Doral Sexual Abuse Lawyer

December 22, 2023 | Attorney, Matthew Dolman

Sexual abuse leaves long-lasting injuries deeper than what physically appears. In fact, sexual abuse victims contend with both physical and psychological issues. Many people do not realize that confidential and compassionate legal help is available to address sexual abuse cases in court.

Our team at Dolman Law Group understands the sensitive and personal nature of sexual abuse.

Our Doral sexual abuse attorneys offer sympathetic help and legal support for survivors of abuse and assault - including those who have been contending with abuse for years. Please call our Doral office at (305) 930-7688 today to see how we can help.

Schedule A Free Consultation

Why You Should Hire Dolman Law Group for Your Doral Sexual Abuse Case

Dolman Law Doral Sexual Abuse Lawyer Team standing and sitting behind large table

While many law firms and attorneys might take your case, the Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, has built a strong and solid reputation in Doral and other parts of Florida.

When a client walks through our doors, calls our offices, or fills out our contact form, our attorneys are ready and available to sit down with them and listen to their side of the story. We know that these cases are never easy, and they cause a lot of tense and stressful moments, which is why our team remains by your side, helping you navigate the entire process from start to finish.

The following are some important reasons why you should hire Dolman Law Group for your sexual abuse case:

  1. We give 100 percent of our attention to you: When a sexual abuse survivor enters our office, our lawyers know and understand that it took a lot of courage to make it to this point. Therefore, we give you 100 percent attention during your initial consultation and other meetings. You will never have to worry about whether our team is listening to you or hearing the exact words coming out of your mouth when telling us about your experience and what happened to you.
  2. We know that more than one option is important: As attorneys, it's our foremost responsibility to attentively listen, meticulously analyze the intricate details of your case, and meticulously evaluate the array of legal options available for pursuit. Our commitment extends to a comprehensive explanation of these options, ensuring a detailed exploration that empowers you to make informed decisions about the course of action that aligns most effectively with your needs and goals. As we navigate the legal landscape together, your agency and understanding throughout this process are paramount considerations.
  3. We have the experience, skills, and knowledge needed to succeed: Our legal team embodies a wealth of experience, unparalleled skill sets, and an extensive knowledge base specifically tailored to handle and navigate the intricate terrain of sexual abuse claims and the intricate legal framework encompassing these cases. This experience extends to a nuanced understanding of the laws, precedents, and avenues pertinent to these sensitive matters. By recognizing that our firm possesses a robust arsenal of resources, tools, and strategies finely attuned to fortify the success of your case, you can rest assured. Your peace of mind stems from the assurance that our team operates at the forefront of this specialized field, ensuring a comprehensive approach that prioritizes your case's success and well-being.
  4. We offer skilled legal advice and support your decision-making for the best outcomes. We know it can be challenging to handle the ins and outs of your legal case while also focusing on recovering and rebuilding your life. That is why our team provides outstanding legal advice and helps you make the best decisions for your case.
  5. We assist in locating and gathering the relevant evidence: Evidence helps support and back up the facts of your claim. Therefore, to hold the perpetrator accountable for their behavior and actions, you will need some type of evidence to show that the perpetrator sexually abused you and caused you physical, mental, and financial hardships. Instead of worrying about how you will obtain this evidence that you need alone, our sexual abuse attorneys will work with you to find and collect the appropriate evidence to hold the abuser responsible.
  6. We know your rights and will inform you of them: Our firm will inform you of your rights, and we will ensure that you fully understand them. Once you're aware of and comprehend your rights, our sexual abuse lawyers will actively defend and safeguard them. We will ensure that no one can ever take away your rights.
  7. We will never break your trust and ensure that you remain anonymous: When speaking with a sexual abuse lawyer, we know that it is most likely very important for you to remain anonymous. You may not be ready for anyone to find out what happened to you, and that is your right. Therefore, you can rest assured that every meeting with our team will be completely confidential. Your safety and privacy are always our top priorities.
  8. We will handle all forms of communication with the abuser: We know and understand that you do not want to see or speak to the abuser. That said, our lawyers will make sure that you never have to face or make contact with the abuser for any reason. Instead, we will handle all forms of communication with them and their legal team, stand beside you at each trial hearing, and inform you of any possibility that the abuser may be near, such as when you are testifying in court.

At Dolman Law Group, Our Doral Sexual Abuse Lawyers Believe You

You may feel hopeless and alone right now, which is natural after everything you have been through. However, we want you to know that at Dolman Law Group, our sexual abuse lawyers believe your story.

