After finding out that your child has been sexually abused, the horrific reality of sexual abuse may be setting in and you want to make sure the abuser pays. Since sexual abuse in Florida is a crime, there will most likely be a criminal case where the abuser may receive a prison sentence, fines, or other punishment.

Any child sexual abuse victim has the right to compensation for the physical, mental, emotional, psychological, and sexual trauma he or she was put through. While child victims of abuse might not think about their legal rights at a time like this, they do have rights and can hold the abuser accountable through a civil suit.

A child abuse victim may be able to receive just compensation by bringing a civil case against the abuser. However, it is good to know that there are certain factors that can affect the degree of punishment in a criminal case and the amount of compensation in a civil case. Some of the sexual abuse factors include:

  • Degree of sexual assault
  • Use of weapons
  • If controlled substances were used to impair the victim
  • Type of sexual activity that occurred
  • Victim’s age vs. abuser’s age
  • Injury associated with the abuse
  • Medical bills, mental health and therapy costs, and other expenses for the victim
  • Psychological effects of the sexual abuse incident for the victim

Each of these factors could affect the criminal case against the abuser and the amount of compensation in a civil case. To learn more about pursuing a claim and understanding your legal rights, please call our office for a free consultation or order a free copy of our book, When the Unthinkable Happens: Your Guide to Florida Child Abuse Claims.

Damian Mallard, Esq.
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Board Certified Sarasota Personal Injury Attorney