Sex Abuse Lawsuits
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New Jersey Sex Abuse Lawyers
NEW JERSEY SEXUAL ABUSE/ASSAULT: TABLE OF CONTENTS
- What is Sexual Assault and Sexual Abuse?
- Common Sexual Assault Injuries
- Why Work With Todd J. Leonard Law Firm?
- Take the First Step Toward Help
Many survivors of sexual abuse find themselves faced with a sad reality: the criminal justice process is not centered on the survivor's needs. Survivors are not, in fact, even a party to the proceedings. For that and many other reasons, a criminal case can be a cold, uncomfortable, and unsatisfying way to punish perpetrators or help survivors recover.
It is important to know survivors of sexual abuse, whether they are children or adults, have the right to bring civil legal action against the perpetrator of their abuse. Civil cases can also be emotionally challenging for sex abuse survivors, but in a civil case you are a party. Decisions about timing, strategy, and settlement are yours to make, in consultation with your lawyer.
Recent Law Extends Statute of Limitations for Sexual Abuse Victims in New Jersey
In a major victory for New Jersey victims and survivors of sexual abuse and sexual assault, in May 2019, Governor Phil Murphy signed a bill that extended the statute of limitations that now allows survivors the legal right to get the justice they deserve. The Todd J. Leonard Law Firm fully supports this important bill, S-477, which the Governor signed into law on May 13, 2019, and went into effect on December 1, 2019. Key points of this new legislation are:
• A two-year window from enactment for the filing of any civil case alleging adult or minor sexual abuse that occurred in the past;
• That anyone under 18 who has been sexually abused in the past be able to bring a cause of action within the next two years;
• That those who were sexually abused in the past as minors and who miss the two-year filing window be able to bring their cause of action until age 55;
• That those 55 and older who allege delays in connecting past abuse to damages have an opportunity to seek justice through the courts—a period of seven years from the point they made that connection.
If you, or a loved one, have been the victim of sexual abuse or sexual assault, contact one of our experienced New Jersey Civil Sexual Abuse attorneys who can provide you with the legal representation and advice during this difficult time. Our attorneys understand these are very private and sensitive matters, and that all discussions are strictly confidential.
The compassionate New Jersey sex abuse lawyers of the Todd J. Leonard Law Firm can advise you as you confront the challenging task of making these decisions. Our experienced team of New Jersey Sexual Abuse Attorneys will fight to protect your rights and will hold the abusers fully accountable and get the justice you deserve.
What is sexual assault and sexual abuse?
Sexual assault or abuse is defined as any form of unwanted sexual advance, such as inappropriate sexual touching or contact by force, or threat without consent. It is also sexual activity deemed improper or harmful, such as between an adult and a minor or with a person of diminished mental capacity. These situations can cause lifelong pain, suffering, and feelings of shame and worthlessness. Instances of sexual assault or sexual abuse can include:
• Sexual assault or sexual abuse by the clergy.
• Sexual assault or sexual abuse by a professional, such as a doctor or therapist.
• Sexual assault or sexual abuse by someone who is using their position of power or influence to take advantage of another, such as an employer.
• Sexual assault or sexual abuse by a teacher, coach, or mentor.
• Sexual assault or sexual abuse by a coworker.
• Sexual assault or sexual abuse by law enforcement.
• Sexual assault or sexual abuse by a stranger.
• Sexual assault or sexual abuse by a friend or someone on a date.
• Sexual assault or sexual abuse by a camp counselor.
• Any unwanted sexual contact.
Sexual abuse is unacceptable and its perpetrators must be held accountable. You may be unsure of where to turn for help after you or a loved one becomes the survivor of a sex crime. Our attorneys have decades of experience handling these sensitive matters and understand how long-lasting and scarring they can be.
Common Sexual Assault Injuries
In a study conducted by Forensic Nurse Examiner Albert Gomes, he found that several injuries and wounds can be sustained post-sexual assault or rape. Common injuries include tears, cuts, scrapes, bruises, or other injuries to the:
- Legs/ Thighs
- Arms/ Shoulders
Sex abuse cases can be complex because proving allegations of sexual abuse is challenging, especially in cases where there is little or no physical evidence, or where the abuse occurred in the past. The New Jersey sex abuse attorneys of the Todd J. Leonard Law Firm have tremendous experience representing survivors of sex abuse in civil lawsuits seeking to recover financial compensation for the harm done to them.
We are an experienced sex abuse law firm that practices discretion and compassion when we work with survivors of sexual abuse. You will find our skilled attorney to be protective towards you and extremely aggressive towards the perpetrator. We will also work with local police and county prosecutors throughout any criminal proceedings against perpetrators and will take the appropriate steps to obtain key discovery materials, which often requires our New Jersey sex abuse lawyer to file a motion with the Court.
Why work with Todd J. Leonard Law Firm?
Attorney Todd Leonard handles personal injury claims and fights hard to protect the rights of survivors. For example, we have represented people who were survivors of:
- Priest sex abuse
- Police sex abuse
- Sexual assaults committed by a member of the Boy Scouts of America
- Sexual assaults committed by a coach or counselor
- Sexual assaults that occurred in the workplace
- Sexual assaults due to inadequate security
We believe our extensive experience is extremely valuable when we provide legal help to sex abuse survivors. From a legal perspective, part of the challenge in a sex abuse lawsuit is translating the harm done to our client into a dollar amount. We have successfully filed lawsuits against employers, school boards and schools, police departments, camps, and the clergy and church, and religious institutions.
Our New Jersey Sexual Assault attorneys have filed lawsuits in both federal and state court depending on the facts and circumstances of the sexual abuse or assault to obtain justice for our clients. Pursuant to 42 USC 1983, sexual abuse survivors have rights to receive compensation for injuries resulting from the deprivation of their civil rights provided under the Constitution. For example, the Due Process Clause provides that a state shall not "Deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law."
Take the First Step Toward Help
We have tremendous experience working with experts in the fields of medicine, mental and physical health care, school boards, and other necessary fields. Our relationships with respected experts in these fields allow us to build strong and convincing arguments on behalf of sex abuse survivors who seek to file civil suits. If you have questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact our experienced attorneys as soon as possible and to seek the legal representation you deserve.
Certified Civil Trial Lawyer
Attorney Todd Leonard is Certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Certified Civil Trial Lawyer and has been selected for inclusion in the list of New Jersey's Super Lawyers® for several years. Our firm has handled numerous sexual assault and sexual abuse cases in New Jersey. Contact the dedicated New Jersey sex abuse attorneys with the Todd J. Leonard Law Firm at (973) 920-7900 to schedule a free case evaluation now.