Lawyers Fighting for Victims of Sexual Assault in Tennessee and Beyond
Sexual assault is far too prevalent in our society. According to RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), an American is sexually assaulted every 73 seconds. 1 of every 6 American women and 1 of every 33 American men have experienced an attempted or completed rape in their lifetimes. Child sexual abuse is also extensive – between 2009-2013, Child Protective Services estimated that 63,000 children per year were victims of some form of sexual assault or abuse. Our Memphis sexual assault lawyers can help victims obtain justice through a civil personal injury case by holding the responsible parties accountable for their actions.
Types of Sexual Abuse and Assault
Rape is often considered the most serious form of sexual assault, but it goes beyond that. Inappropriate touching, forceful touching, and nonconsensual sexual intercourse are all examples of sexual assault. These acts can take place anywhere, anytime – from public places to the comfort of our own homes. Sometimes, those whom we feel most comfortable around (such as teachers, administrators, coaches, religious figures, counselors, healthcare workers) take advantage of victims who may be vulnerable or in a vulnerable state.
Sexual assault includes, but is not limited to:
- Attempted rape
- Child sexual abuse
- Sexual harassment
- Forcible touching
- Groping and unwanted touching
- Sexual abuse
- Sexual exploitation
- Sexual contact with minors
Can an Organization Be Liable for Sexual Assault?
Organizations can be held responsible for the actions of their employees, including acts of sexual assault. In Tennessee and other states, this legal theory is known as respondeat superior. Essentially, the law states an organization (i.e. company, school, Church, university, etc.) can be liable for negligent or improper actions committed by their employees within the course and scope of their employment.
If you or a loved one was assaulted, the business or organization that employed your attacker can be held directly responsible for their own negligence that could have contributed to the attack. Organizations have a legal duty to take reasonable steps to protect their employees and customers from foreseeable harm. One example is conducting sufficient background checks during the hiring process. Did the employee have a past criminal history, including violent crimes? Did the employer check for any prior arrests or felony convictions? Negligent hiring means failing to exercise due care during the hiring process and hiring someone unfit for the position.
Negligent supervision is another cause of action in a civil case that a sexual assault lawyer in Memphis could help you bring. Companies, schools, and employers in general must exercise proper supervision of their workers. Employee actions should be reasonably monitored. Does an employee’s personnel file contain complaints of inappropriate behavior, and if so, what actions were taken in response? To succeed on a claim of negligent supervision, you must show that the assault was foreseeable given the circumstances.
Similarly, businesses, schools, and apartment complexes have an obligation to put proper security measures in place to protect patrons and residents. A claim of inadequate security refers to allegations of the failure to maintain proper safety measures like security guards, lighting, and security gates. If the business or apartment complex is or should be on notice of criminal activity in the area, and you are harmed by someone who broke in and committed a crime, you may be able to recover against that business and their insurance carrier for failing to take reasonable steps that could have protected you.
Sexual Assault Civil Lawsuits
If you or a loved one has been sexually abused or raped, you should notify the police as soon as possible. The police may arrange for a rape kit to be conducted. You should also try to preserve physical evidence, such as clothing, photographs, text messages, etc. The police will want to interview witnesses and take other steps to investigate and preserve evidence for the prosecutor to consider in terms of bringing charges. Further, your attorney will request the police file as well as conduct their own witness statements.
While charges are pending against the defendant attacker in criminal court, a sexual assault attorney in Memphis can still bring a claim in civil court. In Tennessee, the burden of proof in a civil suit (preponderance of the evidence) is lower than the burden of proof in criminal court (beyond a reasonable doubt). Thus, a conviction or guilty plea in criminal court is not a requirement for bringing a valid civil claim for damages. When our attorneys represent victims of sexual assault, we monitor the defendant’s case in criminal court.
Any form of sexual assault can be traumatic, and the injuries may range in severity. Injuries that may result from rape or sexual assault can include physical harm, bruising, depression, emotional distress, anxiety, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Physical and emotional injuries can significantly affect the victim’s life. In a civil claim for sexual abuse, you can seek compensation for damages such as medical bills, counseling, emotional distress, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and lost wages. Punitive damages could be obtained, depending on the facts. A lawyer experienced in handling sexual assault lawsuits in Tennessee can identify the forms of damages to which you may be entitled under the law.
