After being involved in a human trafficking situation, you may feel hopeless and helpless. Even if you've gotten out of the situation, you may not know what steps to take next to begin to heal. It requires time and resources to aid in the healing process. You may not realize your rights after being trafficked. Some people who are trafficked may feel that they don't have any options.
However, with the aid of a San Antonio human trafficking lawyer, you can recover the damages from the harm you've suffered. A lawyer will walk you through the legal process and advise you about your next steps.
What Is Human Trafficking?
Human trafficking occurs whenever someone uses any type of force, fraud, or manipulation to get someone to do labor or sexual acts. Human trafficking may or may not involve physical violence. The person doing the trafficking could use their power over the other person to elicit what they want.
Sometimes the trafficker uses fraud or exploitation to take advantage of a person or situation. This leads them to being able to get the vulnerable person into a seemingly trapped situation where they begin to take advantage of them.
Laws Concerning Human Trafficking
Several human trafficking laws and regulations try to prevent it from occurring. The Mann Act and all the subsequent amendments make it a felony if someone persuades, induces, entices, or coerces another person to travel across state lines to engage in prostitution. This is one of the laws concerning human trafficking, since many times traffickers will attempt to get the individual to a different location or state.
Texas Penal Code Title 5, Chapter 20a states that a person who traffics can be convicted of a second-degree felony and receive a maximum possible fine up to $10,000 and prison time of up to 20 years.
Statistics on Human Trafficking
Statistics on human trafficking include:
- There are an estimated 24.9 million victims worldwide at any given time.
- In Texas, there are about 313,000 victims of human trafficking.
- Of those, nearly 234,000 were adult victims of labor trafficking.
- 79,000 were minors and victims of sex trafficking.
- In 2019, Texas had the second-highest number of human trafficking cases in America.
- The U.S. Department of State estimates that between 14,500 to 17,500 people are trafficked from other places into the United States each year. However, these numbers don't include the thousands of others who are trafficked inside the borders.
Common Tactics of Human Traffickers
Human traffickers use whatever tactics they can to entice people into human trafficking. Once they have a person under their control, it may seem difficult to break free. They might use the person's language barrier as a way to lure them into trafficking activity, or they may make them promises about a job, a future, or even a romantic relationship. Sometimes minors are kidnapped and forced into human trafficking activities.
People who are being trafficked often don't see a way out. They may feel that they won't have any money, anywhere to live, or no way to survive if they don't keep doing as they're told. Others may suffer emotional and mental abuse, which makes it difficult to break free. The human trafficker could try to hold something over the other person, such as their immigration status or their lack of stability being on their own.
Can I File a Lawsuit After a Human Trafficking Experience?
According to the Civil Practice and Remedies Code Title 4, § 98.002, a person who engages in trafficking of another person is liable to the person who was trafficked, and the victim can file for all damages that result from the trafficking.
In addition, if you were a victim but the trafficker did not get convicted because of taking a plea deal, they were charged with a lesser offense, or some other reason, they are still liable for all civil damages. This is outlined in Texas Penal Code Chapter 20A.
Damages You Can Claim in a Trafficking Suit
The law further defines the three types of damages a plaintiff can claim in such a case. These are as follows:
These consist of compensatory damages for items of losses you may have incurred during the trafficking. For example, if you were trafficked for labor, you would be able to sue for the labor you should have been paid, etc.
These damages involve all the pain and suffering you've endured. It can also include mental health issues that result from the trauma. This amount can be substantial based on the severity of the situation and how long you were trafficked. Your San Antonio human trafficking lawyer will provide you with details.
These are the same as punitive damages, and you are entitled to receive them. Since this was a crime of fraud and malice, you can seek compensation for these types of damages.
Exemplary damages are given as a way to punish the wrongdoer and to deter others from doing the same thing. There is typically a limit to exemplary damages, but in the case of someone committing a felony, there is no cap.
Contact a San Antonio Human Trafficking Lawyer
You can begin the healing journey after being trafficked by holding the person who did this responsible in a civil suit. Start reclaiming your life and recovering the damages done to you by filing a legal claim against the perpetrator. A San Antonio human trafficking lawyer at Dolman Law Group specializes in this type of law and can help you obtain the compensation you deserve.
At Dolman Law Group, we'll give you a free case assessment. You won't have to pay any fees until your case is won. An experienced human trafficking lawyer will work with you one-on-one to recover every legal damage. Schedule your appointment today.
San Antonio Office
921 S St Mary's St #2
San Antonio, TX 78205
Phone: (210) 361-2039