony and that of other victims may also be necessary to prove your case.
  • Other Evidence: Depending on the specifics of your case, other evidence such as photographs or videos may also be useful in proving the abuse occurred.


Are There Special Considerations For Sexual Abuse Cases Involving Minors?

Yes, there are special considerations for sexual abuse cases involving minors in Oklahoma. These include the statute of limitations for filing a claim, as well as the use of a guardian ad litem to represent the best interests of the child during legal proceedings.

In addition, minors may be more susceptible to coercion, manipulation, and fear from their abuser, which can make it difficult for them to speak out about the abuse. This is why it is important for adults to pay attention to signs of potential abuse and report it to the proper authorities.

Furthermore, minors may also require additional support and resources during and after legal proceedings due to the traumatic nature of sexual abuse. It is important for guardians and caregivers to seek out therapy or other forms of support for the child to help them cope with the trauma and heal from their experience.

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