Calculating Damages of Sexual Abuse Lawsuits

July 27, 2019 | Attorney, Matthew Dolman
Calculating Damages of Sexual Abuse Lawsuits

What Kind of Restitution is Possible for Sexual Assault Survivors

According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network or RAINN, an American is sexually assaulted every 92 seconds. Their statistics indicate that there is an average of 321,500 victims over the age of eleven of sexual assault and rape every year across the country. These victims come from all kinds of backgrounds, genders, and sexualities yet all suffer through the painful trauma that comes with the experience of being sexually assaulted or raped. This trauma can often have consequences that can interfere with a number of aspects of a person's life for the worse. These damages and more are what make up the core of a civil lawsuit against someone that perpetrated the sexual assault or a third party with liability. However, a common question is “How can someone put a dollar value on the pain someone experiences?”. Find out how to calculate damages of sexual abuse lawsuits.

Florida Sexual Assault Lawsuits

The damages that someone suffers because of a sexual assault deserve to be compensated and sexual assault survivors reserve the right to seek this compensation through civil law. Sizable settlements can be reached with those guilty of sexual assault or even third parties whose negligence contributed to the assault taking place. For example, there are often cases of premises liability where a person may have been assaulted on a property such as an apartment complex or motel and the owner of the property's negligence made them liable.  When pursuing restitution for sexual assault through civil law, a plaintiff must be able to provide evidence of negligence, negotiate with the defense, as well as be knowledgable of the legal process. This can be a lot to handle especially for someone recovering from a traumatic event. Consider Dolman Law as your legal representation in this difficult time. Our lawyers have experience handling cases involving sexual assault that require sensitivity and patience. When your case is in the hands of Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA's sexual assault attorney's you can rest easy with the assurance that your case will be handled with the resources of a large firm but the personal attention of a smaller firm. To schedule a free consultation with Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA either contact us online or call our office at (727) 451-6900.

Determining the Value of Claimed Sexual Assault Damages

There are a number of damages that can come from a sexual assault but most can be placed into two categories of either being economic damages or not. Economic damages can easily have a dollar value attributed since they directly influence a person's finances.  Examples of these kinds of damages include lost wages and loss of earning potential. The calculation of economic damages is significantly easier than calculating non-economic damages. All that it typically takes is the adding up of hours missed of work and the hourly rate of pay to calculate lost wages in most cases. In more complex situations a witness that is an expert in economics may be consulted to help with calculations of this nature. Sexual assault and abuse can cause economic damages such as medical expenses for the injuries that a plaintiff suffered, lost wages from the time a plaintiff was recovering, Loss of earning capacity caused by assault injuries, expenses for counseling or therapy needed after a sexual assault. 

Non-Economic Damages of Sexual Assaults

There is immense damage caused to a survivor of sexual assault that does not come with a tangible dollar value that can be easily calculated. These non-economic damages in a sexual assault claim can include things such as pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment, reputational damage, loss of consortium, and humiliation. When it comes to calculating the exact value of non-economic damages, the process can vary with each type. It is up to the plaintiff to come forward with convincing proof of how significant these damages are and reasoning behind an amount reached for the negotiating table. Precedents set by previous cases play a major role in setting up the usual amounts for certain damages although these precedents are often taken with a grain of salt since every single sexual assault case is different. 

Proving Non-Economic Damages 

The most common way that plaintiffs prove the level of damage caused by a sexual assault is through using expert witnesses whose opinions on their status can be invaluable. For example, an expert witness that is a psychologist that specializes in rape trauma syndrome can provide testimony that analyzes the state of someone that has been sexually assaulted and determine that they have developed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that will affect them for the rest of their lives and require them to seek therapy far into the future. This can go far when it comes to negotiating a fair settlement.

Punitive Damages of Sexual Assault

Punitive damages are used as a form of punishment for defendants and also as a deterrent to help prevent similar behavior occurring again. Punitive damages are often based on the severity of the defendant's conduct and can vary depending on precedent and a jury that decides based on the evidence presented of the defendant's guilt. 

Seek an Experienced Florida Sexual Assault Attorney

If you or a loved one have suffered as a result of sexual assault and/or survived sexual trafficking then you are likely able to seek compensation for the damages you suffered through a civil lawsuit. Sexual assault and other similar crimes affect not just individuals but whole families and even entire communities. Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA provides expert legal representation to those seeking to hold those that sexually assaulted accountable for their actions.  By enlisting the legal assistance of Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA's experienced sexual assault attorneys, you are giving your case the best chance possible at recovering a settlement that you can be comfortable and satisfied with. Our lawyers have been serving the people of Florida for years by successfully securing settlements for sexual assault survivors from parties whose negligence allowed for such tragic experiences to occur. Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA offers free consultations to those that are curious as to how we can assist in your sexual assault injury lawsuit. To contact Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA you can either contact us online or call our office at (727) 451-6900. Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA 800 North Belcher Road Clearwater, FL 33765 (727) 451-6900


Matthew Dolman

Personal Injury Lawyer

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has successfully fought for more than 11,000 injured clients and acted as lead counsel in more than 1,000 lawsuits. Always on the cutting edge of personal injury law, Matt is actively engaged in complex legal matters, including Suboxone, AFFF, and Ozempic lawsuits.  Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess of $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

Learn More