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San Antonio Sexual Abuse Lawyers

Enduring sexual abuse is one of the worst experiences imaginable. Unfortunately, many sexual abuse, assault, and harassment cases go unreported, and survivors often never receive the justice they deserve.

At Nix Patterson, our San Antonio sexual abuse lawyers firmly believe that you deserve your day in court and speak the truth about what happened. We understand the challenges sexual abuse survivors face, and as such, Nix Patter’s San Antonio sexual abuse lawyers will fight for your rights and work to secure the justice you deserve.

What Is Sexual Abuse?

Sexual abuse is usually defined as any interaction between an adult or child where the child is used for the sexual satisfaction of the perpetrator. Sexual abuse can be both non-touching and touching behavior. Non-touching could include exhibitionism, voyeurism, or exposing the minor to pornography. Touching can include physical contact with the survivor’s sexual organs all the way up to oral sex or sexual intercourse.

Sexual abuse also can involve an adult survivor and refers to pressuring or coercing someone to do something they don’t want to do. Sexual abuse is both a civil and criminal violation. If you have been sexually abused or assaulted as a minor or adult, you could receive compensation in a civil lawsuit.

How Common Is Sexual Abuse in San Antonio?

Sexual abuse and assault affects millions of people in the US every year. Researchers state that the statistics always underestimate the sexual abuse problem because so many cases are never reported. Survivors could be embarrassed, afraid, or ashamed to tell others about the abuse. Survivors also could be coerced to stay quiet because the abuser threatened consequences if they spoke out. Sobering statistics about sexual abuse and assault include:

  • About 50% of women and 33% of men say they have been sexually abused or assaulted in their lives. Twenty-five percent of women and about 5% of men say they have been survivors of attempted rape.
  • More than 75% of female rape survivors state they were assaulted before they were 25.
  • More than 80% of male rape survivors state that they were forced to penetrate someone before they were 25. About 40% were forced to penetrate someone as a minor.
  • About one out of six Texas high school students say they were sexually abused at some point.

Common Sexual Abuse Injuries

Sexual abuse and assault can lead to many injuries, both physical and psychological. Initially, the survivor could have bruising, genital trauma, sexually transmitted diseases, or pregnancy (for women). Many survivors also suffer tremendous psychological harm, triggering depression, anxiety, and thoughts of suicide.

The consequences of sexual abuse can also span years. Sexual abuse survivors may have PTSD and experience regular problems with sexual, reproductive, and cardiovascular health. Sexual abuse is also connected to the survivor engaging in negative behaviors, such as smoking, alcohol, and drug use, and engaging in high-risk sexual behavior.

The psychological injuries from sexual abuse can extend to your ability to be employed and be productive at work. These injuries can affect your ability to earn a living and provide for your family. The injuries stemming from the trauma could prevent you from having normal adult relationships.

Sexual Abuse Laws in Texas

In Texas, it’s possible for a sexual abuse defendant to be charged with a crime as well as face a personal injury lawsuit simultaneously. A state prosecutor typically files the sexual abuse or assault charge, and the survivor files a civil lawsuit.

Filing a civil lawsuit against your alleged abuser may allow you to receive financial compensation for your physical and emotional injuries. Under state law, the focus of a personal injury lawsuit is the recovery of financial damages, not jail time and related punishments. The civil case only requires you to prove liability by a preponderance of the evidence, a much lower level of proof than beyond a reasonable doubt in a criminal case.

If you file a personal injury lawsuit against the defendant, compensation for your losses is possible. If criminal charges are filed, the case might also go to trial. However, if the accused is convicted and sent to jail, you may have to forgo the possibility of receiving financial compensation.

A San Antonio personal injury lawyer can review your civil case and give you an idea of whether the case could result in compensation.

Can Someone Other Than My Abuser Be Held Liable for My Damages?

Possibly. A sexual abuse case often focuses on the perpetrator, but depending on the situation, there could be other enablers who could be found liable for your suffering.

Negligent third parties are often those in the organization where the abuse occurred, its leaders, and anyone who might have taken action to prevent the abuse but didn’t. The organization or its leader does not have to be complicit in the abuse that occurred; they only have to have been negligent.

For example, if a nursing home fails to train and monitor staff correctly, and an employee sexually assaults a senior in their car, the entire facility could potentially be liable for the person’s losses. Or, if a teacher sexually abuses a child in a Catholic school, the organization could be guilty, as well.

