Victims of child sexual abuse must live with the trauma of their experiences for the rest of their lives. While nothing can fully restore a sexually abused child victim’s sense of emotional and psychological wholeness, financial compensation can provide benefits and services to assist in healing. Learn more about the type of compensation you can seek via a child sexual abuse lawsuit.  

The skilled Dallas sexual assault lawyers at Crowe, Arnold & Majors, LLP will fight for you to receive the maximum compensation you deserve for your injuries and trauma and will hold those responsible accountable. While many child sexual abuse claims are settled out of court, we will take your case to trial if an insurance company fails to agree to a fair settlement. 

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Proving Child Sexual Abuse

How do you go about proving sexual assault, especially when it happened when you were a child? The evidence needed to prove sexual assault may include: 

  • Statements made by the victim to friends and acquaintances after the assault.  
  • Any type of paper trail; messages, texts, calls, etc.  
  • Testimony from family and friends about behavioral changes after the assault.  
  • Reports from other victims of the same offenders. Many child sexual abusers assault multiple children over time.  
  • DNA evidence found on clothing. 
  • Medical records consistent with physical or psychological harm. 
  • Police reports. 
  • Eyewitness testimony. 

Unfortunately, since many child sexual abuse victims involving now-adult survivors may have gone unreported at the time, this evidence may not exist for such cases. However, if the child sexual abuse is reported promptly, such evidence is more often available. This responsibility typically comes down to the adults being aware that something is wrong, as children oftentimes don’t know how to communicate what’s happening to them or don’t feel safe enough to tell someone.

Statute of Limitations for Filing a Child Sex Abuse Lawsuit

In Texas, the statute of limitations for filing a child sex abuse lawsuit is 30 years. A 2019 law changed the deadline calculation to the victim’s 18th birthday, meaning child sexual abuse victims have until they reach the age of 48.

Child Sex Abuse Liability

Many child sex abuse perpetrators do not have sufficient assets to make filing a civil lawsuit worthwhile. However, most instances of child sex abuse do not happen in a vacuum. Schools, youth organizations, sports clubs, camps, and religious institutions may prove liable because they were aware of the abuse at the time but failed to address it. These institutions have a duty to protect children under their care.

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Potential Compensation in a Child Sexual Abuse Lawsuit

Potential compensation, or damages, in a child sexual abuse lawsuit may include economic or non-economic damages. Calculating economic damages is more straightforward than the subjective non-economic damage determination.  

For instance, reimbursement for medical expenses related to sexual abuse falls under economic damages. Non-economic damage puts a price is put on the suffering you endured and continue to experience.

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Economic Damages

  • Medical expenses: The physical and psychological toll of child sexual abuse can lead to the need for lifelong medical and therapeutic care, including counseling.  
  • Income loss: The aftermath of child sexual abuse may affect a victim’s ability to earn income. Many victims of such abuse suffer long-term psychological injuries leading to chronic unemployment and job performance issues.

Non-economic Damages

Examples of non-economic damages include: 

  • Loss of enjoyment of life 
  • Mental anguish  
  • Pain and suffering  

Keep in mind that the total amount of compensation is generally related to the severity of the abuse. For example, damages in a child sexual assault that continued over a long period are likely to be higher than a one-time incident.

Texas Crime Victims’ Compensation Fund

Child sexual abuse survivors may also receive compensation through the Texas Crime Victim’s Compensation program. This program, funded from court costs paid by criminals, provides financial assistance for medical and psychiatric care. There is also a one-time relocation assistance for victims assaulted in their place of residence. 

Those eligible must reside in Texas, or in another state if the crime took place in Texas. They must report the crime to law enforcement “within a reasonable period of time.” However, that time period cannot extend to being so late as to interfere with the investigation.   

Applications require filing within three years of the date of the crime.

Contact a Dallas Sexual Assault Lawyer

If you were the victim of child sexual assault, you need the services of a compassionate winning sexual assault lawyer for victims at Crowe, Arnold & Majors, LLP. Our track record of obtaining compensation for child sex abuse victims is second to none. Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation today.