Learn More

Sexual Assault and Abuse Claims

Representing Sex Abuse Survivors Throughout South Florida

Sexual assaults are an epidemic across our country. Unfortunately, sexual assault is frequently underreported and often overlooked. If you or a loved one has been the victim of sexual assault, you need an experienced sexual assault attorney with the resources and determination necessary to fight for you.

If you or a loved one has been injured, our sexual assault lawyers can help you. Contact us for a free case consultation to find out how we can help you get the justice you deserve.

Get a Free Consultation

Pursuing a Civil Case for Sexual Assault

While most people are aware that their perpetrator may face criminal charges, many survivors of sexual assault and rape do not realize that their perpetrator can also be held civilly liable through a rape or sexual assault lawsuit. 

Sometimes a civil lawsuit is the only way to secure both compensation and a sense of justice. Oftentimes, sexual assault victims are unaware that it is possible to seek compensation from the person who committed the assault by filing a sexual assault lawsuit against the responsible party.

Sexual assault survivors may pursue compensation for the cost of medical treatment related to the assault, the cost of emotional counseling, and lost wages. 

What Is the Difference Between a Criminal and Civil Case for Sexual Assault?

In criminal cases, the assailant can be convicted of a crime and sentenced to criminal penalties such as fines, probation, and imprisonment. This is in contrast to a civil sexual assault case, which can provide you compensation after your sexual assault. While this may not erase the memory of the event, it can help victims find justice and move on with their lives. 

The burden of proof in a criminal case is high, and the government’s goal is to punish the wrongdoing and to deter similar conduct. Sexual assault victims also face more public scrutiny in the criminal context when pursuing justice against their assailants due to the assailant’s rights in a criminal proceeding.

In contrast, a sexual assault lawsuit in civil court is designed to provide you compensation after the assault. Unlike criminal cases, civil cases can be resolved confidentially or pursued under a pseudonym like “Jane Doe” to protect your privacy. Many times, sexual assault claims are resolved quickly and confidentially without having to go to court. Our experienced sexual assault attorneys know how sensitive these issues can be and can help you maintain your privacy during this difficult time.

Sex Abuse at Colleges and Universities

Sexual violence is disturbingly common on college and university campuses. In fact, one in five women report being sexually assaulted during college, and more than 11% of all students experience rape or sexual assault through physical force, violence, or incapacitation at some point. In the great majority of sexual assault cases, the victim knows the assailant, making it more personal than other crimes. And often, sexual assault victims cannot consent to sex because they are drugged, passed out, drunk, or incapacitated.

Many victims of sexual assault on campuses never come forward.

Some are unsure whether their incident constitutes “sexual assault.” Some fear reprisal, worry that no one will believe them, or think that they will be publicly shamed or receive negative attention if they report their assault. Especially when it comes to sexual assault and rape on college campuses, victims often think that they are wholly or partly to blame because they knew their attacker or because they were under the influence. 

Whether the assailant is a stranger or someone the victim knows, being a victim of sexual assault can be traumatic and difficult to deal with. But sexual assault victims are never to blame, and there are systems in place to help them recover and feel whole again.

Title IX Laws for Sex Abuse on College Campuses

A federal law called Title IX imposes a duty on colleges and universities that receive federal funding to have systems, policies, and procedures in place to help prevent sexual assaults and rapes from occurring on campuses or university property. When incidents do occur, this law also imposes a duty on schools to respond immediately, effectively, and appropriately in addressing the situation. 

For example, if there is evidence that a sexual assault on campus was reported to administrators and the school did not investigate appropriately or remove the perpetrator from campus, this could be considered negligence and a violation of Title IX and be cause to file a lawsuit against a university.

Even outside of Title IX, colleges and universities may be liable for sexual assault and rape occurring on campus if their negligence is what allowed the incident to occur. Negligence can occur in a variety of forms, including:

  • Not keeping the campus safe
  • Failing to maintain adequate lighting at night
  • Failing to employ campus security guards
  • Failing to monitor student housing, including dormitories, fraternity houses, and sorority houses
  • Being informed of a rape or sexual assault and failing to initiate a sufficient investigation
  • Hiring employees, including professors or administrators, with a record of sexual abuse
  • Failing to take action when a school-sponsored organization, such as a fraternity, engages in conduct involving sexual assault

Sex crimes are physically and emotionally painful for victims and often have long-lasting effects. Sexual assault and rape victims have a right to seek justice beyond pressing criminal charges against the perpetrator. If colleges or universities could have prevented a sexual assault or rape, they may be civilly liable. If you or a loved one has been the victim of sexual assault or rape on a college or university campus, you may have a claim against the school. Our experienced trial attorneys are available to review your case and determine whether you have a viable action against the college or university that did not do enough to prevent a crime from happening.

Sexual Assault at Hotels and Resorts

Countless tourists and locals frequent Florida’s numerous hotels and resorts. Tourism is the lifeblood of Florida’s economy. Many people staying in hotels and resorts, whether for business or on vacation, have a false sense of security. Unfortunately, hotels and resorts are common sites of sexual assaults. 

