Alonso Krangle, LLP, Is Reviewing Lawsuits To Be Filed Under New York’s Adult Survivors Act
New York State has passed the Adult Survivors Act. Governor Hochul signed the bill into law on May 24, 2022.
The law states that six months from now, New York will extend the statute of limitations for victims of sexual abuse to file a lawsuit against their abusers. Victims will have one year to file their claims.
At Alonso Krangle, LLP, our lawyers will be reviewing claims brought to us by victims of sexual abuse. We want to determine who is eligible to file lawsuits, so we are ready when the window to file lawsuits opens.
If you were the victim of sexual assault or sexual abuse as an adult, call Alonso Krangle, LLP today to find out if you can file a civil lawsuit against your abuser. We want you to understand your rights and how to enforce them once the Adult Survivors Act becomes effective. You might be entitled to seek compensation from the person who committed sexual abuse and the institution, employer, or entity that allowed it to happen.
What Is The New York Adult Survivors Act (ASA)?
The Adult Survivors Act (ASA) is the result of recognizing that adult victims of sexual assault and abuse have not had sufficient time to pursue legal action against their abusers and attackers. The statute of limitations historically limits the filing of sexual abuse lawsuits to approximately 1.5 – 3 years after the incident, depending on the circumstances.
The ASA will provide a one-year look-back period for victims of sexual abuse to file lawsuits. This means that even if you would otherwise be time-barred from filing a sexual abuse lawsuit, you will have one year to file your claim. The clock will start ticking in six months.
Is New York’s Adult Survivors Act, The Same As The Child Victims Act?
The ASA was modeled after the Child Victims Act (CVA).
The CVA allowed victims of sexual abuse as children to file claims for a period of two years, even if the statute of limitations had otherwise expired. This look-back window allowed thousands of individuals to pursue justice against the people who committed sexual abuse and the institutions that protected abusers instead of children.
The CVA recognized that sometimes it took years, even decades, for people abused as children to come forward with their allegations. Some people repressed memories, others felt too much shame or embarrassment, while others were still dealing with the emotional fallout of the abuse. Regardless of the circumstance, it became clear that when children were sexually abused by trusted adults, finding the courage and ability to speak up and seek accountability could take a very long time.
For example, during the last few years, it came to light that thousands of children endured sexual abuse by members of the Catholic church. There have been credible allegations of abuse by priests, church leaders, deacons, and youth leaders. There have also been credible allegations that the church went to great lengths to cover up the abuse, putting even more children in danger.
Many victims missed their window to file lawsuits, and New York felt they needed a second chance to seek justice. The CVA provided that window to victims of child sexual assault and abuse. New York is now doing the same for individuals abused as adults – with the ASA.
Who Will Be Able To File Claims Under The Adult Survivors Act?
The ASA will provide one year for a person abused or assaulted as an adult (18 or over) to file a lawsuit against their attacker or abuser.
If you were sexually assaulted or abused by a co-worker, friend, acquaintance, member of the clergy, teacher, doctor, or another person when you were 18 or older, you might still be able to file a lawsuit and seek damages. You might also be able to file a claim against a party responsible for supervising the person who committed the sexual offense against you.
While the CVA was the legislature’s response to rampant sexual abuse against children in churches around the country, the ASA comes in the aftermath of other disturbing revelations.
There has been a rising number of claims by students and student-athletes against colleges and universities during the last year or two. These serious claims indicate that there may be frequent sexual abuse by coaches and doctors occurring under the “supervision” of educational institutions. Schools across the country have settled many of these claims for millions of dollars.
The ASA will allow many sexual assault victims who have been time-barred from filing lawsuits to have their day in court, confront the people who hurt them and collect damages for their injuries.
What Is Sexual Assault?
Sexual assault is unwanted sexual activity or contact. It is an unwanted act committed by force or coercion and without consent. It can include:
- Forcing the victim to watch sexual content
- Attempted rape
- Forcing the performance of sexual acts
These acts may also carry criminal penalties. HOWEVER, the ASA look-back window applies to filing civil lawsuits and seeking monetary compensation – not criminal charges.
Damages Available In Sexual Assault Lawsuits
When filing a lawsuit for sexual assault or abuse, you might be entitled to collect monetary damages for your injuries. You might receive compensation for lost income, lost wages, and pain and suffering you experienced due to the sexual assault.
For example, compensation might cover the cost of psychiatric care, emotional therapy, medications, and visits to the doctor or hospital. If you missed work, you could collect the wages you lost. If you have been unable to keep a job because of your injuries, you might be able to collect the income you would earn if you could.
What Are Common Injuries Victims of Sexual Assault and Abuse Suffer?
Sexual assault and sexual abuse harm adults in similar ways they harm children. There are short-term and long-term injuries that can be physical and psychological. Sexual abuse is often committed by someone victims trust, resulting in emotional trauma that lasts a lifetime.
Victims of sexual assault and sexual abuse might experience:
- Violent behavior
- Criminal behavior
- Relationship struggles
- Bruises, lacerations
- Broken bones
- Sexually transmitted disease
- Unwanted pregnancy
It is not easy to live with the aftermath of sexual assault as an adult or a child. Therapy, medications, and support groups can help, but the process can be long and difficult.
Collecting compensation will not make everything better. But filing a lawsuit against someone who hurt you and receiving damages can assist you in the healing process and getting the help you deserve. Seeking accountability from your abuser might make it a little easier for you to move forward.
Call Alonso Krangle, LLP, NY Sexual Abuse Lawyers
Coming to grips with sexual assault or sexual abuse takes time. New York State recognizes that it can take years for people to feel safe and confident enough to come forward if they ever do. For this reason, the New York State has passed the Adult Survivors Act and the Governor has signed it into law.
Six months from now, the ASA will begin a one year period of time for individuals to file a lawsuit against the person who assaulted them and any entity that might also be responsible. Will you be eligible to file a claim under the ASA?
- Were you the victim of sexual assault at the age of 18 or older?
- Did you suffer physical or emotional injuries?
If the answer is “yes,” call Alonso Krangle, LLP, today at 888-403-6191 for a free case evaluation. Our sexual abuse lawyers are reviewing claims now. We can determine if you can file a sexual abuse lawsuit under the ASA.