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Jonathan Rosenfeld

January 19, 2023

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In a society where a person is sexually assaulted every 68 seconds [1], knowing what to do if you find yourself in this situation and understanding the importance of procuring the services of an experienced sexual abuse lawyer is essential. Keep reading to learn more about how individuals or entities may be held liable for such reprehensible acts and all the ways our Chicago sexual abuse lawyers can help. 

How Our Chicago Sexual Abuse Lawyers Can Help

Working with a Chicago sexual abuse lawyer can be instrumental in achieving justice for your case. Here’s how we can help:

  • We provide clear, step-by-step guidance in sexual abuse cases, which are complex and overwhelming.
  • We fight tirelessly for your rights and work diligently to secure the compensation you deserve. 
  • We can connect you with relevant resources like therapists, physicians, or support groups tailored specifically towards sexual abuse survivors.

Navigating the aftermath of sexual violence is a tough journey, but you don’t have to do it alone. With our experienced sexual assault attorneys on your side, you have a chance to obtain justice for what you’ve endured. Chicago Sexual abuse lawyers

The Difference Between Criminal and Civil Court for Sexual Assault Cases

In a criminal court case, the state prosecutes an individual who violated the law. These cases must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, which is the highest legal standard. A conviction can lead to probation, fines, prison time, and even sex offender registry. On the other hand, civil cases are typically focused on resolving disputes between two private parties; in this case, the perpetrator of the sexual abuse and the victim. The primary goal in these cases is to seek compensation from the party or parties responsible.  Our role is focused on civil as opposed to criminal litigation. We represent victims of sexual abuse and advocate for their rights through civil court claims against those who have traumatized them. We fight tirelessly to ensure fair compensation for the losses stemming from sexual abuse.

When Can Sexual Abuse Victims File a Claim

In Illinois, most sexual abuse offenses have no statute of limitations, meaning a victim can file a claim as soon as they are ready to take this difficult step. As laws can change and exceptions may apply based on individual case circumstances, seeking advice from experienced Chicago sexual assault attorneys will provide more personalized guidance. Contact Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers today to schedule a free consultation. 



Do You Have a Sexual Abuse Case?

Sexual abuse encompasses a broad spectrum of actions ranging from forcible penetration to non-consensual touching and fondling. The basis for civil lawsuits is rooted in definitions within criminal law.  In the context of Illinois legislation, criminal sexual abuse generally occurs when a person initiates an act engaging in unwanted sexual contact via explicit force or threat or commits an act of sexual conduct and knows that the victim cannot understand the nature of the act or is unable to provide knowing consent. 

Common Forms of Sexual Abuse

The term sexual abuse is used to describe a variety of despicable acts that exploit one person’s boundaries for another person’s gratification. This violation takes on many forms:

  • Non-consensual touching
  • Sexual assault or rape
  • Child Molestation or exploitation
  • Coercion into sexual activities

While this list isn’t exhaustive, it encompasses a range of actions that would be considered sexual abuse. Each survivor’s experience is unique, and even cases that might not fall cleanly into one category may still qualify for legal recourse. Chicago Sexual Abuse Attorney Ensuring the Predator is Held Liable

The Consequences of Sexual Violence

The impact of sexual abuse goes far beyond the immediate harm victims experience. It is a highly traumatic event that has both immediate and long-term effects on survivors, including:

  • Emotional trauma, like guilt, shame, fear, anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD);
  • Physical injuries, which may include bruises or internal injuries from the assault itself and sometimes result in chronic pain or other long-lasting complications;
  • Many sexual abuse survivors report feelings of isolation as shame or fear leads to withdrawal from their friends, family, and support networks;
  • Some sexual assault victims struggle with substance abuse while trying to manage the stress and trauma induced by the incident. 

While these outlined areas represent some potential impacts facing many victims, it’s important to remember that each person handles this physical and emotional trauma in their own way. 

Debunking Common Myths About Sex Abuse Claims

There are many misconceptions surrounding the issue of sexual abuse, making it even more challenging for survivors to seek help or justice. It’s critical to dispel these misconceptions and support sexual abuse victims as they navigate their journey toward healing and legal recourse.