Some people target vulnerable tourists and exploit lax security measures present at many hotels and resorts. Guests can also be drugged or taken advantage of after being over-served alcohol at the bar or pool or at the hotel spa, during massages, and otherwise. In many instances, the hotel or resort may be to blame for your injuries as the sexual assault could have been prevented. 

If you or a loved one was sexually assaulted at a hotel or resort, our experienced hotel and hospitality attorneys in Miami, Florida, know how to get you justice.

Hotels and resorts owe a duty of reasonable care to their patrons to maintain a safe environment. In Florida, hotel guests are typically considered “business invitees.” Property owners must routinely inspect for foreseeable risks, address any that are found, and, in some situations, provide warnings if the risk of crime is “foreseeable” on the property. 

A property owner can be legally responsible for sexual assaults occurring on its premises in situations where it knows of the risk of crime but takes inadequate measures to prevent crime, and a good hotel negligence attorney knows how to prove it. A hotel or resort may have inadequate security, inadequate lighting, or easy accessibility to private guest quarters, such as broken locks.

Property owners can also be negligent with respect to some action or inaction in its hiring of employees, such as failing to conduct adequate background checks, failing to provide proper supervision or oversight, or retaining an employee after discovering he or she poses a potential risk to guests. When this occurs, it takes an attorney who knows the intricacies of hotel negligence law to establish how this led to injury—and secure you the hotel injury compensation you deserve.

Individuals who have been sexually assaulted due to the actions or inactions of hotels and resorts are entitled to compensation for all of the damages they have incurred as a result. This can include:

  • Present and future medical and rehabilitation costs (including therapy, medications, and psychological care)
  • Economic damages such as lost wages and loss of future income
  • Non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering and emotional distress
  • Punitive damages in certain situations

There is a limited amount of time in which you may bring a claim for negligence against the property owner of a motel, hotel, or resort. The trial attorneys at Mase Seitz Briggs in Miami, Florida, are the top lawyers in South Florida hospitality law and understand the difficulty faced by those who have been victims of sexual violence. We can help you recover full compensation for your injuries in Florida or elsewhere.

Who Can Be Held Liable for Sexual Assault?

In some situations, a third party may also be liable for sexual assault. Businesses, schools, hotels, spas, apartment complexes, or condominium associations—just to name a few—can be held legally liable for the circumstances that led to the assault. 

For example, failing to perform background checks on employees or failing to provide proper lighting or adequate security measures on a property can shift liability onto the business owner if someone is injured in a rape or sexual assault on the property. Mase Seitz Briggs in Miami, Florida, will help with investigating all of the details surrounding your sexual assault or rape case and help you fight for maximum compensation in a civil lawsuit.

“Rape Kit” and Toxicology Evidence

If you or a loved one was the victim of a sexual assault or rape, you should seek immediate medical attention at an emergency room. Medical staff can perform a “rape kit” examination and any other medical tests that may be necessary depending on the circumstances of the assault. This is a fairly straightforward process that involves collecting hair and semen samples, swab cultures, blood samples, urine cultures, and toxicology samples. 

Medication can also be given to help prevent potential STIs or pregnancy. As much as you may want to, do not shower, change clothes, or clean up before going to the hospital, as this could potentially disturb collectable evidence.

Once you’ve seen a medical professional, our sexual assault attorneys suggest seeking the advice of a mental health professional who can help you deal with this traumatic event. If you can, you should report your assault to law enforcement. Then, you should consult with an attorney experienced in sexual assault to help you discuss your legal options.

Compassionate & Reliable Representation

Sexual assault cases must be handled with care because of the sensitive topics involved. If you or a loved one was the victim of a sexual assault or rape, you need an attorney experienced in these sensitive areas of the law. The team of sexual assault attorneys at Mase Seitz Briggs in Miami, Florida, has handled numerous sexual assault lawsuits and has the experience to represent you or a loved one to get you the compensation you deserve following these traumatic events. 

We have years of experience working with experts trained in assisting victims of sexual assault and rape. And, as a result, we have recovered millions of dollars for our clients who have been the victim of a sexual assault or rape.

Dealing with a case of sexual assault or rape can be difficult, but you do not need to go through the process alone. Our team of sexual assault and rape attorneys has helped countless women (and men) through the process of filing a sexual assault lawsuit and securing justice. If you’ve been injured, call us today so we can help you, too.

Sex Abuse Facts & Statistics

 According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network:

  • An American is the victim of sexual assault every 92 seconds. Many of those are in South Florida. 
  • On average, over 321,500 people in the United States are victims of sexual assault each year.
  • Sexual assault can leave victims with serious physical injuries as well as emotional scars that can last a lifetime. 
  • Sexual assault survivors are more likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, attempt suicide, and undergo significant emotional problems with family, school, or work. 
Get Your Case Evaluation
Contact us online now by using the form below, or call us at (305) 377-3770.

Get Your Free Consultation
(305) 377-3770
Mase Seitz Briggs
2601 South Bayshore Drive
Suite 800
Miami, FL 33133

Phone: 305-487-8863
Toll Free: 1-844-904-1749
Fax: 305-377-0080
1200 N Federal Hwy
Suite 200
Boca Raton, FL 33432

Phone: 561-210-8516
Fax: 561-210-8301
*Available by Appointment*
crosschevron-down linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram