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Steven M. Sweat, Personal Injury Lawyers, APC
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Sexual Assault and Abuse

Devastating Effects of Sexual Assault or Abuse

Victims of sexual assault / abuse can suffer a lifetime of emotional and physical damages. Oftentimes, the criminal justice system lets these victims down by failing to prosecute the sex offenders or failing to obtain a conviction against these offenders. This is where a civil attorney can step in to achieve justice for the victims by prosecuting a civil claim against the perpetrators and/or others which may be found liable for money damages including employers who know or should know that they are employing or continuing to employ sexual predators.

The National Crime Victim Bar Association Oftentimes the sex offender is employed by a corporate entity, religious institution or community organization and there is not a sufficient enough background check done prior to hiring by these entities. Other times, employees provide clear indication that they are potential sexual predators during their employment but, the entity ignores the warning signs and continues to retain this dangerous employee. In other instances there is just a lack of adequate supervision of employees which creates an environment that allows for sexual assaults and/or abuse. In these situations, it is quite possible to hold the employer entity liable for the devastating damages inflicted by the employee offender.

Common Scenarios Where Sexual Assault and Abuse Occur

We have represented victims assaulted and/or abused in the following types of institutions:

  • Patients abused by doctors, nurses, or hospital or medical staff
  • Child abuse by priests, ministers, or other religious institution personnel
  • Boys and girls abused by leaders in community organizations
  • Abused dependent adults in mental health facilities and nursing homes
  • Abuse of children by teachers or school employees or administrators in public and private schools
  • Daycare Center sexual assaults of children
  • Abuse of children in institutional settings such as foster care or juvenile detention
  • Sexual assault of young women in college settings like dorms, fraternity or sorority houses
  • Sexual violence in the workplace

CALCASA These cases require careful investigation, corroboration of facts and witnesses and precise preparation by experienced attorneys who are familiar with how to successfully represent abuse victims and are compassionate to the needs of the clients. We have experience prosecuting civil claims for sexual assault and abuse throughout the State of California. Our firm has successfully obtained monetary damages for victims of sexual assault and abuse in both Southern and Northern California including Los Angeles and Orange County.

How Long Do I Have to File a Claim for Childhood Sexual Abuse in California?

California has recently extended the Statute of Limitations (or time deadline) for filing a claim for sexual abuse that occurred while the victim was a minor.  California Code of Civil Procedure 340.1(a) states, in pertinent part, as follows:

"In an action for recovery of damages suffered as a result of childhood sexual assault, the time for commencement of the action shall be within 22 years of the date the plaintiff attains the age of majority or within five years of the date the plaintiff discovers or reasonably should have discovered that psychological injury or illness occurring after the age of majority was caused by the sexual assault, whichever period expires later..."

This effectively provides until the abuse victim's 40th birthday to file a claim and potentially longer if there was a delay in discovery of the abuse.  There are also extensions if the matter was subject to a "cover up" by the entity responsible for the abuse.

How Long Do I Have to File a Claim for Sexual Assault or Abuse that Occurred to an Adult?

"In any civil action for recovery of damages suffered as a result of sexual assault, where the assault occurred on or after the plaintiff's 18th birthday, the time for commencement of the action shall be the later of the following:

(1)Within 10 years from the date of the last act, attempted act, or assault with the intent to commit an act, of sexual assault against the plaintiff.
(2)Within three years from the date the plaintiff discovers or reasonably should have discovered that an injury or illness resulted from an act, attempted act, or assault with the intent to commit an act, of sexual assault against the plaintiff."

California Code of Civil Procedure § 340.16

Additional Resources for Victims of Sexual Assault and Abuse
Client Reviews
I have known Steven for some time now and when his services were required he jumped in and took control of my cases. I had two and they were handled with the utmost professionalism and courtesy. He went the extra mile regardless of the bumps in the road. I can not see me using any other attorney and I would recommend him to any of my family and friends. Josie A.
Steven was vital during our most trying time. He was referred by a friend after an accident that involved a family member. While he was critical and lying in the hospital, Steven was kind, patient and knowledgeable about what we were going through. Following our loss, Steven became a tough and aggressive negotiator and made sure that we receive a huge compensation. I would refer Steven in fact, this happened 2 years ago and I still speak highly of his service. Cheryl S.
Mr. Sweat is a pitbull in the courtroom as well as settlement negotiations - You can't have a better equipped attorney in your corner! It is a pleasure working as colleagues together on numerous cases. He can get the job done. Jonathan K.
Because of Steven Sweat, my medical support was taken care of. Plus, I had more money to spare for my other bills. Steven is not only an excellent personal injury lawyer, providing the best legal advice, but also a professional lawyer who goes beyond his call of duty just to help his clients! He stood up for me and helped me get through the process. I would definitely recommend. I couldn't think of any better lawyer than him. MiraJane C.
I must tell anyone, if you need a great attorney, Steve sweat is the guy! I had an awful car accident and had no idea where to turn. He had so much to deal with because my accident was a 4 car pile up. Not to mention all the other cars were behind me and they were not wanting to settle in any way! He never stopped working for me and had my best interest at heart! Audra W.
I believe I made the best choice with Steven M Sweat, Personal Injury. I was very reluctant to go forward with my personal injury claim. I had a valid claim and I needed a professional attorney to handle it. I felt so much better when I let Steven take my case. His team did everything right and I am very satisfied. Stia P.
I have to say that Steve has been exemplary! I met Steve at a point with my case that I was ready to give up. He took the time and dealt with all of my concerns. Most importantly, he was present and listened to what I was going through. He was able to turn things around, put me and my case on the right track! The results were better that expected! Highly recommend!! Cody A.