Time Limits to File Lawsuits

The Time Limits to File Sexual Abuse and Harassment Lawsuits in California

Why it is important to speak with a Los Angeles sex abuse attorney as soon as possible

If you are a victim of sexual assault, or the parents of a child who was molested or abused in Los Angeles, it is imperative to understand the time limits to file civil lawsuits. Delay can damage or even destroy your case for several reasons:

  • There are strict deadlines for bringing lawsuits. If a civil claim is not brought by the appropriate time limit, you will lose your right to sue and your right to collect any money, even if you have a perfect case.
  • Delay damages your ability for success. Memories fade with time. Physical evidence can be lost or damaged. The sooner our attorneys review your abuse case, the sooner we can collect and preserve the necessary evidence to help prove your claim.
  • Delay means the victim is probably not getting all the counseling that she or he needs. We work with many psychologists, psychiatrists, government agencies and private counselors who are trained to help rape and sexual assault victims adjust and recover from these terrible ordeals.
  • Prompt action means prompt justice. The attacker and everyone else who helped the attacker, looked the other way or was negligent in their duties need to be stopped right away. Prompt action helps prevent abusive attacks being done to others.

At Taylor & Ring, our Los Angeles sexual abuse lawyers are prepared to help you and your loved ones get the justice you need. Do not hesitate to get help as soon as possible.

Civil lawsuits are different than criminal lawsuits

The time limit for the district attorney to file criminal charges against the perpetrator is completely different than the time limit in which the victim has to file a civil lawsuit against the perpetrator and his or her employer.

A pending criminal case generally does not extend the time in which the civil case has to be filed. District attorneys will tell the victim that he or she should wait until the criminal case is over before he or she speaks to a civil lawyer or files a civil lawsuit. That is absolutely not true. Doing so will jeopardize your case because, if you wait too long, it may be too late to file the civil case.

When civil lawsuits must be filed

In civil cases, the time limit to file suit is different depending on if the victim is a child or an adult (over age 18). The deadlines applicable to these cases are different, depending on a variety of factors. The deadline to file a civil lawsuit can be as short as six months from when the abuse occurred, or when the parent learned of the abuse. The time to file suit can be longer also, but waiting risks having missed the filing deadline.

For example, if a public entity is a defendant (a school district, a city, etc.), then the time limit can be as short as six months from the incident to file what is known as a “government claim.” This is true if you are a child or an adult bringing a lawsuit. If you miss the six-month deadline, your lawsuit could be barred.

Delay can forever stop your right to bring a case. Please call our office now

Statutes of limitations are a very complex area of the law. You must promptly consult with a lawyer who has handled sexual assault cases to ensure you are getting the correct advice. If you miss the deadline by one day, you lose. There are no do-overs, no excuses. It is essential that you contact an experienced Los Angeles sexual abuse attorney as soon as the abuse occurs to legally protect your claim. Call Taylor & Ring at 310-776-6390 or fill out our contact form to schedule free initial consultation with one of our sexual abuse lawyers today.

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