Sexual assault affects millions of people every year across the world. Actually, it is estimated that one American is sexually abused every 98 seconds, with people between the ages of 12-34 being at high risk of this kind of violence.
Fortunately, these victims are empowered to file a sexual abuse civil lawsuit to help them heal from the emotional and physical harms they suffered as a result of the abuse.
This article outlines the process of filing a civil lawsuit and the general guidelines that should be followed to ensure success in court.
Steps of Filing a Civil Lawsuit.
Civil lawsuits are different from other lawsuits since they are based on non-criminal provisions. Normally, in sexual assault civil suits, the person initiating the legal suit files a complaint against the people defending against civil sex abuse lawsuits defendant based on the justified incident.
In a civil suit, the outcome of the case is always financial compensations or other types of reliefs as decided by the plaintiff. The following steps explain the process of filing a civil lawsuit.
Consult with representatives.
If the plaintiff is considering going to court, they must talk to their potential representative before filing the legal suit. The attorney will help determine whether there is a valid case that can make it to court.
These consultations will be accorded high-level confidentiality, enabling the plaintiff to reveal every detail of the incident to the attorney. Also, the attorney will advise whether to file the suit with the state or federal judge.
After the consultation phase is over and there is a unanimous agreement to go to court, the accuser then files a statement with the court and presents the copy of the complaint to the party defending the sexual abuse lawsuit.
This statement outlines the damages or injuries the plaintiff suffered, explains how the accused caused the injuries, convinces the court that it has jurisdiction, and asks the court to order for relief. The defendant can file a counterclaim or provide answers to the complaints.
The Discovery Stage.
Once the pleading process is over, both parties will start to gather information to build a strong case. The aim is for both sides to enter into trials with adequate information. This is the longest part of a civil lawsuit.
In some cases, the parties may decide to settle out of court through resolution processes such as mediation or negotiation.
This stage begins with both sides filing a brief outlining their arguments and the evidence they have. During the trial, each lawyer presents their cases to a judge or a jury, beginning with opening statements explaining their arguments. This process starts with the plaintiff.
The parties can then provide their evidence and call witnesses to take the stand if there are any. After the case is presented in full, both parties will make their closing remarks.
Depending on the type of trial, the bench deliberates on the arguments and verdict and announces the outcome. Any side can choose to challenge the court results and motion for a new trial.
If any party does not agree with the ruling from the trial, they can appeal and take the case to an appellate court. The appeal court will review and look for the disparity to affirm the judgment or find an error. If the appellate court found discrepancies, is they may order a new trial or reverse the ruling.
Every year millions of people around the world become victims of sexual abuse. Luckily, these victims have legal rights to charge their abusers in a civil lawsuit to help them seek damages for the psychological and physical damages they suffered from the assault.
Understanding the process of filing a civil lawsuit is essential in ensuring they get success in court. A civil lawsuit starts by consulting a representative, filing a complaint, discovery, trial, verdict, and finally appeal.