If you are the victim of rape, the incident can negatively affect your life for a long time. You may suffer depression, anxiety, and even post-traumatic stress disorder from the ordeal. Although the criminal justice system punishes perpetrators for their wrongdoings, some victims may want to hold their abusers personally responsible by filing a civil lawsuit against them.
Who Can Be Held Accountable for Rape
Several parties can be held responsible for a rape. Besides the actual person who committed the rape, employers, organizations, and others who have authority over the perpetrator can be held accountable. For example, if one of your coworkers committed misconduct, you can pursue a lawsuit against your employer. The company likely has more capital than your coworker, and filing a claim makes them take responsibility for allowing the misconduct to occur.
Damages Available in Rape Lawsuits
If you pursue a lawsuit against the person who raped you, you may be eligible to receive several types of damages, including:
- Medical expenses. Rape can result in physical wounds. Any medical costs that resulted from the rape may be covered, including hopsital stays, medication, ambulance and physical therapy.
- Lost wages. Rape can be so traumatic that it may cause you to take some time off work. You may have taken off work to go to counseling and recover. If this is the case, you may be entitled to receive compensation for lost wages.
- Pain and suffering. Rape can definitely take a toll on your emotional health. You may have trouble sleeping at night or lose all desire to spend time with your family and friends. In this situation, you may be able to receive pain and suffering damages.
Hiring a Lawyer
If you plan to pursue compensation from your abuser, it is a good idea to work with an experienced rape victims lawyer. A lawyer can help you gather evidence, identify key witnesses and protect your legal rights. He or she has worked on many cases of this nature and knows what a tough time you are going through. Your lawyer will fight hard to get you the justice you deserve.