Fort Worth Child Sexual Abuse Attorney
Has your child been molested or sexually abused in Fort Worth, TX? You and your family may want to consider filing a personal injury lawsuit to hold the abuser personally and financially responsible for their reprehensible actions. Contact the compassionate and caring Fort Worth sexual abuse minors advocates at Stephens Law Firm, PLLC to discuss this delicate issue. We will help you fight to get the money your family needs and deserves during this very difficult time.
Your first consultation is free, so don’t hesitate to call our Fort Worth law office to arrange yours today.
How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help If Your Child Has Been Sexually Abused
Sexual abuse is a serious crime in Texas. Sometimes, however, criminal charges just aren’t enough to punish someone for their actions. Sexual abuse involving a child is inexcusable. You can take steps to get a little bit of justice and hit your child’s abuser where it really hurts – their wallet. Further, you may also have a legitimate claim against others – including schools, businesses, and property owners – if they created a situation that allowed the abuse to unfold.
However, now is not the time for you to navigate a contested legal claim. You need – and deserve – to focus on helping your child recover and heal. That’s where the accomplished Fort Worth injury lawyers at Stephens Law Firm, PLLC can help.
For more than 22 years, we’ve stood up for victims of abuse and helped them fight to recover substantial monetary awards. We know that money can’t turn back the clock or make things magically better. However, we’ve also seen what a difference money can make in the lives of victims and their families. It can cover the costs of medical bills, therapy, lost wages, and simply compensate for the anguish and suffering that arise from abuse. In some cases, additional money can even be awarded just to punish the person who has caused so much harm. That’s why we’ll work day and night to help you secure every last dollar you deserve.
As we navigate your case, we will:
- Determine Who Else Might Be Liable: You could potentially have a legitimate claim for damages against someone other than the person who molested or sexually abused your child. We’ll carefully investigate the circumstances surrounding the abuse to identify if someone’s negligence helped to create a situation that put your child in danger.
- Work With Law Enforcement: It’s very possible that your civil case and a related criminal case will unfold at the same time. If this happens, our team will cooperate with law enforcement agencies in an effort to not only support their investigation, but also to ensure that we uncover all pertinent evidence.
- Navigate the Complexities of Parallel Criminal Proceedings: Things can get complicated if your child’s abuser is charged with a crime in Fort Worth. Criminal cases are usually prioritized, which could have implications for your pursuit of compensation. Our team will handle any curveballs and make sure that your case moves forward as quickly as possible.
- Bring Your Child’s Case to a Jury: At Stephens Law Firm, PLLC, our award-winning Texas trial attorneys have logged thousands of hours in the courtroom. Our dynamic courtroom strategies have helped us secure some of the highest jury verdicts in state and national history. We know how to sway a jury and get them to award our clients the compensation they deserve. We won’t hesitate to bring your case to court, if necessary.
What is Child Sexual Abuse?
Child sexual abuse – or child molestation – essentially means any sexual activity with a child. In Texas, the age of consent is 17, which means that children under the age of 17 cannot legally give consent (agree) to have sex.
Child sexual abuse can include:
- Sexual intercourse
- Oral sex
- Masturbating in a child’s presence
- Forcing a child to masturbate while watching
- Exposing genitals to a minor, and
- Sexual petting or touching.
The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), defines child sexual abuse as any “sexual conduct that is harmful to a child’s mental, emotional, or physical welfare.”
Most Children Who Are Molested Know Their Abuser
You go to great lengths to make sure that your child is safe. You only leave them in the custody and care of people you trust. Sadly, most children are sexually abused by someone they know. In fact, it’s estimated that 93 percent of children who are molested or sexually assaulted are abused by someone they know.
This can include:
- Pastors, priests, rabbis, ministers, and clergy
- Other church officials
- Coaches and instructors
- School administrators
- Babysitters and caregivers
- Boy Scout or Girl Scout leaders, and more.
Child sexual abuse isn’t just a crime. It’s a violation of your child’s rights so severe that Texas provides a remedy. Specifically, Texas gives your child (your family) the right to hold the abuser personally and financially accountable for their actions through a civil lawsuit.
Who Else Might Be Responsible For My Child’s Abuse?
In addition to filing a lawsuit against the person who abused or molested your child, there may also be additional grounds on which to seek compensation. That’s because, under Texas state law, anyone whose negligence or carelessness contributes to an injury can be held financially responsible for their role. In other words, if anyone helped to create the situation that led to your child’s abuse, they might be on the hook for damages, too.
- Employers: The company or person who employs your child’s abuser could potentially be responsible, especially if that person was working when the abuse occurred.
- Businesses & Property Owners: When criminal activity can or should be anticipated, property owners have to take certain steps to protect guests and visitors. If negligent security measures – such as a lack of security cameras or inadequate lighting – allowed abuse to happen, the owners might be partly liable for your child’s injuries.
- Schools & Daycares: When you send your kids to school, you expect that they’ll be supervised and safe. You also expect that the people watching your children are looking out for their best interests. When abuse happens at school, the administration or school itself could be liable.
At Stephens Law Firm, PLLC, our attorneys understand that abuse can alter the course of your child’s life forever. So, as we navigate your case, we’ll work diligently to identify anyone and everyone who contributed to this inexcusable conduct. If someone played a role, we’ll do everything we can to hold them personally accountable.
Damages Available in Fort Worth Child Sexual Abuse Injury Cases
We want to make sure that your child is fully compensated for the physical and emotional trauma they’ve been forced to endure. That’s why we’ll identify and seek all available damages, which might include money for:
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Emotional distress, including anxiety, depression, and PTSD
- Mental anguish
- Medical bills and expenses
- Disability, and more.
Valuing damages in these types of cases can be challenging. This is because, apart from medical bills and other easily-identifiable costs, the injuries stemming from child molestation are quite intimate and personal. They’re subjective. So, they’re also highly contested. That’s why our team will bring in experts to help us back our demands for compensation. We’ll turn to medical professionals, mental health experts, child sex abuse experts, vocational rehabilitation professionals, and anyone else who might be able to explain how the abuse will likely affect and shape your child’s life. We’ll use this information to leverage as much money as we can for your family.
There Are Time Limits For Filing a Civil Child Molestation Lawsuit in Texas
For most personal injury cases in Texas, victims have up to two years to file a lawsuit after they get hurt. Matters involving injuries caused by child sexual abuse are different. The statute of limitations in these cases is 30 years if the injury is caused by:
- Sexual assault of a child (Penal Code Section 22.011)
- Aggravated sexual assault of a child (Penal Code Section 22.021)
- Continuous sexual abuse of young child or children (Penal Code Section 21.02)
- Indecency with a child (Penal Code Section 21.11) or
- One of several others instances of child sexual abuse.
This means that children will have a substantial amount of time to bring a claim and demand financial justice after they’ve been abused.
Schedule a Call With Our Compassionate Fort Worth Sexual Abuse Minors Advocates Today
Criminal charges might send your child’s abuser to prison, but it won’t give you the financial means you need and deserve to help your child cope and recovery. Fortunately, you can file a personal injury lawsuit and demand compensation for your family. The experienced Fort Worth personal injury attorneys at Stephens Law Firm, PLLC can help you secure a substantial monetary award. Give our Tarrant County law firm a call today to set up a free consultation and learn more.