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Sexual Assault & Abuse Attorneys NEW YORK

New York Sexual Abuse Attorneys

Representing Survivors of Sexual Abuse & Assault Throughout New York

There is, unfortunately, no way around it: The criminal justice system routinely lets down survivors of sexual abuse, even in the face of considerable evidence. A survivor may bravely come forward, provide thorough documentation demonstrating abuse, and take the stand to testify against their abuser. Still, the abuser may manage to escape full accountability, either by negotiating lesser charges, receiving a “not guilty” verdict, or even not being charged in the first place. 

The good news is this is not necessarily the end of the road to getting justice. In addition to cooperating with criminal proceedings, survivors have the right to file civil lawsuits against the parties responsible for their abuse. If you are ready to explore your legal options, our compassionate New York sexual abuse lawyers at Matthews & Associates are ready to listen to your story and provide the solutions-oriented advocacy you deserve. We can help you seek compensation for the harm caused and fight to hold responsible parties accountable for their actions. With significant financial compensation recovered for thousands of clients, you can trust your case will be in good hands. 

Schedule a free, confidential consultation by contacting us online or calling (888) 923-7001. Our clients owe no legal fee unless they recover.

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How Civil Sexual Abuse Lawsuits Differ from Criminal Cases in New York

Criminal proceedings and civil lawsuits in cases of sexual abuse serve different purposes and follow distinct processes even though they can both be initiated based on the same incident. In the criminal justice system, the government brings charges against the accused (the defendant) for violating criminal laws. The purpose of criminal proceedings is to penalize the perpetrator and deter others from committing similar offenses. The state, represented by a prosecutor, must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the crime. If found guilty, the defendant can face imprisonment, fines, mandatory treatment programs, probation, or other penalties as deemed appropriate by the court. While the theoretical penalties for sexual abuse and assault in New York are severe, clearing the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard can be difficult, leading to many defendants in these cases being found “not guilty.” 

A civil sexual abuse lawsuit is initiated by the survivor (the plaintiff) against the perpetrator and/or any other liable party (the defendant). The intention is not to penalize the offender but instead to compensate the survivor for the harm suffered. This harm can be physical, emotional, or mental, and the compensation is typically financial. Crucially, the standard of proof in civil cases is lower than in criminal cases, requiring a preponderance of evidence, meaning that it's more likely than not that the allegations are true. This means that the same evidence can potentially lead to a favorable outcome in a civil lawsuit, even if the defendant is acquitted in a criminal case involving the same allegations of abuse. 

It's also important to note that these two types of cases can proceed independently. A defendant can be prosecuted criminally while also being sued civilly by the survivor. On the other hand, it is also possible to pursue a civil lawsuit even if the abuser is not criminally charged. The outcome of one case does not necessarily determine the outcome of the other. Again, a defendant can be exonerated in a criminal trial but still lose in a civil trial.

Whether criminal proceedings against your abuser are just commencing or recently concluded, we encourage you to discuss your case with our New York sexual abuse attorneys. We can help you understand your options and walk you through what taking civil legal action will look like. 

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    David P. Matthews Attorney
    "When the judge read the verdict in Martha Salazar’s case ($73 Million), and we learned the jury ordered [the medical device maker] to pay Martha, (we) knew they believed every word she said.  We realized they knew the defendant was truly guilty."
    Assistant Editor

How Civil Sexual Abuse Lawsuits Differ from Criminal Cases in New York

Criminal proceedings and civil lawsuits in cases of sexual abuse serve different purposes and follow distinct processes even though they can both be initiated based on the same incident. In the criminal justice system, the government brings charges against the accused (the defendant) for violating criminal laws. The purpose of criminal proceedings is to penalize the perpetrator and deter others from committing similar offenses. The state, represented by a prosecutor, must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the crime. If found guilty, the defendant can face imprisonment, fines, mandatory treatment programs, probation, or other penalties as deemed appropriate by the court. While the theoretical penalties for sexual abuse and assault in New York are severe, clearing the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard can be difficult, leading to many defendants in these cases being found “not guilty.” 

A civil sexual abuse lawsuit is initiated by the survivor (the plaintiff) against the perpetrator and/or any other liable party (the defendant). The intention is not to penalize the offender but instead to compensate the survivor for the harm suffered. This harm can be physical, emotional, or mental, and the compensation is typically financial. 

