Nevada’s laws allow victims of sexual assault and abuse to file a lawsuit against those who committed the act of sexual penetration against them. Others whose actions contributed to allowing the assault to occur may also face legal repercussions. Below, we look at the right to file a personal injury claim for sexual assault and abuse in Nevada, understanding survivors of these atrocities are never alone.
Changes To Nevada Sexual Assault Laws Protect Victims
Recent changes to the laws on sexual assault have removed the statute of limitations for adults to file a civil lawsuit against individuals who committed a sexual assault against them. This change means that anyone who suffered a sexual assault or abuse at the age of 18 or older can file civil litigation without time limits applying.
An individual suffering sexual assault as a minor has twenty years from the date the injuries are discovered or should have reasonably been discovered or from the age of turning 18, whichever incident occurs later, to file a lawsuit. The laws applying to civil law and sexual assault are different from criminal laws.
What Can an Individual Sue For?
An individual can file a lawsuit for the wrongs committed against them. These civil wrongs, or torts, will be unique to each case. Some of the common examples include negligence, intentionally inflicting emotional distress, battery, or false imprisonment. Discussing your claim with a compassionate Nevada personal injury attorney can help determine the wrongs committed.
Damages That may be Compensated for Sexual Assault in Nevada
The damages an individual can receive to compensate for their expenses resulting from the acts include:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages and future earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional anguish
- Counseling services
- Legal fees
Punitive damages may be awarded as a result of particularly heinous acts. These damages aren’t a form of compensation but serve more as a punishment to the offender and to set an example to others of the type of punishment that can result from these behaviors.
Proving a Sexual Assault Case
Changes to the law and recent civil cases in Nevada have shown that Nevada’s civil laws see sexual assault as a punishable offense, and survivors have the right to pursue compensation for damages. Examples of evidence that may be submitted include:
- Medical records
- Expert testimony
- Rape kit results
- Eyewitness testimony
- Video footage
- Voice or text communications
The burden of proof is on the plaintiff to show that a defendant more likely than not caused the injuries that were suffered. Proof in civil cases is different from those in criminal cases, where the evidence must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. The longer it has been since the crime occurred, the more challenging it can be to offer this proof, but it is not impossible.
It is Never Too Late for Justice In Nevada Sexual Assault Cases
Sexual assault victims often carry the burden of the acts committed against them for years without others knowing or even being aware of the incident themselves. A repressed memory can be triggered by a current event, leading to discovering the wrongs committed against them. The attorneys at Bighorn Law want to reinforce that sexual assault survivors should never be blamed for the damages they’ve suffered.
If sexual assault or abuse has impacted you or a loved one, Bighorn Law offers free consultations to discuss how we can help you with civil litigation. We will fight for your rights, even in the most challenging cases. We’re by your side.