Can I Sue For Sexual Assault or Rape in Pennsylvania?

Bringing A Lawsuit After A Sexual Assault

Few things, if any, can cause as much destruction to a person’s life as a sexual assault or rape. If this has happened to you, you have our heartfelt condolences. We know that your life has changed forever. The criminal process may take a criminal off the street, but it offers little to help the victim recover. Though the Victim Compensation Assistance Program may reimburse you for medical and counseling bills, it does not cover damages for pain and suffering.

We at Bellwoar Kelly, LLP are here to help you recover everything the legal system offers. You do have the right to bring a civil lawsuit against the parties responsible for your attack. Our attorneys have decades of combined legal experience, including sexual assault, and we are ready to fight for what you need to rebuild your life. We know coming forward against your abuser is difficult, but we will stand by you every step of the way.

The Burden Of Proof When Suing The Perpetrator

You have several options regarding your civil suit, and your path depends on the situation surrounding your assault. You always have the option of bringing a case against the perpetrator.

No matter the outcome of your attacker’s criminal case, you can bring a civil lawsuit against them. The burden of proof in a civil case is lower than the high bar of a criminal case. You only need to convince a jury that the defendant more likely than not committed the act. If your perpetrator was convicted in criminal court, you can use that as evidence to bolster your civil case.

Understanding Negligent Security Claims

You may also have a claim against the property owner where the attack occurred. Owners have a duty to keep their property reasonably safe. If you can show that they should have provided better lighting, security, cameras or locks, you may have a premises liability claim against them for not providing adequate security.

If your assault happened at work or by a co-worker, you may have a claim against your employer. An employer must also keep a workplace reasonably safe. That includes a safe premises, as well as due diligence when hiring employees. If they should have known the risk your co-worker posed, but hired them anyway, you could bring a claim for negligent hiring.

You must bring your civil lawsuit within a certain amount of time, so we recommend you talk to us soon to find out your options. We offer free consultations and we will guide you regarding what we see as your most successful path forward.

Discuss Your Lawsuit With Us

We have three convenient locations in Chester County. Call 610-314-7066 to schedule an appointment or send us an online message today.