  • Myth: Sexual abuse is only committed by strangers.
  • Truth: Contrary to this misconception, 73% of sex abuse victims know their attackers.[2]
  • Myth: Victims bring on their abusive treatment through provocative clothing or excessive alcohol consumption.
  • Truth: Responsibility for anything that might be considered sexual assault rests entirely with the predator involved, and the victim’s manner of dressing or level of intoxication never justifies a perpetrator’s behavior. 
  • Myth: Sexual abuse is exclusive to women and girls.
  • Truth: Any person irrespective of gender, age, or societal status can be victims of sexual abuse. Approximately 1 in 6 men have experienced sexual abuse or assault. [3]
  • Myth: If the abuse really happened, the victim would report it immediately.
  • Truth: Reporting a traumatic event like sexual abuse can take time. Various factors such as fear, guilt, and confusion hinder many victims from coming forward. Some may even choose to never reveal their experiences. The delay in reporting doesn’t deny the fact that such an act occurred.

If you’ve experienced any type of sexual abuse, we’re here to help. Contact Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers today.

Chicago Child Sexual abuse lawyer

What to Do If You or a Loved One Is a Victim of Sexual Abuse

Here are some steps you should take that may aid in the recovery process and assist in preserving the option for future legal action:

  • Recognize the signs which often include depression, change in behavior patterns, withdrawal from social activities, and discomfort with physical contact.
  • Seek medical attention to treat and discuss options around preventative care for STDs or potential pregnancy, even when physical signs of trauma aren’t immediately noticeable. 
  • Report the incident to the local law enforcement agency.
  • Seek counseling through therapeutic services or the National Sexual Assault Hotline.
  • Contact an attorney for sexual assault victims for guidance into possible steps, like criminal prosecution as well as civil claims.

Sexual Abuse Cases That We Handle

We handle various types of sexual abuse cases across different settings with a team of:

Sexual Abuse Settlement Amounts

Monetary compensation varies widely depending on many factors, such as the nature of the incident, who is liable, and its overall impact on your life, for example. Here are some specific cases we’ve settled:

  • A teenage boy was groomed and assaulted while seeking treatment for addiction at an inpatient facility. The facility had received prior complaints about similar behavior from other residents but failed to take any interventions to address the issues. Our sexual abuse attorneys helped reach a confidential 8 figure settlement for the victim.
  • In another case of child sexual abuse, three boys were molested by a youth sports coach who had faced prior allegations at a previous program but was hired anyway. Our lawyers were able to obtain a settlement of more than $7 million.
  • A woman was raped by a hotel maintenance worker who used a universal keycard to access her room. Our lawyers for sexual assault victims were able to negotiate a settlement of more than $3 million.

We can help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers and learn what the next steps are. 

Damages That a Sexual Abuse Attorney Can Help You Recover

As a victim of sexual abuse, you may be entitled to various forms of compensation. A skilled sexual assault victim lawyer can help you recover the following types of damages: 

  • Economic damages, which cover quantifiable financial losses attributable to the abuse, like medical bills (past and future) and lost earnings or earning capacity if you were unable to work during recovery or as a result of sustained trauma.
  • Non-economic damages, which are less tangible and more difficult to quantify and compensate for non-monetary losses sustained, like physical and mental pain and suffering resulting from the abuse and loss of enjoyment of life. 
  • Punitive damages, which aim to punish the offender monetarily and discourage such reprehensible conduct in the future.

Chicago Children Sexual Molestation Attorney Helping Victims Seek Justice

Liability in Sex Abuse Cases

In sexual abuse or assault cases, many different parties might be found responsible. This includes:

  • The perpetrators;
  • Employers and organizations can be held accountable for an employee’s behavior if they do not take appropriate precautions to prevent such conduct;
  • Property owners and landlords, if they fail to provide adequate safety measures, which led to the sex abuse;
  • Schools and educational institutions, for not responding swiftly to protect students or for lack of suitable measures preventing such incidents;
  • Government entities, when the abuse involves state or local government employees, such as police officers or social services personnel;
  • Healthcare providers, like doctors, nurses, or therapists, and even their employers. 

Many other parties could potentially bear liability depending on the specifics of your case. It’s crucial to consult an experienced attorney who can identify all possible defendants and guide you through the complexities of your particular claim.

Evidence Needed to Support a Sexual Abuse Civil Lawsuit

Various types of evidence are pivotal in establishing your case for a sexual abuse civil lawsuit, including:

  • Medical records documenting physical injuries sustained during the assault.
  • Therapist or counseling records about the negative emotional impact of sexual abuse.
  • Statements from family and friends regarding changes in behavior or mood following an incident.  
  • Witness testimony from anyone who has been present or observed something suspicious relating to the incident.
  • Surveillance footage from nanny cams or doorbell cameras that have captured the occurrence or any part of it.

