Q: Who can I sue for sexual assault committed while I was a patient in an institution?
Sexual assault is “any type of sexual contact that is non-consensual, including inappropriate touching, rape or attempted rape, child molestation, incest, voyeurism, exhibitionism, and sexual harassment.” It can happen at the hands of a spouse, partner, friend, stranger, or caretaker. It can happen in one’s home, at the job, in an institutional setting or hospital, or even in public.
While sexual assault is never acceptable, it is particularly reprehensible when the victim is an already vulnerable person, such as a child or someone undergoing treatment in an institution or rehab facility.
Recently, the owner of more than 13 rehab facilities in Los Angeles and Orange counties in California was reportedly arrested and charged with multiple counts of sexual assault against several female clients at his Community Recovery rehab centers.
Victims of sexual assault can sue their abusers for compensation for such things as pain and suffering, emotional distress, psychological counseling, present and future medical expenses, and loss of present and future wages. Depending on your particular situation, you may also be able to seek restitution from the California Victim’s Compensation Fund. In addition, if the sexual assault takes place within an institution, like a rehab or hospital facility, a suit against the institution as well as the abuser may be warranted.
Understandably, many victims are so traumatized by the sexual assault(s) that they suffer lasting emotional and/or physical pain. Many struggle with depression, abuse drugs or alcohol, or suffer from suicidal thoughts and may require extensive therapy to help them recover from the assault.
If the allegations against the “rehab mogul” are true, it’s a cruel irony that the sexual abuse victims were already struggling with difficult personal issues that sent them to the rehab facility for help in the first place. Instead, these vulnerable patients were betrayed and further harmed by those they trusted to help them when they couldn’t help themselves.
If you were sexually assaulted, your first step should be to get emergency medical treatment and notify the police. Next, contact a personal injury attorney with experience in sexual assault cases to help you get compensation for your injuries.
Regardless of whether your attacker is criminally charged, you can still pursue a civil action for money damages. Depending on your particular circumstances, you may also be able to sue a third-party if their failure to provide adequate security caused or contributed to your sexual assault.
While nothing will turn the clock back and prevent the sexual assault, the attorneys at the law firm of J&Y understand the sensitive nature of such claims. We can provide compassionate and experienced help to get you the compensation you deserve to weather the financial, emotional, and physical burdens of the assault. No one should be a victim twice.
Please call us at (888) 806-6722 to discuss your case for free. We have offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Sacramento, and Rancho Cucamonga, but serve clients throughout California.