Overall, if a building, office, supervisor, or organization had a duty of care to the alleged victim and didn’t perform their legal obligations correctly, they could be successfully sued in a civil claim.

What Is My San Antonio Sexual Abuse Case Worth?

Sexual abuse is horrific, but especially in cases that happened long ago, it is difficult to prove. Physical evidence of the abuse can be hard to come by if months, years, or even decades have passed. Medical evidence can be obtained only in about 5% of sexual abuse cases. Without physical evidence, it can be more challenging to hold an abuser accountable.

That said, if you can prove your case by a preponderance of the evidence, you could potentially receive thousands in monetary and nonmonetary damages with your attorney’s assistance. An experienced sexual abuse attorney can review your case to help you understand its potential value.

Every case is different, but sexual abuse claims can have a high value when there is strong evidence of the abuse. The case value could be higher if it can be proven that an organization’s or other party’s negligence contributed to the abuse occurring. For example, the case value could rise if you can sue any of the following organizations in addition to the abuser:

  • Parents
  • Legal guardians
  • Clergy
  • Daycares
  • School districts
  • Religious organizations
  • Schools

For example, for the past 30 years, Roman Catholic Dioceses and Archdioceses across the country have faced allegations of minor sexual abuse by clergy. Hundreds of millions have been paid in civil lawsuits against the responsible individuals and entities.

What Types of Compensation are Available to Survivors of Sexual Abuse?

Sexual abuse and assault survivors often suffer challenges and difficulties with many aspects of their lives, some of which could be long after they have recovered from any physical injuries. Survivors may need years of mental therapy before they can enjoy productive lives and have routine personal and employment relationships. There also are some sexual abuse survivors who contract various sexually transmitted diseases, such as HIV, chlamydia, syphilis, or other health conditions that impact their health.

Some of the compensation you could qualify for in a successful claim are:

  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Emotional pain and suffering
  • Medical bills for the past and future
  • Psychotherapy expenses
  • Prescription costs
  • Lost income
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

By filing a personal injury claim against the abuser or others whose negligence led to the abuse, you could be better able to obtain the essential services you need to get better. If you cannot work for months or years because of the abuse, your financial award or settlement could help you pay for the cost of living and bills. It also may give you a sense of justice for the harm they caused your life.

How a San Antonio Sexual Abuse Case Could Be Investigated

In a sexual abuse case that occurred recently, the survivor could go to an ER for an immediate medical examination. Physical evidence, including DNA, could be collected during the examination, and photos and videos could be taken. This evidence could be useful in convicting the abuser in criminal and civil cases. If you retain a San Antonio sexual abuse lawyer, they could do the following to investigate the claim:

  • Investigate the events that were involved in the sexual abuse or assault
  • Analyze which people are parties could be liable besides the alleged abuser
  • Review medical records and police reports
  • Subpoena witnesses and talk to medical experts

If the case is months or years old, proving liability is more difficult but still possible. Nix Patterson sexual abuse lawyers in San Antonio will review the available evidence and do their best to obtain compensation for you. In an older case, we would likely discuss the alleged abuse with anyone who might have been aware of it at the time. For example, if you were sexually abused in a school, our attorneys could seek out any employees who worked there at the time who might know something.

What Is the Statute of Limitations for Sexual Abuse Cases in Texas?

Texas law states that the statute of limitations for filing a sexual abuse claim varies. The Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code states that the statute of limitations is as follows:

  • Up to 30 years for a minor child’s sexual abuse personal injury claim.
  • Up to five years from the day of the sexual abuse of an adult. So, if you are an adult whose sexual abuse occurred under five years ago, you can still file a personal injury claim against the liable party or parties.

If you were a child when the alleged abuse or assault happened, you have 30 years in which you can file a claim. Texas law also stipulates that the 30-year limit begins to count from the person’s 18th birthday.

Our San Antonio personal injury lawyers can review your case immediately and outline how the statute of limitations could apply and the chances of a successful case. 

Contact Our San Antonio Sexual Abuse Lawyers Today

If you were sexually abused in the past, you can count on our San Antonio sexual abuse lawyers to fight for justice for you. Our experienced attorneys will bring ample knowledge, resources, and relentlessness in the effort to deliver financial justice to you and your family. Contact us today for a free legal consultation about your sexual abuse or assault case. You will not pay legal fees unless we secure compensation for you.


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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