Can You Get Damages for Sexual Harassment in Florida?
If you’ve been watching the news, you know that more cases of sexual harassment are being filed now than ever before. People are stepping up and calling their employers out on treating them unprofessionally. It’s not just women either. Men are speaking up about being harassed as well. If you’ve been the victim of sexual harassment, you know how terrible it feels. It’s bad enough that you have to work with the person. But, if you have to sue them for damages from sexual harassment, you certainly won’t want to work for them again.
One option you do have is to file a civil case against them. If you’ve been injured, you’re entitled to damages. The problem with these types of cases is proving damages. If you weren’t physically injured, are you really entitled to compensation?
Your Tampa personal injury lawyer knows how to prove these damages. They can also fight to get you the compensation you deserve.
What if I Already Filed Criminal Charges?
Depending on how severe your sexual harassment was, you may have already filed criminal charges against the perpetrator. If, for example, they committed a sexual battery or even rape, they would have faced criminal penalties. If they were convicted, this can be used as proof of liability.
Even if they weren’t found guilty, it doesn’t mean you can’t file a civil suit against them. If it was your employer, you can file a claim against their insurance policy. The same is true if it was your doctor or dentist.
Now, you can’t recover from both their insurance company and them personally. However, your civil claim can be filed against both the individual and their insurance to ensure that you are compensated for your injuries.
Your Tampa personal injury attorney can subpoena the documentation from your criminal case to use in your civil case. Depending on the types of evidence requested, it may or may not be provided to him. Whatever he does acquire, he can use against your attacker in court.
The good news is, the standard of proof in a civil suit is less than that for a criminal case. So, regardless of the outcome in criminal court, you may still have a strong civil case against your abuser.
What Kind of Damages Can You Claim?
If you file a civil suit against someone for sexual harassment, you can demand damages. It depends on the type of case you file under. There is no civil cause of action for sexual harassment. You need to decide which cause of action you file under. For example, you would have to file suit for one of the following:
- Assault and battery
- Intentional infliction of emotional distress
Depending on the circumstances, you may be entitled to the following:
- Medical bills – If you have to seek physical or mental treatment for your injuries, you can demand the defendant be responsible for the costs. You may have to see a therapist. You may end up on several prescriptions for depression or anxiety. These things cost money.
- Pain and suffering – Due to the nature of these cases, the jury usually awards high amounts of damages. Pain and suffering help compensate you for the physical and mental anguish you suffer as a result of the harassment.
Keep in mind – even if you get a large judgment, you may never recover a dime. It all depends on how much the defendant is worth. This is because most insurance companies won’t cover someone for intentional acts. So, even if the doctor, dentist or personal trainer has insurance, it probably won’t cover your claim.
What is the Level of Proof Required?
When you file a criminal case against someone for sexual assault or harassment, you need to meet a very high standard. In criminal court, you must prove something beyond a reasonable doubt. This means, if the jury thinks there’s a chance the defendant didn’t do it, they will find him innocent.
In civil court, the standard is much lower. In civil lawsuits, you have to prove that it’s more likely than not that the defendant committed the abuse. Your Tampa personal injury attorney knows how to meet this standard.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer in Tampa Today
If you’ve been the victim of sexual abuse or harassment, you should call a personal injury lawyer in Tampa today. He can review your file and let you know if he thinks you have a case. He can also let you know what your case may be worth.
Contact and schedule your free initial consultation today. And remember – you pay nothing until you settle your case.