Seeking Justice for Sexual Misconduct by a Medical Professional
We place a lot of trust in doctors to help keep our minds and bodies healthy. While the vast majority of health professionals are committed to acting with the utmost integrity, there are a tiny percentage who are predators. When a doctor or other medical professional sexually assaults or acts indecently with a patient, they have broken the duty of care they are expected to uphold and should be held accountable for their actions. Civil lawsuits for sexual misconduct fall under personal injury laws while criminal charges fall under criminal law.
Criminal charges or civil lawsuit for sexual misconduct?
When it comes to sexual misconduct, it may be appropriate to pursue both criminal charges and a civil lawsuit against the perpetrator.
Sexual assault and sexual abuse are serious crimes that may warrant criminal charges that result in prison time, the loss of a medical license and even a requirement to register as a sex offender. It is important to file a report with the police if you are sexually assaulted or abused by a medical professional.
Whether or not criminal charges are brought by the district attorney, victims have a right to pursue a civil claim. The purpose of a civil claim is to get a monetary settlement for your damages relating to the assault or abuse. Damages for sexual misconduct cases include pain and suffering, emotional distress, and the cost of therapy.
Sexual misconduct: statute of limitations
It is common for victims of sexual assault or sexual abuse to feel ashamed or embarrassed after the incident. Many also worry that they will not be believed. These feelings can lead people to resist coming forward, which leaves the perpetrator free to abuse others and deprives the victim of justice. If you or a loved one was sexually assaulted or sexually abused by a medical professional, we highly encourage you to contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney and the Washington Medical Board as soon as possible. You are not alone! A sexual misconduct lawyer is there to help you gather evidence and fight for justice on your behalf. In Washington State, victims have three years from the date of the assault to file a personal injury claim but the sooner the claim is brought, the better. The longer you wait, the harder it is to uncover the evidence needed to prove your claim.
Why it’s important to hire a medical malpractice lawyer for sexual misconduct cases
Sexual assault and sexual abuse cases involving doctors or other health professionals usually fall under the category of “intentional tort” because they were intentional acts, rather than negligence. Most medical malpractice insurance policies specifically exclude liability for an intentional act, which makes these types of claims more difficult to win. A medical malpractice attorney in your state is best equipped to build a winning case and get the justice you deserve.
Seek the help of a medical malpractice attorney
If you were injured because of medical negligence or lost a loved one due to a preventable medical error, you have enough to deal with. Let an experienced medical malpractice attorney fight for justice on your behalf. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times larger with the help of a medical negligence lawyer. Call the most experienced practicing medical malpractice attorneys Bellingham has at Tario & Associates, P.S. today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing people injured by medical negligence in Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!