When you step into our office, you do not have to worry about our attorneys dismissing you or not believing certain information that you share with us. Instead, we believe that you didn't deserve the abuse you experienced, and we actively support sharing your story.

At our firm, we assure sexual assault victims that they've done nothing wrong, countering the shame that often silences them from speaking their truth. Our attorneys will always show you compassion, empathy, and understanding when speaking to you.

The Definition of Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse can be "any nonconsensual or exploitive sexual behavior or activity imposed on an individual without their consent."

Any unwanted sexual acts can use this definition to describe occurrences involving an adult, child, elderly person, a married individual, an unmarried individual, a disabled person, and others. That said, if someone touched you or forced you into any sexual activity without your consent, you likely experienced sexual abuse.

You Have a Right to File a Civil Case for Sexual Abuse

Many people do not realize they have the right to sue an individual or organization in civil court based on sexual abuse claims. The burden of proof in civil court cases is lower than for criminal court cases, so they are often easier to pursue. In addition, you need not pursue a criminal court case to secure a successful personal injury case outcome.

Victims of sexual abuse are sometimes concerned they will have to relive the details of their abuse on public display. However, working with compassionate attorneys means victims contend with as little difficulty as possible.

When you choose our firm, our lawyers will handle every step of your case so you can focus on recovery. You can heal your mind and body, trusting that your legal team is developing the best plan to protect your legal rights, personal safety, and dignity.

Understanding Sexual Abuse

Sexual Abuse in Doral

Sexual abuse includes a variety of physical and nonphysical actions. Sometimes, sexual abuse occurs just once. In other cases, abuse repeats over the course of many years. Many people do not even realize they experienced abuse until years later, as is common when abuse happens to young children. Common examples of abuse include:

  • Inappropriate touching - Fondling and other unwanted or nonconsensual touching are inappropriate. Touching is sometimes a form of grooming, testing the waters, and building trust in potential victims.
  • Rape - Sexual penetration by force or restraint is rape. Rape also occurs when one party is unable to consent to sexual contact, sometimes as a result of drug or alcohol intoxication and sometimes because one party is a minor. The age of consent in Florida is 18.
  • Pornography - Using minors to create pornographic or sexual photos or videos is illegal. Distribution of the pornographic material is also a crime.
  • Indecent exposure - Showing one's genitals to a nonconsenting individual or minor is abuse. Exposure may occur on the street, on public transportation, or even in a home.
  • Sexual exposure - Exposing a child to sexual materials or actions is abuse. For example, two adults may not engage a child in watching them perform sexual activities.

Many people are unsure if they were victims of abuse. If you are unsure, discussing your experience with an attorney can shed light on a difficult event in your life. We want to explain your legal rights and options.

Doral Sexual Abuse Victims and Injuries

According to statistics compiled by the Florida Department of Health Violence and Injury Prevention Section (VIPS), roughly one in six women in the state has experienced rape or attempted rape in her life. The same researchers determined that nearly 42 percent of Florida women have been the victim of sexual violence outside of rape. About 20 percent of men in the state experienced sexual violence.

Overall, the report states that there were almost 8,000 forcible sexual offenses reported to the police in the state of Florida, and over 4,000 arrests made due to these offenses. Although this may not seem like a lot, you should keep in mind that many sexual offenses never get reported. Victims might not feel comfortable or confident to report their abuse, or they fear that their safety or identity will be at risk if they file a report. Therefore, there is a high probability that the number of sexual abuse offenses is much higher than these reported numbers.

Doral itself reported 14 rapes in a recent year. These numbers shed light on the prevalent but secretive nature of abuse across the state.

Many injuries associated with sexual abuse do not become apparent right away - some people do not experience the side effects of abuse until years later. Additionally, some people do not realize they have suffered an injury by abuse. They may think the injuries they are living with are normal. Even when the physical injuries of sexual abuse have healed, trauma often remains.

