Finding a Louisiana Child Sexual Abuse Lawyer
Louisiana has changed the former 10-year statute of limitations on child sex abuse cases, removing any time limit on civil action. August 2024 marks the end of a three-year window allowing victims to seek compensation on cases previously denied after missing the statute of limitations window. A Lousiana child sex abuse lawyer can help you obtain compensation for institutional child sex abuse.
When trusted adults take advantage of their positions of authority to sexually abuse children, it’s not only a heinous crime. It also creates lifelong consequences for the victim.
It’s a tragic reality that institutional child sex abuse is pervasive. An adult who abused one child has likely abused others. If you were the victim of institutional child sex abuse in Louisiana, a child sex abuse lawyer can help you gain compensation, hold the perpetrator accountable and prevent the abuse of more children.
How to Choose a Louisiana Child Sex Abuse Lawyer
The first step in taking action on a Louisiana child sex abuse case is to find an experienced lawyer who has a proven track record working on this type of case. Just because a lawyer is licensed to practice in Louisiana doesn’t mean they have the type of experience you need.
When searching for a child sex abuse lawyer, consider online reviews and the case results shared on a firm’s website. You can also ask the firm about the types of child sex abuse cases they’ve handled, the results they’ve obtained for past clients and whether they have the resources to handle a child sex abuse case involving institutional abuse.
Another important consideration is a lawyer’s demeanor. It can be challenging and sometimes traumatizing to revisit the events of the abuse and participate in legal proceedings.
Throughout the process, your lawyer will be the person by your side, offering reassurance and explaining the legal process. Choose a lawyer who shows compassion, consideration and understanding.
The Time Window for Taking Action on Louisiana Child Sex Abuse is Closing
Louisiana laws have changed recently, bringing increased opportunity for child sex abuse survivors to sue for damages over abuse. However, for some survivors, time is limited. The new laws have a window that closes for some in August 2024.
In the past, Louisiana law placed a 10-year statute of limitations on child sex abuse claims brought forward in adulthood. This means that upon reaching the age of 18, abuse survivors were granted a 10-year window, until the age of 28, to take legal action against child sex abuse.
In 2020, House Bill 492 was unanimously passed in the Louisiana Senate. The new law removes the statute of limitations entirely on civil cases. Survivors can now come forward at any time to pursue compensation for childhood sex abuse, regardless of how much time has elapsed.
The bill offers an additional opportunity for justice for individuals who previously attempted to take action, but were denied because the statute of limitations had already passed.
Included in the new law is a three-year “revival window.” From summer 2021 to 2024, any child sex abuse survivor can renew efforts at legal action over previously denied cases.
The window closes in August 2024. This means that victims of child sex abuse who missed their chance in the past have limited time to come forward and seek compensation.
Top Louisiana Institutional Abuse Perpetrators
Child sex abuse can be perpetrated by anyone—a relative, a family friend or a stranger. In some cases, the abuse is carried out by an adult in an authority position. When this happens, it’s considered institutional child sex abuse.
Some of the most common examples of institutional child sex abuse in Louisiana include:
These are all institutions in which adults have frequent or unrestricted access to children.
Childhood sex abuse can be a deeply confusing, overwhelming and shameful experience for a child. It’s very common both in childhood and adulthood for a survivor to never discuss the abuse or take legal action.
Louisiana’s new laws make it possible for any survivor of child sex abuse to come forward and see justice delivered. But for those whose abuse occurred more than 30 years ago, the window for taking action is closing quickly.
Compensation Available in a Louisiana Child Sex Abuse Case
Legal action over childhood sex abuse can occur in one of two ways: a criminal case or a civil case. A criminal case involves reporting the abuse to the police and seeing the abuser stand trial for the accused crime.
It can be harder to win a criminal case because there must be conclusive evidence proving the crime was committed. A criminal case brings criminal charges for the abuser but doesn’t do much for the victim.
A victim can file a civil case to seek damages—or payment—from the abuser. It’s hard to tell in advance how much compensation is available in a Louisiana child sex abuse case. In part, compensation depends on the specifics of the case, including the nature of the relationship between the child and adult and the extent of the abuse.
Institutional child sex abuse brings survivors one form of justice not always available in other cases—the opportunity for generous compensation.
When an individual acting on behalf of an institution sexually abuses a child under their care, that institution can be held financially responsible. Victims are eligible to receive much higher compensation than in cases where abuse was perpetrated by an individual.
Speak Up About Child Sex Abuse
Resources exist to help victims of childhood sex abuse heal and see justice served to the individuals and institutions that allowed the abuse to occur.
Speaking with a Louisana child sex abuse lawyer can lead to substantial compensation. It can also help put a stop to the cycle of abuse and ensure that a perpetrator is prevented from hurting more children.
If you’re considering taking action over child sex abuse, Helping Survivors can connect you with the resources you need to heal from abuse, overcome trauma and take legal action against the perpetrator. Speaking up about child sex abuse can be a challenge, but on the other side, you can find mental, emotional and financial relief.