Sexual assault is a deeply personal violation that can cause psychological, emotional, and financial devastation that continues long after the initial physical injuries have healed. If you were sexually assaulted, you don’t have to suffer in silence. Even if the person who harmed you was never held criminally accountable, you may have grounds for a civil claim and be entitled to compensation from your attacker or a business or organization responsible for their conduct.
At Peterson & Associates, P.C., our experienced and empathetic Kansas City injury lawyers provide conscientious and tireless legal representation and support for sexual assault victims. Here’s what you should know about civil sexual assault cases in Missouri and Kansas, including how we can help you navigate the complexities of an unfamiliar court system to obtain the justice and financial recovery you deserve.
Defining Sexual Assault
Sexual assault and sexual abuse are umbrella terms describing a broad range of unwanted or nonconsensual sexual acts against a victim. The actions in question can involve physical contact, such as touching, kissing, fondling, groping, or forced penetration, but they don’t have to; exposing one’s sexual organs to an unsuspecting victim is also a form of sexual assault.
Sexual Assault Can Cause Significant and Lasting Harm
Sexual trauma can have catastrophic and persistent physical, mental, and behavioral health consequences. In addition to severe depression and intense feelings of guilt and shame, sexual assault is also associated with the following:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Relationship and intimacy problems
- Eating disorders
- Chronic pain
- Heart problems
- Gastrointestinal issues
- Sleep disorders
- Increased risk for drug and alcohol abuse, unplanned pregnancies or sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and suicide
Sexual assault can have a long-lasting impact on a person's physical and mental health, often necessitating ongoing medical and psychological treatment that can be financially burdensome. Let our experienced legal team assist you in exploring options for compensation and recovery.
A Tale of Two Legal Systems: Why You Should Pursue a Civil Case
Our country has two legal systems that address sexual offenses, albeit in substantially different ways. The criminal justice system prosecutes and punishes offenders for society’s benefit but doesn’t do much—if anything—to make victims whole. Defendants convicted of sexual assault could face fines, jail, or prison time, but that won’t help you pay for counseling or an emotional support dog. Fortunately, not all roads to recovery lead through the criminal courts.
The civil court system helps compensate victims for sexual assault-related injuries and damages. Depending on the details of your sexual assault claim, recoverable damages could include the following:
- Medical bills
- Counseling or therapy costs
- Wages lost due to time missed from work
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Fear or anxiety
If a judge or jury deems the defendant’s conduct particularly heinous, your recovery may also include punitive damages.
We Help Sexual Assault Survivors Fight for Compensation, Accountability, and Justice
Since 1993, Peterson & Associates, P.C. has fought to protect the rights of injured clients throughout Missouri and Kansas. When you’re injured, results matter. Our accomplished attorneys have collected over half a billion dollars for our clients. When it comes to holding abusers responsible and obtaining compensation for the harm they have caused, our team has the knowledge, empathy, and perseverance to guide you through every step of the legal process.
Cases We Handle
Civil sexual assault cases are governed by various legal statutes, including premises liability laws, which require property and business owners to take reasonable precautions to ensure visitor and guest safety—or face liability for resulting injuries and damages. Examples of potential sexual assault premises liability claims include negligent security cases involving a lack of security personnel or necessary safety features and negligent hiring and supervision claims alleging that a business failed to conduct background checks on an employee or appropriately supervise them in the workplace. Our firm accepts cases involving sexual assaults at:
- Apartment complexes
- Concert venues
- College and universities