Potential Harm From Sexual Abuse

Victims of abuse may face a variety of ailments that warrant professional or medical assistance. Injuries that may result from sexual abuse include:

  • Sexually transmitted diseases - Sexual contact may result in sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including herpes, gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, and HPV. Some diseases, like AIDS, are not curable. Seeking medical attention soon after sexual abuse allows the victim to undergo testing and treatments for these conditions.
  • Pregnancy - Unwanted pregnancy comes with its own set of physical and emotional trauma. Some women opt to terminate pregnancies caused by rape, while others opt to raise the child or place him or her up for adoption. Regardless of the choice a woman makes, the decision comes with a complex network of thoughts and emotions.
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder - Victims of abuse often face post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This condition may bring about flashbacks, anxiety, and extreme terror.
  • Force injuries - Some victims of abuse face injuries to their genitals caused by force. Physical bruising, scraping, and cutting of the exterior and interior genitals may result from forced sexual contact. Splitting of the skin or cutting may require surgeries for proper healing. These injuries sometimes make it more difficult to urinate. In addition, some women experience abdominal pain with these injuries.
  • Bruising - Bruising may result from blunt force to the genitals or any other part of the body affected by the abuse. Discoloration and pain are the most common symptoms associated with bruising.
  • Restraint injuries - Marks left behind by ligatures, hands, or other restraining devices can be quite painful. Moreover, if the perpetrator uses restraint against the throat, the victim may experience a fracture.
  • Anxiety - Victims of sexual abuse may feel intense anxiety about certain people, places, and activities. Others may have generalized anxiety, sometimes delving into panic disorder. These conditions may require therapy sessions or medication to address. For some victims, the anxiety never subsides.
  • Depression - Depression may involve sadness or listlessness. The mental health condition sometimes comes with the feeling that life will never be okay again. After a traumatic event like abuse, depression may even lead to suicidal ideation.
  • Other emotional harm - People who undergo sexual trauma may begin to withdraw or isolate themselves. Some victims also go on to experience eating disorders and insomnia. Mental health treatments, though expensive, are common methods of treating these conditions.

Civil Actions Involving Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse victims must keep in mind that filing a claim of sexual abuse is not a cause of action in civil court. As a result, victims should pursue claims alleging the specific instances of harm that occurred from the abuse. These may include:

  • Assault - Assault includes threats of violence or attempts to harm a person.
  • Battery - Battery differs from assault in that the abuser intentionally acts upon a threat.
  • Infliction of emotional distress - An individual inflicts emotional distress upon a victim when they behave in a way such that they want to traumatize the victim.
  • False imprisonment - Holding a person down or locking them in one area is an example of false imprisonment. In the case of sexual abuse, this might include restraining the victim by holding them down.
  • Negligent hiring or supervision - A company that fails to perform adequate background checks is negligent in hiring. Companies have an expectation to check out employees who will be working in fields like security or nursing.
  • Premises liability - If the unsafe or defective nature of a property or business lends itself to sexual abuse, premises liability comes into play.
  • Inadequate security - Hotels, hospitals, schools, and other businesses lacking security may face this claim in court.

Suing Sexual Abuse Perpetrators in Doral

Typically, the individual sued for sexual abuse is the direct abuser. An abuser may be a parent, step-parent, foster parent, sibling, relative, family friend, or babysitter. Perpetrators of abuse may even be people deemed trustworthy by society, like teachers, religious leaders, and daycare staff members.

When an Entity Is Liable for Sexual Abuse

Suing Sexual Abuse Perpetrators in Doral

Sometimes, a third party is legally responsible for allowing the abuse or assault to occur. Facilities, like hospitals or hotels lacking adequate security or background checks, are negligent if somebody can use these weaknesses to abuse a victim.

For instance, several women sued a golf resort and spa in Doral after they claimed they were assaulted during massages, as reported by CBS4. The women claimed an employee touched them sexually without consent, leaving them shocked and violated.

Victims and their parents also criticize schools for their role in perpetuating sexual abuse. Florida schools had reported 165 cases of sexual assault and rape during a four-year period, according to one study reported by WLRN. Another report from WSVN indicates that 132 sexual incidents occurred in Miami-Dade during one recent school year. In Broward County, that number is 480 assaults. When you consider that many instances of sexual abuse go unreported, this figure is frightening.

Victims Do Not Always Know Their Abusers

Sometimes, the abuser is a stranger. Local10 reported that one man in northwest Miami-Dade County followed two teenagers to a bus stop, where he assaulted and robbed them with a firearm. In situations like this, victims may struggle with seeking personal injury cases because they do not know who assaulted them.

Again, simply because you opt not to pursue criminal prosecution does not mean you cannot push forward with a civil lawsuit. You can also discuss the process of filing a criminal claim against the perpetrator with your personal injury attorney if you determine doing so is in your best interest.

Signs Someone Might Have Suffered Abuse

Recognizing a change in the behavior of your friend, family member, classmate, child, or coworker should spark concern. If you suspect that sexual abuse might be the reason, being mindful of specific signs becomes crucial.

