When a sexual assault occurs in Vista or elsewhere in Southern California, it can be incredibly difficult to think about the legal ramifications of the attack and who may be civilly liable. In fact, if you or someone you love experienced a devastating sexual assault, you might not even realize that it is possible to file a civil lawsuit and to hold one or more parties civilly liable for your injuries. Perpetrators of sexual assaults can be held criminally liable through the criminal justice system; there are many sexual assault cases where it is also possible to file a civil lawsuit. Frequently, these types of claims are made against a third party whose negligence was a causal factor in the assault. While you may also be able to sue the perpetrator in a civil lawsuit, third parties who are also liable due to negligence may have deeper pockets and may be responsible for paying damages that can help you get the care you need and get back on your feet.
Where do most of these kinds of assaults occur, and what types of third parties may be liable? Our Vista sexual assault lawyers can explain, and we can give you more information about seeking compensation by filing a civil lawsuit in the aftermath of sexual violence in California.
Locations of Sexual Assaults
Where do most sexual assaults happen? According to RAINN, most sexual assaults occur relatively close to a victim’s home or workplace, including:
- Parking lot;
- Public garage;
- Workplace; and
- Home, or a relative’s home.
Hotels and motels, along with nightclubs, can be common locations where sexual assaults occur.
Determining Liability When a Sexual Assault Occurs
When sexual assaults occur at the types of locations discussed above, who is liable? Generally speaking, liability will depend upon the facts of the case, but the party whose negligence allowed the assault to occur may be legally responsible for damages. Examples of parties who could be liable beyond the perpetrator include but are not limited to:
- Property owner who failed to make the premises reasonably safe in order to prevent a sexual assault (such as a nightclub owner or a hotel owner);
- Employer at a workplace who was informed about allegations of sexual assault or sexual violence and did not take appropriate steps, which resulted in a subsequent incident;
- Caregiver at a nursing home or assisted living facility, or the facility itself where a sexual assault occurred as a result of missing early warning signs of sexual violence; and/or
- Teacher at a school or leader at a church or other religious institution who knew about allegations of sexual harassment or violence and did not respond appropriately.
California law recognizes that it can take years before a victim of sexual assault comes forward, and you may be able to file a claim even if you were assaulted in the past due to an extended statute of limitations that applies to many sexual violence cases.
Contact a Vista Sexual Assault Attorney for Assistance
Sexual assaults are devastating, and we know how difficult it can be to think about a lawsuit at this time. Yet obtaining compensation to take care of yourself while you recover and to give yourself the time you need can be essential. Our firm can help you to file a civil lawsuit in order to seek damages after a sexual assault. Do not hesitate to get in touch with one of the Vista sexual assault lawyers at our firm. Contact the Walton Law Firm for more information.
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