Speak with a Sexual Assault Lawyer Today – Confidential Consultation
Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz fights for injured victims to seek justice. For a free and confidential consultation with a Memphis sexual assault attorney today, call us at 800-529-4004. Helping injured victims each day, we understand how to represent clients to the best of our ability while delivering personalized and compassionate client service. All communications are 100% confidential. Let us take the time to show you how NST Law can fight for you.
Most car accidents are preventable and occur as a result of errors by one or more drivers. To prove liability, you will need to establish by a preponderance of the evidence that the driver owed you a duty of care, which was breached, and that your injuries resulted from the driver’s carelessness. Damages that may be available in these cases often include medical expenses, lost income, mental anguish, loss of consortium, and pain and suffering.
Truck drivers are required to follow numerous detailed regulations, including rules related to hours of service, keeping a logbook, and maintenance procedures. Many of these regulations are intended to protect other people on the road from harm. In some states, if a driver violated a law that was enacted to protect the public, the violation can create a rebuttable presumption of negligence. Trucking companies are also required to follow a number of regulations, including rules related to background checks of drivers and proper supervision. They often may be held directly or indirectly liable for a truck accident.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) evaluates applications for disability benefits. Although many people pay into this system throughout their lives, many legitimate claims are initially denied, and this process may be less straightforward than claimants expect. The SSA uses a five-step sequential evaluation to determine whether to grant benefits to an applicant. Each step is considered in a set order. We can present your case in a persuasive manner and help you appeal a denial of a meritorious claim if needed. This could include representing you in a hearing before an administrative law judge.
Workers’ compensation functions slightly differently in each state. In Tennessee, for example, businesses that employ five or more employees must carry workers’ compensation insurance. If you are injured on the job, you may recover benefits, such as medical costs and disability. Neither your employer’s nor your own culpability for your injuries will prevent you from collecting these benefits. However, it may still be a struggle to obtain benefits from your employer’s insurer. We can help you navigate this challenging process.
If you were harmed by a health care professional’s failure to use the appropriate level of care in providing treatment to you, you may be able to recover compensation. Most medical malpractice lawsuits require retaining an expert to determine the accepted standard of care and explain what the defendant did that fell short of this standard, as well as how the inappropriate conduct caused the patient’s injuries.
When you buy a toy, car, medication, or other product, you do not expect to be hurt. If you are injured, you may have grounds to file a product liability lawsuit. There are three types of defects that may be actionable: manufacturing, design, and marketing (also known as failure to warn). Manufacturers may be held accountable under multiple different theories, including strict liability, negligence, breach of warranty, and concealment. For example, if you take a drug that causes you to develop cancer, but you were not told that a potential side effect of the drug was developing cancer, you may have grounds to hold the manufacturer strictly liable for its failure to warn you of the risk.
Nursing home residents are often elderly or disabled, and thus they are especially vulnerable to neglect, physical abuse, and exploitation by staff members. Unfortunately, many nursing homes are understaffed or employ staff members who are inadequately trained to deal with potentially frustrating situations. Nursing homes are required to protect their residents from physical, mental, and emotional harm by providing a safe environment, as well as adequately training and supervising staff. A failure to do so may be grounds for a nursing home negligence lawsuit for damages.
Property owners have a duty to keep their property reasonably safe. In most situations, this includes an obligation to inspect the property for dangerous conditions and fix them or provide warnings about them so that visitors are not harmed. One type of dangerous condition, which may present a particular problem in apartment complexes or shopping centers, consists of inadequate security measures such as broken locks, poor lighting, or a lack of security guards. A failure to take security measures when appropriate may allow third-party criminals to assault, rob, rape, or otherwise harm visitors and tenants. You may be able to recover damages if you can prove that the defendant knew or should have known about a history of attacks similar to yours and taken appropriate security measures to reduce the risk of further incidents.
Consult a Personal Injury Lawyer in Memphis or the Surrounding Regions
If you are dealing with a devastating injury or medical condition, the Memphis personal injury attorneys at Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz can evaluate and explain your options. Our firm has 30 attorneys and more than 100 staff members, and we serve injured people in many areas of Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas, Missouri, and Kentucky, including Memphis, Nashville, Knoxville, Chattanooga, Jonesboro, Little Rock, Jackson, Meridian, Tupelo, Columbus, Grenada, Starkville, Oxford, Hayti, and Caruthersville. Contact our office toll-free by calling 800-529-4004 or by completing our online form to set up a free consultation with a personal injury, workers’ compensation, or Social Security Disability lawyer. Once you have learned more about our vigorous advocacy for the rights of the injured, you will realize that NST is the way to go.