Some indicators include:

  • Seeming sad, down, or depressed
  • Withdrawn or distant
  • Not showing up or having no interest in doing normal activities
  • No appetite
  • High anxiety or paranoia
  • Frequent drug or alcohol use
  • Constant worrying
  • Preferring to be alone more often than usual
  • Hygiene issues
  • Self-conscious or low self-esteem
  • More quiet than usual
  • Seeming very tired
  • Mood swings or easily agitated
  • Cannot sleep and awake throughout the night

When someone confides in you about their abuse, demonstrating genuine care and a willingness to assist becomes paramount. Often, you might be the sole person they've entrusted with this information, making you their sole avenue for seeking the support they require. Your role in offering help and understanding can be pivotal in their journey toward healing and seeking assistance.

What Resources Are Available to Help Sexual Abuse Victims?

Whether you or your child find yourselves grappling with the aftermath of sexual abuse, numerous invaluable resources exist that you can explore or extend to others who might benefit.

Below is a selection of the top-recommended resources available:

Some organizations operate in Florida, while others have a nationwide presence. Regardless of their location, these organizations dedicate themselves to aiding sexual assault victims who are unsure of what steps to take or where to seek the necessary assistance.

So, when you choose to contact one of these organizations, remember that the staff members genuinely prioritize your health, safety, and well-being. They will do everything possible to facilitate your escape from your abuser, secure your safety, and aid in moving you forward with your life.

You should also always discuss a possible civil injury claim with our Doral sexual abuse attorneys from Dolman Law Group.

Recovering Damages for Doral Sexual Abuse Victims

Erasing the trauma of an event like sexual abuse may not be possible, but seeking financial compensation can help survivors find justice. The compensation can also cover some of the expenses associated with physical and mental recovery.

Victims of sexual abuse can recover compensation for their injuries by pursuing damages to include:

  • Medical bills - These damages cover everything from emergency treatment to ongoing appointments, therapies, and medications. Sexual abuse victims may also pursue the costs of terminating a pregnancy, childbirth, and other pregnancy-related expenses. Psychological and psychiatric treatments are also possible damages.
  • Pain and suffering - The physical pain a victim experiences is extreme following sexual abuse. These damages cover the physical pain felt during and after abuse.
  • Emotional distress - Compensation can never take away the emotional sting of sexual abuse, but it may help by ensuring you can access mental and emotional counseling and ongoing mental health support.
  • Lost enjoyment of life - Some people struggle to regain control and enjoyment of their lives in the months and years after the abuse. Suing a perpetrator for sexual abuse may compensate you for this pain.
  • Punitive - Intentional sexual assault is often grounds for punitive damages. These are damages the judge determines as a punishment to the offender.

Navigating the Road to Recovery After Sexual Abuse

Text Sexual Abuse written under a wire fence

Cleveland Clinic research highlights the mental, emotional, and traumatic aftermath of sexual abuse. As a survivor of this type of abuse, you may struggle with nightmares, depression, fear, and flashbacks - all symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

PTSD can cause you to struggle to cope with the memories of your abuse and its symptoms that can make day-to-day life hard. Do not hesitate to get professional assistance and support if you:

  • Were abused as a minor
  • Are depressed or anxious
  • Turned to drugs or alcohol to cope
  • Have no support system or resources

Recovering from the trauma of sexual abuse takes time. Recovery can also mean help and support from trained professionals. A personal injury lawyer may have resources that can help you get the mental health support you need. Our team can also add the cost of this vital and necessary treatment to the recoverable damages you request.

Should I Plan to Attend a Court Trial Hearing for My Sexual Abuse Case?

One of the first questions that our clients often ask at their consultation is if they should plan to attend a court trial hearing for their sexual abuse case. The answer to this question can be complicated because each person's case is unique and different. Therefore, one person may experience multiple trial hearings in their sexual abuse case, while another person's case might swiftly settle outside of court.

Keeping that in mind, our Doral sexual abuse attorneys consistently prepare our clients for potential trial hearings. Though the chances of settling outside of court are high, we believe our lawyers and clients are prepared and ready in case a case reaches that point.

A Lawyer Can Help You Resolve Your Case Without Going to Court

Facing a perpetrator of abuse in court can be difficult and challenging. It can also be brave and empowering. When our legal team represents you, we work hard to resolve your case with a favorable settlement as opposed to adding the stress and uncertainty of a trial to an already difficult ordeal.

