Denver Sexual Assault Lawyer
At Bryan & Terrill Law, our sexual assault attorneys understand how devastating sexual assaults are for victims, but it’s important for any victims in this situation to understand a harsh truth: a sexual abuser may not have the assets to pay for a victim’s damages. Most sexual abuse offenders receive prison sentences, heavy fines, probation, and lifetime sex offender registration. After paying fines and court fees, most offenders have little to no remaining assets, making it very difficult for victims to secure compensation. However, our firm is committed to aggressive legal representation for our clients, and we will pursue compensation through every available avenue.
Call a Denver sexual assault lawyer at Bryan & Terrill Law, PLLC today, we serve Denver as tough advocates for victims of molestation and other sexual crimes in Denver. Call us to schedule a consultation and find out how we can help.
Why Choose Bryan & Terrill Law, PLLC?
Molestation and sexual abuse is a heinous crime, punishable by serious criminal penalties. Victims of molestation have recourse under the law to recover compensation for their losses in a civil claim.
- Our attorneys are prepared and have trial experience in state and federal courts.
- We have secured millions of dollars in compensation for our clients.
- We truly care about our clients and are invested in handling cases from beginning to end.
Civil Claims for Sexual Abuse in Colorado
Most states have specific statutes of limitations or time limits for filing lawsuits for civil actions. In most cases, plaintiffs have two years to file civil actions, starting on the date of an injury or illness-causing incident, or two years from the “date of discovery” when the plaintiff’s damages became apparent. The state of Colorado recently placed a twenty-year criminal statute of limitations on sexual abuse, sexual assault, rape, and other sex-related crimes. This means an offender can face criminal prosecution up to twenty years after committing an offense. If the victim was under the age of 15 at the time the abuse took place, there is no statute of limitations. It’s important to note that these changes to the statute of limitations laws are not retroactive, and only apply to incidents occurring after January 1, 2016.
Despite the large window for criminal prosecution, the victim must abide by the civil statute of limitations, which extends to six years after an incident of adult sexual abuse or six years after a victim of child sexual abuse’s 18th birthday. Victims of sexual abuse can secure several types of compensation through a civil lawsuit, including:
- Medical expenses. A sexual assault may cause physical injuries and other medical complications like unwanted pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases. Plaintiffs can sue for any and all medical expenses resulting from an incident of sexual abuse, including the cost of psychological treatment for trauma.
- Pain and suffering. Sexual assaults, rapes, and other sexual crimes are traumatic experiences that can cause serious psychological damage including post-traumatic stress disorder. The judge in the case will assess the severity of the abuse, how long the abuse took place, and the injuries sustained during the course of the abuse and determine an appropriate figure.
- Lost income. If a sexual assault on a child causes enough harm to prevent the child from working as an adult, or the victim of adult sexual abuse cannot return to work for an extended time, the victim can sue for the wages lost in that time.
- Punitive damages. The court may award punitive damages to “punish” defendants in sexual assault cases. These damages typically serve to discourage similar behavior from the defendant or others in the future.
What Is Molestation?
The legal definition of molestation is the crime of committing sexual acts with children under age 18. It may include:
- Touching of private parts
- Taking pornographic pictures
- Exposure of genitalia
- Inducement of sexual acts with the molester or other children
- Incest with a minor family member
Molestation may also involve unwanted sexual acts with an adult short of rape
Who Is Required to Report Molestation?
Under state law, a number of professionals are required to immediately report suspected molestation to the proper authorities. The list of professionals under this requirement includes:
- Medical professionals
- Mental healthcare providers
- School officials and employees (public or private schools)
- Social workers
- Clergy members
- Leaders of religious organizations
- Juvenile parole and probation officers
- Commercial film and photo professors
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Molestation in Colorado?
The statute of limitations (time limit imposed by law) for filing a civil lawsuit for molestation in Colorado is six years after the incident (if the victim was an adult) or six years after the victim’s 18th birthday (if the victim was a child). There is a 20-year criminal statute of limitations on molestation and no criminal statute of limitations if the victim was under the age of 15 at the time the crime occurred.
What Damages Are Recoverable in a Civil Claim for Molestation?
Damages victims of molestation may be entitled to claim include:
- Medical expenses: Molestation can cause physical injuries, STDs, and unwanted pregnancies. Damages may be recovered for resulting medical expenses.
- Lost income: If molestation prevents the victim from working, either now or in the future, the victim can sue for lost wages.
- Pain and suffering: Being a victim of molestation is a traumatic experience that can have devastating psychological consequences. Pain and suffering damages will depend on the duration and severity of abuse and the injuries sustained.
- Punitive damages: The court may award punitive damages in cases of molestation. These damages are designed to punish the defendant and deter similar behavior in the future.
Why Do You Need a Sexual Assault Lawyer?
Any type of sexual assault, rape, or molestation is a heinous crime, and hopefully, any perpetrator of such offense will face a long prison sentence and other appropriate penalties. While criminal prosecution by the state will help ensure the offender receives justice for his or her crimes, the criminal case will not do anything to help the victim or compensate his or her losses. Victims of sexual assaults will need to file civil actions against their attackers to secure compensation for their medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other damages resulting from the attack.
Sexual offenses carry heavy penalties, including prison time, stiff fines, probation, and sex offender registration. After paying their criminal lawyers, fines, and court fees, offenders may not have the assets to cover compensation awarded to victims in a civil trial.
Our experienced Denver sexual assault lawyers will aggressively pursue compensation for our clients through every avenue available.
At Bryan & Terrill Law, PLLC, we are committed to helping victims of molestation and sexual crimes in Denver. We handle all our cases on a contingency fee basis, which means you pay us nothing unless we win your case. Contact us to schedule a free consultation if you or your loved one has been a victim of molestation.
Securing compensation for a sexual abuse crime isn’t easy, but the right lawyer can make a difference in a victim’s legal complications. If you or a loved one has suffered sexual assault, rape, or other similar crimes, reach out to the attorneys at Bryan & Terrill to start building a case. Our attorneys will review the details of your situation and let you know what to expect from filing a civil action.