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Victims of Child Sexual Abuse

Adults in New York who were sexually abused as minors now have a right to sue their abusers and the institutions where the abuse occurred, even decades after the abuse happened. New York law recognizes that it may take years for abuse victims to be able to come forward and denounce the abuse, and also that abusers and their institutions should be made to pay for abuse that was hidden and covered up for years without any accountability. If you were sexually abused as a minor in New York or the Hudson Valley, the personal injury attorneys at Dupée & Monroe in Goshen can represent you in a civil lawsuit against your abuser and the school, church or other organization or institution which stood behind the abuse.

New York child sexual abuse victims can sue up to age 55

The Child Victims Act (S2440) changed the statute of limitations (the deadline to file a civil lawsuit or criminal prosecution) for child sexual abuse in both civil and criminal cases. Prosecutors can now bring criminal charges against individuals who abused a minor until the victim has reached age 25 (for a misdemeanor offense) or 28 (for a felony offense). Child abuse victims are often too scared or embarrassed or otherwise unable to tell of abuse at the time. This extension of time gives victims the ability to process what happened to them and confront their abusers through the criminal justice system.

The statute of limitations for civil lawsuits was extended even longer in the Child Victims Act. Victims of sexual abuse as a minor can now bring claims for physical, psychological or other injury until age 55. Importantly, this applies to lawsuits against public as well as private institutions. Ordinarily, claims against the government must start with a “notice of claim” that has to be filed within 90 days of the injury. This notice of claim requirement does not apply to victims of child sexual abuse, so a lawsuit against a public school or other institution can still be brought until age 55.

Brief window open for older victims

Persons who were sexually abused as minors and are now over 55 years old also have an opportunity to bring a civil lawsuit, but only for a limited time. The Child Victims Act allows for these persons to file a claim within one year and six months after the effective date of the act. The Act goes into effect as soon as it is signed by the Governor. If you are in this situation, you are urged to act quickly and contact an experienced New York personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to secure your right to file a claim and receive redress for the injury inflicted on you.

Call Our Dedicated and Compassionate New York Personal Injury Lawyers

If you were the victim of sexual abuse as a child, now may be the time to take action and hold those responsible for the abuse accountable for their actions. For help with a claim in New York and the Hudson Valley, call Dupée & Monroe in Goshen for a no-cost, confidential consultation with knowledgeable, skilled and experienced New York personal injury attorneys.

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