Being the victim of a sexual assault is an incredibly traumatizing experience. It can take years to begin to understand and process what happened, leading to many physical and emotional burdens. If you are the victim of a sexual assault in St. Petersburg, FL, legal options are available to seek justice and compensation.
A sexual assault lawyer in St. Petersburg, Florida, can help with this process by providing you with legal advice and helping you seek recovery for any damages related to the incident. If you need help, we’re here for you every step of the way. Don’t hesitate to reach out to Winters & Yonker, P.A. Feel free to contact us to schedule a free consultation at (727) 314-5988 with a St. Petersburg sexual assault lawyer.
How Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers, Can Help After Sexual Assault in St. Petersburg
We understand how difficult it is to come forward with a sexual assault claim. We want you to know that we are here for you and that we will do everything in our power to get justice for you. Here is how we can help you with your sexual assault case in St. Petersburg, Florida:
- The first step in any sexual assault case is for the victim to come forward and tell their story. We will provide you with a team of experienced attorneys who will listen to your story and help you decide what the best course of action is.
- Once you have decided to move forward with your case, we will start investigating your claim. We will work tirelessly to identify all potential defendants, from the perpetrator to their employer, in some circumstances.
- We will help you calculate all the damages you have suffered, both tangible and intangible. This includes things like medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
- We will try to negotiate a settlement to avoid trial, as this can often be re-traumatizing for survivors.
- If a settlement cannot be reached, we are prepared to take your case to trial so that you can get the justice you deserve.
If you or someone you love has been sexually assaulted, please know that we are here for you. Contact Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers, to speak with an experienced St. Petersburg personal injury lawyer.
How Common Is Sexual Assault in St. Petersburg, FL?
Every 68 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted. Florida, and St. Petersburg specifically, certainly isn’t immune to this statistic.
- In 2020, there were almost 8,000 rapes reported in Florida. Almost 500 of those were reported in Pinellas County, which is where St. Petersburg is located.
- The difference in the rate of rapes in Pinellas County versus the State of Florida in 2020 was statistically significant, with St Petersburg seeing much higher rates: in the state, it was 35.4 per 100,000 people, while the rate in St. Petersburg was 45.6.
If you or a loved one have recently experienced a sexual assault in St. Petersburg, our legal team is here to help you obtain financial justice.
What Is My St. Petersburg Sexual Assault Case Worth?
If you or a loved one has been sexually assaulted, you may be wondering how much your case is worth. The answer depends on many factors, including:
Severity of Injuries and Medical Expenses
If you’ve suffered physical injuries as a result of the sexual assault, you will be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses. These can include hospitalization costs, doctor’s visits, prescription medication costs, and any other out-of-pocket expenses related to your treatment.
In addition, if you’ve suffered long-term or permanent physical injuries, you may be entitled to additional compensation for pain and suffering, disability, or disfigurement.
Time Missed From Work
If you’ve missed time from work as a result of your injuries, you may be able to recover lost wages in your sexual assault claim. To recover lost wages, you’ll need to provide documentation from your employer showing how much time you missed from work and what your usual rate of pay is.
If you’re unable to return to work because of your injuries, you may also be able to recover future lost wages as well as loss of earning capacity in your claim.
Emotional Injuries and Impact
The emotional impact of sexual assault can be devastating. You may suffer from anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or other psychological injuries.
If you’ve suffered emotional injuries as a result of sexual assault, you could be entitled to compensation for therapy sessions, medication costs, and any other out-of-pocket expenses related to your treatment.
Whether Punitive Damages Are Awarded
Punitive damages are often awarded in sexual assault cases because the defendant’s behavior is intentional and particularly egregious. This will increase your monetary award.
The Strength of The Evidence
The strength of the evidence will also affect the value of your claim. If there is video footage or eyewitness testimony that corroborates your account of what happened, this will strengthen your claim and make it more likely that you will be awarded damages by a jury (or through a settlement).
What Kind of Damages Are Available to Sexual Assault Victims in St. Petersburg, Florida?
When seeking justice through a lawsuit after suffering from a sexual assault or abuse, it is important to know what kind of damages may be recoverable through the courts.
A sexual assault lawyer can help guide you through this process by identifying any physical injuries or mental health counseling expenses associated with the incident.
The following types of compensation are the most common:
If you were injured during the sexual assault, you can recover compensation for any medical expenses related to that injury. This includes things like hospital visits, ambulance rides, medication, rehabilitation, and long-term care.
This kind of compensation covers wages lost due to being unable to work during recovery or reduced earnings due to decreased productivity as a result of injuries. Lost future wages due to an inability to return to work following the incident are also recoverable.
Loss of Consortium
Loss of consortium refers to compensation awarded when a family member has suffered a loss due to the sexual assault. They are losing out on the victim’s companionship, affection, guidance, assistance, and comfort because of the incident.
Pain and Suffering Damages
Pain and suffering damages are awarded to compensate victims for the physical pain, emotional distress, and mental anguish caused by the incident. These damages cover both physical and mental trauma that resulted from the attack.
Punitive damages are often available in Florida sexual assault claims because of the intentional and reprehensible nature of the offense. They are meant to punish defendants for their actions and act as a deterrent for similar behavior in future cases.
Punitive damage awards vary greatly depending on each individual case but can range from tens of thousands up into millions of dollars depending on severity and circumstances surrounding each case.
How Do I Prove Sexual Assault in Florida?
When pursuing a personal injury claim, the goal is to receive compensation for your physical injuries and other damages that occurred due to the sexual assault and to hold the responsible party accountable. To do this, you must show:
- The defendant assaulted you;
- You were injured and experienced damages because of the assault; and,
- The sexual assault was the direct cause of your injuries and damages
Our St. Petersburg sexual assault attorneys can help you throughout the entire process. Reach out today to learn more.
Types of Evidence Needed To Prove Sexual Assault in St. Petersburg
The type of evidence needed will vary depending on the specific case. Generally speaking, it is important to have as much physical and documentary evidence as possible.
This could include medical records, police reports, eyewitness testimony, photographs, emails and text messages that relate to the incident in question, and any other relevant documents that could help bolster your case.
In some cases, expert witnesses may be called upon to testify.
In addition to this type of hard evidence, victims should also keep detailed notes about their experience—including date and time of the incident, how they were affected emotionally and physically afterwards, any communication with the perpetrator or their representatives following the incident.
How Long Do I Have To File a Lawsuit After a Sexual Assault in Florida?
The statute of limitations sets out how long after an incident someone can file their lawsuit—in Florida, this is four years from the date of injury for most cases involving injuries related to sexual assault.
If you fail to meet the deadline, your case will be dismissed and you won’t be eligible to recover any compensation, regardless of how strong your claim would have been.
There are sometimes exceptions to this deadline, so always speak with an experienced attorney to ensure you don’t miss out on your chance to get justice.
Contact Our St. Petersburg Sexual Assault Lawyers for a Free Consultation
It is our mission to seek justice for every survivor we represent. We know that there is no monetary amount that can ever adequately compensate an individual for the emotional pain caused by sexual assault.
However, we are proud to accompany our clients through the process of obtaining justice, reclaiming their voices, and seeking the compensation they deserve. For help with your sexual assault claim, contact Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers, to schedule a free consultation with one of our St. Petersburg sexual assault attorneys.