Being a victim of human trafficking brings stress and difficulties to a person's life. If you've been in this type of situation, you know from experience the harrowing challenges human trafficking presents. However, the physical, mental, and emotional damages that have occurred as a result of being trafficked can be recovered. You can seek compensation using the legal remedies afforded.
A Tampa human trafficking lawyer can assist you with putting the pieces of your life back together again. An attorney who specializes in human trafficking will investigate every legal avenue you can use to recover the damages from your injuries. When you contact a Tampa human trafficking lawyer, they will discuss your options to file a claim in Florida. Find out about your legal remedies and seek help as you understand more about this crime.
Legal Definition of Human Trafficking
When you think of human trafficking, you might have your own idea about what it is, and you may be correct. There is also a legal definition by the United States. In 2000, the U.S. put in place the Trafficking Victims Protection Act. It defines human trafficking as follows:
a) Sex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such act has not attained 18 years of age; or
b) The recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery. (22 U.S.C. § 7102(9)).
Laws Against Human Trafficking
When slavery was outlawed by the enactment of the 13th Amendment in 1865, it also outlawed human trafficking. Florida Statute § 787.06(2)(d) defines human trafficking as “transporting, soliciting, recruiting, harboring, providing, enticing, maintaining, or obtaining another person for the purpose of exploitation of that person.” This particular law also provides Florida victims of human trafficking a way to seek relief for their injuries.
Tactics Human Traffickers Use
Human traffickers are usually run by people who are using the victims to make money. They seek out people they can manipulate or exploit. They then force the person into whatever activity they are operating. Sometimes they force victims into labor or services, and other times they force them into commercial sex. They may use different methods for the various types of trafficking, but in general the techniques may include:
- Promises of money or romantic relationship
- Debt bondage
Recognizing the Signs of Human Trafficking
Human trafficking can sometimes be noticeable if you keep your eyes open and pay attention. You may see someone occasionally who is being trafficked and not realize it. It's helpful to know the signs, so you can try to help.
Other times, people who are a victim of human trafficking do not have an awareness that they are being trafficked. Maybe they have a language barrier that prevents them from understanding. Or they could be manipulated to believe that what is occurring is normal. So, for them, it is important to know the signs of trafficking, too. These signs include:
- They are in a controlled environment and can't move around as freely as others do.
- They can't access money that should be theirs from working.
- They don't have any power at work.
- They don't have proper identification.
- They work too much.
Human Trafficking Injuries and Damages
Human trafficking always brings trauma and injuries. Whether you are forced into labor or the commercial sex trade, the injuries and damages are significant. You may think because you don't have physical injuries, you can't file a claim for damages. However, that is not so. Damages come in all different forms. Some injuries are not seen, but they are still there. Some of these include:
- Mental anguish
- Physical injuries from forced labor
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of time you could have used in preparing for the future
A Tampa human trafficking lawyer can help you seek the damages you are eligible for under Florida law. These include the following:
Economic damages consist of compensation for monetary losses that resulted from the trafficking. These may be things like your work or medical bills if injured.
The hidden pain and suffering will be compensated through the non-economic damages. The trauma, anxiety, depression, and any other mental anguish you've faced are recoverable damages. Your Tampa human trafficking lawyer will calculate the monetary amount you can collect based on the situation.
These damages are given on top of the other amounts. A judge awards punitive damages in cases where the defendant's actions were egregious and malicious. It serves as a punishment and deterrent.
Statute of Limitations
You will need your Tampa human trafficking lawyer to file within the statute of limitations. In Florida, according to U.S.C. Title 18 § 1595, the victim of human trafficking has 10 years after the incident to file a claim if they are an adult. Minors have 10 years after they turn 18 years old to file a claim for damages.
Contact a Tampa Human Trafficking Lawyer
Begin the pathway to healing by receiving your compensation for your injuries with the help of a Tampa human trafficking lawyer. At Dolman Law Group, a lawyer will assist you with navigating through the proper process and maximizing your award.
At Dolman Law Group, you'll meet with an experienced lawyer for a free case evaluation. The attorney specializes in human trafficking law and has a successful track record. You don't have to worry about paying anything until the case is won. There is nothing to lose when you contact a Tampa human trafficking lawyer. Schedule your appointment today.
13513 Prestige Pl. Suite 103
Tampa, FL 33635