Why File a Civil Suit?

Sexual Abuse is a Crime.

Sexual abuse is a crime. In the criminal justice system, the court can require incarceration, restitution, and registration as a sex offender. These consequences penalize the past actions of the perpetrator, but a civil suit can hold offenders and contributing third parties liable for the physical, mental and emotional damage a victim has suffered and will continue to suffer. The Law Office of Tahira Khan Merritt helps injured parties file civil suits that address their needs. We provide detailed advice and support at every step of the litigation process.

Call our Office in Dallas at 214-503-7300 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 interacts with each of her clients prior to accepting his or her case.

Civil Litigation vs. Criminal Proceedings

The criminal and civil court processes are separate and distinct. The two systems can work together to provide comprehensive justice for victims. For victims of sexual assault who file civil suits, there are additional remedies and benefits.

  • You have greater control over your case. In criminal proceedings, you may be excluded by the judge from the courtroom as a witness, and you may 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 and mental anguish.
  • 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 institutions or individuals 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 such crimes in the future. 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: civil courts expose who knew about the abuse and when they knew about it.

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 214-503-7300 or we can communicate anonymously through email.

Contact Us.
We Respect Your Privacy.

If you or your loved one has suffered abuse, it is important that you promptly notify law enforcement, then contact our firm. Please schedule your initial confidential consultation at no cost with attorney Tahira Khan Merritt by calling:

(214) 503-7300

Or you can send us a confidential email to info@tkmlawfirm.com

We Are Your Legal Advocates

We understand that confronting sexual assault or sexual abuse, whether it occurred recently or in the past, is difficult. Our law firm goes to great lengths to ensure that we honor and protect your need for privacy. Call our law office at (214) 503-7300 or contact us through email to schedule a free, confidential consultation to speak with us.