Sexual Assaults

Injury Attorneys for Victims in Grand Rapids, Traverse City, Detroit, and Beyond

Sexual assault, whether it is molestation or rape, is a serious crime that can cause long-term physical and psychological harm. Under Michigan law, survivors of sexual assaults can pursue a personal injury claim against their perpetrator to obtain compensation for everything they’ve been through. In this way, survivors do not need to rely on the police and prosecutors to bring the person who committed the crime to justice. Further, a criminal case rarely compensates a victim for the injuries suffered. On the other hand, Michigan sexual assault cases can provide survivors with economic and non-economic damages, including pain and suffering.

If you are a victim of sexual assault, there are several different legal theories under which you may be able to sue your attacker or the entity responsible for allowing the attack to occur. A Detroit, Traverse City, and Grand Rapids sexual assault lawyer at the Neumann Law Group is immediately available to meet with you during a free and confidential consultation to discuss your options.

You can seek compensation from a person who committed a sexual assault under a variety of civil liability theories, including assault, battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, violation of stalking statutes, negligent transmission of an STD, or wrongful death. The compensation may include an award for any psychological suffering caused by the assault.

What Is the Difference Between Civil and Criminal Sexual Assault Cases?

In a civil case, you need to prove the defendant’s wrongdoing by a preponderance of the evidence. This is a lower, more lenient standard than the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard of a criminal trial. Generally, the preponderance of the evidence standard equates to “more likely than not.” In other words, if the judge or jury finds that the evidence suggests that the defendant more than likely committed the assault, it will find in favor of the survivor.

Criminal cases are very different. Aside from a more stringent standard of proof, there are also evidentiary differences. Moreover, criminal judges are not in a position to award meaningful damages to victims. However, if a defendant is found guilty in a criminal case, the focus of the civil claim will then be on the amount of damages because liability has already been established. That said, if the defendant is not found guilty, you may have a chance to secure compensation due to the lower burden of proof in civil sexual assault claims.

Third-Party Liability for Sexual Assaults

In some cases, you can hold a third party responsible for a sexual assault. For example, Michigan landlords and storeowners have a duty to keep their premises reasonably safe from foreseeable criminal acts. If you suffer a sexual assault on someone else’s property, and there is a history of sexual assaults in that location, you may be able to bring a negligent security claim.

Under this strategy, you will have to show that the landlord or store owner knew or should have known about the history of similar attacks and that your attack was foreseeable. Generally, if a property owner or manager knows of prior similar attacks, they are required to take steps to protect people whom they have invited on the property or residents of the property. This may include installing better locks, installing security cameras, installing extra lighting, hiring security guards, and taking actions necessary to protect residents or visitors. If they fail to do so, and somebody is sexually assaulted, they may be held accountable.

Employers may also be liable for sexual assaults carried out by their employees, such as teachers, doctors, physical therapists, daycare workers, etc.

Enlist the Help of an Experienced Sexual Assault Lawyer in Traverse City, Grand Rapids, or Detroit

At the Neumann Law Group, our Detroit, Grand Rapids, and Traverse City sexual assault attorneys offer experienced legal representation to survivors. As an award-winning personal injury and wrongful death lawyer, Ms. Neumann has consistently obtained more than $3 million in damages per year on behalf of her clients. The Neumann Law Group represents people in Petoskey, Warren, Dearborn, Midland, Muskegon, Saginaw, Wyoming, Kalamazoo, Lansing, Flint, and Ann Arbor, as well as communities throughout the Upper Peninsula. We also can assist residents of California, New York, and Massachusetts. Contact us at 800-525-NEUMANN or via our online form to set up a free consultation.

California Injury Lawyer Blog - Sexual Assault

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