Sexual assault and abuse are heartbreaking and devastating. These incidents can crush your self-esteem, emotional health, and confidence, but Nix Patterson’s sexual abuse attorneys are here to listen to you and help you navigate the complexities of the legal system with compassion. We’re advocates and guides. We’ll stand by your side and fight for you every step of the way.
Sexual assault is a severe problem in the United States. Statistics show that someone is sexually abused or assaulted in this country every 68 seconds, and unfortunately, Oklahoma’s violent crime rates are above the national average. There were approximately 4,500 sexual abuse or assault cases in Oklahoma in 2021.
While these numbers are difficult to consider, it’s even harder to think that most sexual assault and abuse cases are never reported. More troubling is the fact that even if the assault victim reports the incident to the police, most wrongdoers are never held responsible for their actions. The Attorneys at Nix Patterson aim to change that.
In Oklahoma, the phrase “sexual assault” means any form of sexual contact or behavior that happens without the consent of the other party, and legally speaking, the definition can be broad. If you think you or a loved one was the victim of sexual assault, the experienced attorneys at Nix Patterson will help guide you with compassion and discretion.
Yes. There are several ways to potentially seek compensation in Oklahoma if you are a sexual abuse victim. First, you could file an Oklahoma personal injury lawsuit against the wrongdoer. This civil action could result in compensation for your financial losses and pain and suffering. Second, you could make a demand to the accused and possibly other people or entities that allowed the abuse to occur. Some of the entities that you could potentially sue are:
If the abuse or assault occurred while the person was working for or representing an organization, that entity could also be liable.
If you were sexually abused or assaulted, you could be eligible for considerable compensation through a personal injury claim or lawsuit. You can often file a claim against the perpetrator, as well as anyone who allowed the abuse to occur.
Understand that civil claims are different from criminal cases. It is common for the perpetrator to face criminal charges, but that isn’t necessary for the party to be held liable in a civil claim. The reason is civil and criminal courts have different standards of evidence.
When your alleged attacker is suspected of sexual abuse in the criminal sense, the state prosecutor has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the person committed the crime.
On the other hand, your sexual abuse civil case will succeed if you can prove by a “preponderance of the evidence” that the abuse occurred. This means that the incident is at least 51% likely to have happened. So, a judge or jury could award you damages if the evidence shows that the accused’s misconduct likely caused your injuries.
If your sexual abuse personal injury lawsuit succeeds, the defendant will be held liable and ordered to compensate you. Sexual abuse and assault cases often leave horrific mental, emotional, and physical scars, but liability insurance doesn’t usually cover intentional acts. This means the defendant may be required to compensate you using their personal assets.
For example, if a relative, friend, or neighbor committed the abuse, they will probably have to pay you directly. They could have to pay from their savings, liquidate retirement accounts, sell real estate, or have their wages garnished. Our attorneys will take every possible action to ensure you get the financial justice you deserve.
First, legal experience matters in sexual assault and abuse cases. Nix Patterson’s sexual abuse attorneys have handled these complex cases often, and we know how to handle them. Steps include:
As stated earlier, there is potential liability for additional parties in a sexual assault case. For instance, suppose you were assaulted in the breakroom in your office building. You told your supervisors about it, but they brushed it off. In this example, the supervisor condoned this outrageous, illegal behavior, and they could be liable in a civil action. Furthermore, the company itself could be responsible as well.
Another situation where a third party could be liable in a work or professional setting is if they retaliated against you for being sexually abused. Suppose you reported the incident to your manager, who demoted you for “causing problems” in the office. That party also could be financially liable in a personal injury claim.
If a third party was negligent and allowed the assault or abuse to occur, your attorney will prove negligence in the following way:
Oklahoma premises liability laws state that entities have a legal duty to keep the property “reasonably safe” for visitors and customers. This means providing sufficient security to protect people from violent crimes they could reasonably foresee. Your attorney might foreseeably argue that a lack of lighting, surveillance video, or security guards led to an unsafe workplace that contributed to the assault incident. However, the case particulars will dictate if and how a third party could be held responsible for the sexual assault.
You must show by a preponderance of the evidence that the sexual abuse or assault was at least 51% likely to occur. Evidence of a sexual crime may be your personal medical records, eyewitness accounts, physical evidence, photos or videos, and the results of a criminal prosecution. But remember, the perpetrator does not have to be charged or convicted of a crime for you to receive compensation in a personal injury claim.
Any sexual assault or abuse case is traumatizing. Assigning a monetary value to such an attack may seem crass; after all, how do you value the mental trauma that followed such a harrowing incident? Your attorney will carefully review your case and explain how it could be valued. Knowing the rough case value before considering a settlement offer is critical. Some factors that may influence the value of the claim are:
Our lawyers will review these and other factors as we assess your case value.
All civil lawsuits in Oklahoma have a statute of limitations, which means a limited time to file a personal injury action. Oklahoma has a two-year statute of limitations for most personal injury lawsuits. However, Oklahoma has made progress in holding sexual abuse offenders to account.
If you are a sexual assault or abuse victim, Nix Patterson understands your situation. It is outrageous for anyone to abuse another person sexually, and if you’re a victim, you could receive compensation in a civil lawsuit against the perpetrator. While no amount of money will ever supplant what you lost as a sexual abuse survivor, a successful lawsuit can provide closure and vital financial assistance as you move forward.
Nix Patterson’s sexual abuse attorneys are ready to fight for your rights immediately. We are powerful advocates for victims’ justice and understand what you’re going through. To get started, contact us today for a complimentary case review.
Nix Patterson only works on a contingency fee basis. Our clients pay us nothing unless we win. Schedule a free consultation today. Call 512.328.5333 or complete the form below.
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