Call our law office in Dallas at 877-341-4161 to learn more about civil litigation as a consequence of sexual abuse. Attorney Merritt consults with victims and other lawyers on cases from across the country. She personally meets each prospective client prior to accepting his or her case.
Civil Suits Provide Benefits Criminal Justice Cannot
The criminal and civil court processes are separate and distinct, but not in competition. The two systems can work together to provide comprehensive justice for victims. For victims of sexual assault who file civil suits, there are many remedies and benefits.
- You have greater control over your case. In criminal proceedings, you can be excluded by the judge from the courtroom as a witness, and you can have no say in plea negotiations. In a civil case, you are an actual party. The court cannot keep you out of the courtroom. You have the final say over any settlement proposal.
- You can be compensated for more than what restitution in a criminal case can cover. Damages in a civil suit cover medical expenses, lost wages and harm that cannot be quantified by actual receipts, including pain and suffering.
- You get justice by holding offenders directly accountable for civil damages. You can have your “day in court.” The criminal justice system requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt, which means that not all offenders are convicted or even prosecuted. The civil justice system requires a preponderance of evidence.
- You can help prevent other people from becoming victims. Direct offenders can be incarcerated, but what about the people who allowed the abuse to occur or failed to stop it? A civil suit holds all responsible parties liable, including institutions that aided and abetted the perpetrators, as well as providing economic incentives to prevent crime. For example, businesses may improve their security measures to avoid a lawsuit in the future.
- You get answers to questions that are never asked in criminal court: Criminal courts cannot force offenders to testify.
- You can discover whether the abusers have a history of abusing, who knew about it and when they knew.
Contact Tahira Khan Merritt Immediately, Even If Criminal Charges Have Been Filed
Civil actions are usually filed after the related criminal case has been closed, but it may be necessary to file a civil case concurrently. Regardless, it is crucial that Tahira Khan Merritt begin work as soon as possible to ensure that evidence that could prove vital to your civil lawsuit is not lost or that statutes of limitations have not exhausted your legal right to have your day in court.
We take your privacy very seriously. Contact us to schedule a confidential consultation. You can talk to us directly by calling 877-341-4161 or we can communicate anonymously through email.