May 29, 2015

How is a civil sex abuse lawsuit resolved?

gavelThere is no one definite answer to how a civil sex abuse lawsuit is resolved. In most cases, it happens before a trial occurs as only a small percentage of civil sex abuse lawsuits actually make it to trial. Most are resolved with a settlement.

One possible outcome is financial compensation for the victim’s pain and suffering, loss of work, medical bills, or a number of other expenses. Even if the defendant is a negligent party, he, she or the institution can still be required to pay restitution. In addition to financial repayment, some settlements can be negotiated to include a public apology or the altering of an institution’s policies regarding sex abuse and hiring employees.

Some common third-party defendants that could be liable for the crime include:

  • Bars/Restaurants
  • Schools
  • Landlords
  • Religious Institutions
  • Employers

Civil Cases and Trials

You’ll have the options of mediation and arbitration if agreeing on a settlement becomes exceedingly difficult. However, if both parties can’t agree, your lawsuit could be resolved with a trial. In this case, the trial would follow much of the same format as a criminal case. Still the standard of proof in a civil trial is lower than that of a criminal trial.

It’s important to remember that no two civil sex abuse lawsuits are the same, so it’s important to discuss potential outcomes with an experienced sex abuse attorney. To learn more about the civil justice system, check out our overview page.