Lawmakers are currently trying to pass new laws that extend the statute of limitations or even try to get rid of it all together, especially for sexual abuse claims. What is the current law regarding the statute of limitations for sexual abuse claims?
Statute of limitations is defined by Legalmatch.com as a restricted amount of time a victim has to come forward with a sexual abuse claim. The time length varies by state, however, in Pennsylvania, there are civil and criminal differences when it comes to statute of limitations. Keep in mind, the timing usually starts at the time of the offense.
Civil Lawsuits in Philadelphia
A civil lawsuit sexual abuse claim can be filed against the responsible party like a person, church or school. Under this claim, you can hold the responsible party accountable for their actions and receive compensation for economic damages like any medical bills and non-economic damages like pain and suffering
Adults have two years from the time of the incident to file a civil lawsuit. A minor has 12 years from their 18th birthday to file. There are new laws trying to be passed to change these current laws in place and to be able to reopen cases.
Have you suffered from workplace sexual harassment? This makes things a little different. To start, a complaint has to be filed within 300 days to investigate and possibly pursue a lawsuit.
Criminal Lawsuits in Philadelphia
To file a criminal lawsuit, you must report the incident to law enforcement. A criminal lawsuit can bring forth consequences to the responsible party by making them serve jail time and register as a sex offender.
For children, they need to bring the lawsuit forward before their 50th birthday. Adults have 12 years from the incident to bring a criminal lawsuit forward.
DNA can always help identify the responsible party, but under the statute of limitations, for DNA to be used in legal cases, the lawsuit needs to be within one year of the DNA identification.
Edelstein Law Firm
If you are looking to file a sexual abuse claim, you need to work with a Philadelphia sexual abuse lawyer that is compassionate, supportive and can offer advice and legal representation. The legal team at Edelstein Law Firm will make sure you understand your rights and help you through the difficult process.