You do not have to deal with the nuances of the settlement process on your own. As the case progresses, we will:

  • Share and review every settlement offer with you
  • Describe the advantages and disadvantages of each
  • Advise you on when to settle and when to go to court
  • Represent you through every phase of the trial, if necessary

If an appropriate settlement offer is not forthcoming, we will not hesitate to represent you in court and keep fighting for the compensation you deserve. We will also make sure you receive the mental and emotional support you need throughout the trial process.

Our Client-Centered Approach to Recovery

Our sexual abuse recovery team is committed to a whole-client approach to recovery. While we focus on holding the perpetrator or other party liable for your financial recovery, we also understand how important it is to foster physical and emotional recovery.

To ensure you have the support you need, our team will share resources about professionals and professional associations that can support the mental and emotional support you need. Your health and well-being matter, so our team works hard to make sure you can focus on yourself while we take care of everything else.

Remember that You Ultimately Make the Decisions Regarding Your Claim

Your sexual abuse claim is yours. Therefore, you ultimately make the decisions regarding your claim. Although we're here to guide you in navigating the intricate legal system, this narrative belongs to you, and you retain the autonomy to make your choices.

Our team can review your options and explain which ones are best for your justice and recovery, but you ultimately decide what you want to do. We know that you may feel like you have lost all control of your life, but we want you to know that your case is something you still have control over. You can decide whether to take a settlement or the case to trial. We are responsible for protecting your best interests and taking over or handling anything you need us to.

Sexual Abuse Perpetrators May Attempt to Avoid Responsibility

The individuals you pursue in court will likely make a variety of claims in an attempt to avoid liability. For example, the perpetrator may claim they were never convicted of a crime in court. However, the law does not require a criminal conviction to prove liability in civil court.

These individuals may also claim that the abuse occurred long ago, possibly violating the statute of limitations. On the other hand, a 2010 law grants minors abused before the age of 16 no statute of limitations for civil action (Florida Statutes 95.11(9)).

Still, time is of the essence in sexual abuse recovery cases. You cannot rush the recovery process, and our team works hard to ensure you have the time you need to experience optimal physical and mental health recovery. We get compensation that allows you to take your time in recovery and cope with the trauma of your situation at your own pace.

Some Entities Also Undermine These Claims

Organizations also try to get out of liability for sex abuse cases. According to reporting from Sun-Sentinel, in five lawsuits, the Palm Beach County Schools district claimed it was less liable for abuse by blaming the victims. The district claimed that four third-graders molested by their teacher were “careless and negligent” in addition to being “old enough to appreciate the consequences of their actions.”

Miami-Dade County schools have also participated in this method of shirking responsibility. The schools have settled after cases of teachers having sexual relationships with students, sexual battery, sexual assault, and fondling. In some cases, the district claimed the students shared some culpability or negligence.

The Deadline to File a Sexual Abuse Claim

Before you decide to file a sexual abuse claim, you should make sure that you have not missed the deadline. While you generally have a few years to take legal action, you mustn't let the deadline slip you by. The sooner you begin speaking with an attorney, the sooner you can get compensation for your losses.

The deadlines to file a sexual abuse claim are:

  • Suppose you experienced sexual abuse from a person that you lived with or were dependent on, such as a parent, guardian, sibling, aunt, uncle, grandparent, or other family member. In that case, you can file a claim up to four years after your dependence ends. Another option that you have is to file a claim four years from the time that you realized and became aware of the abuse that occurred.
  • If you experienced sexual abuse before turning 18, you have seven years from your 18th birthday to file a claim. That said, you must file a claim between 18 and 24. If you wait until age 25 or older, your claim will no longer be valid.
  • There is no deadline for those who were victims of sexual battery before turning 16. Therefore, if you are a victim of sexual battery that occurred before the age of 16, you can file a sexual abuse claim anytime.

Sexual Abuse Attorneys in Doral Offer Compassion and Support

Doman Law Group - Sexual Abuse Attorneys in Doral

The goal of a civil court case is to restore the victim so that they can be as whole as possible after the lawsuit. With a compassionate and knowledgeable Doral personal injury attorney, you can develop an effective plan for pursuing a civil court case against a sexual abuse perpetrator or negligent entity.

Our team at Dolman Law Group understands the difficult nature of speaking up about sexual abuse, and we want to give you a safe, judgment-free place to do so. Our team offers free consultations that allow you to better understand your goals for a personal injury lawsuit. Even if you have already pursued criminal charges or never intend to, you can contact our lawyers to learn more about your rights.

Call our Doral office today at (305) 930-7688 or contact us online. We are ready to fight for you.


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