Crucially, the standard of proof in civil cases is lower than in criminal cases, requiring a preponderance of evidence, meaning that it's more likely than not that the allegations are true. This means that the same evidence can potentially lead to a favorable outcome in a civil lawsuit, even if the defendant is acquitted in a criminal case involving the same allegations of abuse. 

It's also important to note that these two types of cases can proceed independently. A defendant can be prosecuted criminally while also being sued civilly by the survivor. On the other hand, it is also possible to pursue a civil lawsuit even if the abuser is not criminally charged. The outcome of one case does not necessarily determine the outcome of the other. Again, a defendant can be exonerated in a criminal trial but still lose in a civil trial.

Whether criminal proceedings against your abuser are just commencing or recently concluded, we encourage you to discuss your case with our New York sexual abuse attorneys. We can help you understand your options and walk you through what taking civil legal action will look like. 

 

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    Very informative and professional. Answer thoroughly all my questions and concerns.

    - Lydia C.
  • “They treat you with respect. They support you when needed.”

    Matthews and Associates is one of a kind. They treat you with respect. They support you when needed. Plus they have locations in Texas and California with wonderful customer service. Billingual service always available.

    - Sorangel T.
  • “I am impressed that the Firm is always available and answers questions promptly”

    I've been working with Matthews and Associates for 2 years. I am impressed that the Firm is always available and answers questions promptly. I am very satisfied with the services they provide and would recommend them.

    - Kweli Y.
  • “Matthews and Associates are very informative. Kept me up to date on what was happening with my case.”

    Matthews and Associates are very informative. Kept me up to date on what was happening with my case. They were always polite when they were talking to me. Very professional and polite.

    - Ron S.
  • “Very professional from the beginning”

    Very professional from the beginning. always answered questions and had amazing follow through on insuring data submitted was accurate

    - Jeffrey E.
  • “I Love these guys!!!! They are SO Helpful, Kind, Knowledgeable,”
    I Love these guys!!!! They are SO Helpful, Kind, Knowledgeable, Smart, good with people, answer ALL ur questions, if they don't know the answer, it sure doesn't take them long to get you the answer!!!!!!!!!! I wouldn't want anyone else to handle my suit. They are AWESOME!!!!!!!!!
    - Genie S.

Who Is Liable for Sexual Abuse in New York?

In addition to the perpetrator of the sexual abuse, other parties can also potentially be held liable if they played a role in enabling the abuse or failed to take action to prevent it. This can include employers, organizations, or institutions that did not appropriately respond to allegations of sexual abuse or failed to implement effective policies to protect individuals under their care. For instance, a school district could be held liable if a teacher sexually abused a student and it is found that the district ignored warning signs or did not have adequate preventative measures in place.

An employer can be held liable under certain conditions. If the abuse was committed by an employee in the course of their employment, the employer may be held responsible, especially if the employer failed to conduct a proper background check, ignored previous complaints about the employee, or did not provide a safe working environment.

Similarly, in religious institutions, a church or religious organization can, in some cases, be held liable if a priest, pastor, rabbi, or any other religious leader commits sexual abuse. If it can be proven that the institution knew or should have known about the abuse and did not take appropriate action, they can also be held accountable.

The complexity of sexual abuse cases underscores the need for capable legal support. At Matthews & Associates, our attorneys have the experience and dedication necessary to navigate these challenging cases and seek justice for victims. We are prepared to investigate the circumstances of your abuse to identify all liable parties and avenues of legal recourse.

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Compensation for Sexual Abuse in New York

Survivors of sexual abuse who file a civil lawsuit may be eligible for several forms of compensation. The primary goal of these monetary awards is to compensate you for the harm done and give you the resources you need to rebuild your life. 

Direct economic damages can cover the costs of medical treatment and therapy, any loss of earnings due to the abuse, and future loss of earnings if your ability to work has been impacted. Non-economic damages, while harder to quantify, are equally important. These acknowledge the pain and suffering you have endured, including any emotional distress or loss of enjoyment of life. They also cover any long-term effects, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, or other psychological conditions that were triggered by the abuse.

In some instances, punitive damages may also be awarded. These are not intended to compensate you but rather to penalize the defendant for their behavior and act as a deterrent to others.

No matter the circumstances, our New York sexual abuse attorneys always aim to maximize what you recover. We recognize that no dollar amount can undo what you have experienced, but you still deserve full and fair compensation so that you can start to heal and move forward.

Contact us online or call (888) 923-7001 to discuss your case with a legal professional today. 

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