Collecting these forms of evidence can significantly impact your lawsuit’s success. A sexual assault victim attorney from our team can guide you in obtaining and presenting the strongest possible case to ensure justice is achieved.

Filing a Sexual Abuse Claim With Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers

If you or someone you care about has been a victim of sexual abuse, filing a claim can be a significant step towards justice and healing. Here’s what that process may look like with a lawyer for sexual assault victims:

  • Free initial consultation during which we’ll discuss the details of the civil claim you’re contemplating. This no-obligation meeting allows us to gather information and make preliminary assessments.
  • Evidence collection during which we’ll scrutinize medical reports, obtain witness testimony, consult with expert witnesses, and seek any other relevant evidence to help prove your claim. 
  • Filing your claim by specifying who you’re suing, why you’re suing them, and how much compensation you’re seeking, armed with the appropriate evidence.
  • Negotiations with opposing parties to secure the highest possible payout without needing to go through court proceedings.
  • Trial representation should negotiation efforts fail, where we will advocate on your behalf to ensure that the judge or jury comprehends the depth of harm caused by this incident, along with your need for compensation.

At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, we will do whatever it takes to help you get the justice you deserve. Contact us today to schedule a no-cost consultation. 

The Cost of Hiring a Sexual Assault Lawyer

Our sexual abuse lawyers operate on a contingency fee basis. This means clients do not pay upfront or out-of-pocket for our services. Instead, we collect the costs of handling your case only when it is resolved favorably, as a percentage of the compensation you are awarded through settlement or trial.  In other words, if you don’t get paid, we don’t get paid. 

Contact a Chicago Sexual Assault Lawyer Today!

If you or a loved one have been a victim of sex abuse, there are resources and legal options available to assist you in your recovery. Seeking justice isn’t just about punishment for perpetrators, but also an important step towards healing and regaining control over your life. Reach out to our Chicago sexual assault lawyers today and schedule your free consultation at (888) 424-5757. 

FAQs Answered by a Chicago Sexual Assault Attorney

What is the difference between sexual abuse and assault?

For the most part, sexual abuse encompasses any non-consensual sexual contact or touching (including penetration), while sexual assault refers to forcible sexual acts involving penetration.

Can I remain anonymous when filing a sexual abuse claim?

In some cases, Illinois law allows you to file anonymous sex abuse claims or lawsuits. While a lawyer can make a case for why anonymity is necessary, it’s typically up to the court whether this will be permitted or not.

Will I have to face the perpetrator?

Many sexual abuse lawsuits are resolved out of court, offering survivors the opportunity to bypass such distressing confrontations. However, in scenarios where settlement discussions fail and the case proceeds to trial, there may be situations requiring victims to face abusers or recount their experiences publicly.

How common is sexual abuse?

Sexual abuse is a prevalent issue, with data indicating that an American experiences a sexual assault every 92 seconds. [4] Additionally, over 50% of women and 1 in 3 men have experienced sexual violence involving physical contact during their lifetimes. [5]

How long do sexual abuse cases take to settle?

The timeline of sexual abuse cases can vary widely depending on several factors. Some lawsuits might resolve in a matter of months, while others could take several years.

Resources: [1] RAINN, [2] New Hope, [3] 1in6, [4] RAINN, [5] CDC

Client Reviews

Jonathan Rosenfeld was professionally objective, timely, and knowledgeable. Also, his advice was extremely effective regarding my case. In addition, Jonathan was understanding and patient pertaining to any of my questions or concerns. I was very happy with the end result and I highly recommend Jonathan Rosenfeld.

- Michonne Proulx

Extremely impressed with this law firm. They took control of a bad motorcycle crash that left my uncle seriously injured. Without any guarantee of a financial recovery, they went out and hired accident investigators and engineers to help prove how the accident happened. I am grateful that they worked on a contingency fee basis as there was no way we could have paid for these services on our own.

- Ethan Armstrong

Jonathan helped my family heal and get compensation after our child was suffered a life threatening injury at daycare. He was sympathetic and in constant contact with us letting us know all he knew every step of the way. We were so blessed to find Jonathan!

- Giulia

This lawyer really helped me get compensation for my motorcycle accident case. I know there is no way that I could have gotten anywhere near the amount that Mr. Rosenfeld was able to get to settle my case. Thank you.

- Daniel Kaim

Jonathan did a great job helping my family navigate through a lengthy lawsuit involving my grandmother's death in a nursing home. Through every step of the case, Jonathan kept my family informed of the progression of the case. Although our case eventually settled at a mediation, I really was impressed at how well prepared Jonathan was to take the case to trial.

- Lisa
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