If you’ve been sexually assaulted in Houston, TX, you might be entitled to a substantial monetary award. At Attorney Brian White & Associates, our Houston sexual assault lawyers understand that this is a very difficult time in your life. The fact that you’ve been sexually assaulted can change the course of your life forever. Let us help you hold your attacker and anyone else who contributed to the assault responsible for the suffering you’ve endured.
Our Houston law firm offers a free consultation, so please contact our compassionate team to schedule yours today.
What is Civil Sexual Assault?
In Texas, the crime of sexual assault is often also called rape. It’s a felony offense that can carry years behind bars. However, for personal injury purposes, you do not have to have been raped to file a civil lawsuit against your attacker. Any unwanted sexual contact can be enough to warrant a civil sexual assault lawsuit.
That’s because, in Texas, there’s no cause of action for sexual assault. Instead, civil sexual assault cases are based on things like assault, battery, or intentional infliction of emotional distress. This means that you’d have to prove any of the following things in your sexual assault case:
- Assault: The defendant threatened you with bodily harm and, as a result, you became fearful for your safety. No contact is necessary.
- Battery: The defendant intentionally made unwanted harmful or offensive contact with you, and you’ve sustained an injury, as a result. Contact can be direct or indirect.
- Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress: The defendant engaged in intentionally and outrageous behavior that caused severe emotional distress.
As you can see, sexual assault can fall under one or more of these intentional torts. In theory, your sexual assault lawsuit can argue that you’ve been the victim of all three
Why Do I Need a Personal Injury Lawyer If I’ve Been Sexually Assaulted in Houston?
Sexual assault is both a crime and an act that can have civil consequences. Fortunately, the burden of proof in civil cases is less in civil cases than it is in criminal ones. The state can only convict on sexual assault charges if it can prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. You can be awarded compensation by proving your case by a preponderance of the evidence. This simply means that a jury needs to believe that your story is more plausible than the defendant’s.
However, just because the standard of proof is lower in civil cases doesn’t mean that your accuser will simply throw up their hands and offer to cut you a check. They’ll still fight you every step of the way. They’ll make it as difficult as possible for you to get the money you deserve. Hiring a Houston personal injury lawyer can make a huge difference in your pursuit of compensation.
At Attorney Brian White & Associates, P.C., our legal team has more than 45 combined years of experience helping injury victims in Texas just like you. We know how traumatic a sexual assault can be. We know that it can fundamentally alter your life forever. While money will not take away the fact that you’ve been hurt and violated, it can make a huge difference in the years to come. It can also serve as a little bit of financial justice by hitting your abuser where it hurts – the bank.
That’s why we’re prepared to help you demand the money you need and deserve. What can you expect when you hire us to handle your sexual assault case? We will:
- Investigate the circumstances leading up to and surrounding your attack
- Determine who, other than your attacker, might be responsible for your injuries
- Review police reports, medical records, and other relevant evidence
- Subpoena relevant documents, witnesses, and interested parties
- Consult with experts to help us better understand the technical or medical aspects of your case
- Handle any curveballs associated with a parallel criminal case, and
- Bring your case to a jury in Houston, if necessary.
You can learn more by calling our Houston law office to schedule a free case assessment with our team.
How Could a Criminal Sexual Assault Case Impact My Civil Lawsuit?
The person who sexually assaulted you could very well be charged with a crime – especially if you decide to report the offense and press charges. While criminal and civil cases in Texas are separate, it’s possible that a related criminal matter could impact your civil lawsuit.
If civil and criminal cases unfold at the same time, it’s possible that the civil case might be stayed for a period of time. This means that the defendant asks the court to put the lawsuit on hold until the criminal case is resolved. As long as your civil lawsuit is filed within the applicable statute of limitations, you’ll still have your chance to demand the money you need.
The outcome of a criminal case will not necessarily affect your personal injury lawsuit. Remember, the burdens of proof are different. You can still win your civil lawsuit even if the defendant is acquitted or if the charges are dropped. It can always be beneficial, however, if the defendant takes a plea bargain or is convicted by a jury. We would certainly use that to bolster your injury claim.
These are things you shouldn’t have to worry about. When you hire Attorney Brian White & Associates, our Houston personal injury attorneys will handle all aspects of your case, including any curveballs thrown at us by the criminal justice system. We’ll protect you at every turn and fight to get you the money you deserve.
Who Else Might Be Liable For My Sexual Assault Injuries in Houston, Texas?
Yes, you can file a civil lawsuit against the person who sexually assaulted you. However, you might not know that other parties could be financially responsible for your injuries and suffering, too. In Texas, anyone responsible for an accident or injuries can be on the hook for resulting damages.
In addition to your sexual assault claim, you could also potentially have a legitimate negligence, premises liability, or negligent security claim. Potentially liable parties could include:
- Businesses, including bars, restaurants, and clubs
- Property owners, including the City of Houston
- Hotels and motels
- Landlords, and
- Schools and teachers.
Our team will carefully scrutinize your attack from every possible angle. We’ll work diligently to identify who, other than your attacker, could potentially be responsible. If we determine someone else might share the blame, we will not hesitate to hold them accountable.
Damages Available to Victims of Sexual Assault in Houston
Sexual assault can inflict life-changing physical injuries. For many victims, though, the emotional trauma associated with a sexual assault can be much, much worse. If you’ve been attacked in Houston, you deserve to be fully compensated for all of your injuries and suffering. Attorney Brian White & Associates, P.C. will work diligently to make that a reality for you.
We can seek damages to help compensate for:
- Hospitalization, surgery, medical devices, medication, medical equipment, and other medical expenses
- Rehabilitation and physical therapy
- Lost income and wages
- Reduced earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Depression, anxiety, and PTSD
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life, and more.
Do not underestimate the value of your sexual assault injury case. Our lawyers certainly won’t. We’ll bring in experts to help us evaluate your injuries and understand how the trauma of the attack might shape your life. We’ll strive to identify all of your tangible and intangible costs – today and in the years to come. This approach can help us secure a substantial monetary award on your behalf.
You’ll Have a Limited Time to File a Sexual Assault Lawsuit in Houston
We know that it can be stressful to talk about what happened. We know that it might be difficult to come to terms with your abuse. However, if you want to recover compensation, you will only have a limited time to assert your legal rights.
In Texas, the statute of limitations for sexual assault lawsuits is typically five years. This means that you’ll have up to five years after the date you are sexually assaulted to file a lawsuit against your attacker. You’ll likely have a maximum of two years to file a lawsuit against negligent third parties.
You will lose the right to hold your attacker financially responsible and recover the money you deserve if you wait too long. For this reason, it is important to reach out for legal assistance and advice as soon as you can. At Attorney Brian White & Associates, our compassionate sexual assault lawyers are always standing by. Give us a call today to discuss your case in a safe space.
Let Our Experienced Houston Sexual Assault Lawyers Help You Today
If you or a loved one have been sexually assaulted in Houston, contact Attorney Brian White & Associates, P.C. to schedule a free consultation. Our Houston personal injury lawyers will listen to your story, help you understand your rights, and address any questions that you might have. If you decide to file an injury claim, we will do everything in our power to help you get the money you deserve. The sooner we can get started the better, so give us a call today.