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How to File a Claim for Boy Scouts Sexual Abuse in Florida

May 21, 2024
Sexual Assault and STD

The History of Abuse in Boy Scouts of America

For decades, allegations of childhood sexual abuse went undisclosed by the Boy Scouts of America. One of the largest youth organizations in the country kept hidden the fact that thousands of its volunteers had been accused of wrongdoing, including sexual misconduct with young members. By 2020, over 88,000 men had come forward with gutwrenching reports of sexual abuse that had been covered up by leaders in the institution.

While the hundred-year-old organization has since filed bankruptcy and reached an $850 million settlement with accusers, many survivors have yet to come forward. Individuals who were victimized by individuals within the Boy Scouts of America, such as scout leaders and other members, are encouraged to consult with an attorney to determine if they have a valid legal claim. Ensuring every story of abuse is told is one of the only ways to stop perpetrators from continuing their abuse.

Understanding Your Rights

It often takes years for survivors of childhood sexual abuse to come forward. Many times, the perpetrator is someone in a position of power who has gained the person’s or their family’s trust. It is believed that this was one reason the abuse that ran rampant in the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) was allowed to continue for decades on end. 

It is imperative to understand that if you experienced sexual abuse while in the BSA, you may still be entitled to compensation. A Boy Scouts sexual abuse attorney can review your case to determine whether you qualify for compensation under the settlement trust, if a new lawsuit can be filed against the BSA, or if there is a third party that may be held liable for your injuries. 

Florida’s Statute of Limitations for Sex Crimes

All Boy Scouts lawsuits are subject to a state-specific statute of limitations. In Florida, the statute of limitations for sex crimes is four years. However, there is an exception for individuals who experienced the abuse as a minor. 

Victims who were minors at the time of their abuse may have up to seven years after they turn 18 to file a claim or four years from the date of discovery. Under some circumstances, the Florida statute of limitations for sexual abuse may extend longer, but it is important to discuss your case with a sexual assault attorney to determine if you are eligible for compensation.

The Claims Process

The claims process in a child sexual abuse lawsuit can be complicated. A Boy Scouts sexual abuse attorney can help you understand what you need to do in order to file a claim or secure compensation for your injuries. 

Gathering Evidence 

One of the most important steps in the claims process is gathering evidence. Evidence may prove critical in helping you meet the criteria necessary to substantiate your claim. In a sexual abuse claim, you will need to provide documents or evidence showing that you were a member of Boy Scouts of America, the abuse was perpetrated by a member of the organization, such as a scout leader, and you suffered actual, demonstrable harm as a result of the abuse.

Filing Your Claim

A lawyer can help to determine if you meet the eligibility requirements to file a sexual abuse lawsuit. Survivor rights may include compensation for your losses, but it can be challenging to secure the compensation you need when you need it most.

What Is a BSA Settlement Trust?

The BSA Settlement Trust, or the Scouting Settlement Trust, is a fund established in 2023 to provide compensation for individuals who survived sexual abuse while in the Boy Scouts of America. 

As claims mounted against the BSA, the organization filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. As part of the proceedings, a compensation fund was established. The fund was valued at approximately $2.4 billion. Over 82,000 claims were filed with the bankruptcy court at the time. Those claimants are currently in the process of receiving payouts. 

Additional Resources for Florida Sexual Abuse Victims

It is important to know that men and boys who have suffered sexual abuse while in the Boy Scouts of America have rights. In addition to the BSA sexual abuse compensation program, child and adult sexual abuse survivors may be able to file a third-party lawsuit or take other legal action. 

The Importance of Finding the Right Legal Team

Survivors of sexual abuse while in the Boy Scouts of America are strongly encouraged to contact an experienced attorney. The right legal team can help ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. They will fight for you, working to protect your rights. 

Contact Mase Seitz Briggs Today

Were you sexually abused while in the Boy Scouts of America? Call Mase Seitz Briggs at (844) 627-3529 to schedule a complimentary consultation. Contact us today to speak directly with a member of our legal team. Let us help you get the answers you need now.  

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