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Best Sexual Assault Lawyers in Pittsburgh
It started as a few benign emails asking you out on a date. Eventually, the benign emails turned into much more aggressive communications both digitally and in person. Then, the unthinkable happened as you became a victim of sexual assault in the workplace. Workplaces are not the only locations where sexual assaults take place. A sexual assault can occur just about anywhere, including concerts, sporting events, and apartment complexes.
If you are a victim of a sexual assault, you might qualify to receive monetary damages because the owner of the property where the assault happened did not implement measures that protected you from a violent crime. The key to getting justice for premises liability is to contact one of the best Pittsburgh sexual assault lawyers.
According to data released by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, sexual assaults have steadily increased since 2010. In 2013, 300,165 Americans fell victims to some form of sexual assault, with the number climbing to 393,979 victims by 2017. Property owners should have prevented many of the incidents of sexual assault. When a property owner fails to take measures that protect visitors, the property owner might face civil litigation for violating premises liability statutes. The same principle applies to employers that fail to protect their workers from violent crimes.
Victims of sexual assault feel a wide variety of negative emotions, such as guilt, shame, and anxiety. At Morgan & Morgan, our team of personal injury attorneys helps victims of sexual assault receive just compensation for their injuries. In addition to making defendants pay for their illegal acts, we also provide a safe place where a victim of sexual assault can comfortably describe the details of an incident.
If you are a victim of sexual assault, you should reach out to one of the experienced personal injury lawyers at Morgan & Morgan. We offer a free case evaluation that helps us determine how to proceed with your case.
What Is Sexual Assault?
Sexual assault represents any non-consensual act of a sexual nature that is defined either by state or federal statutes. As a type of violent crime, sexual assault is all about a perpetrator gaining control over a victim, not an act that is considered a crime of passion. If you fell victim to sexual assault, you should know that it is never the victim’s fault an incident took place. Victims of sexual assault require physical healing, as well as healing from mental anguish and emotional distress.
As one of the best sexual assault law firms in Pittsburgh, Morgan & Morgan is here to help you file a civil lawsuit against your employer or the property owner that did not follow premises liability law.
What Are the Legal Responsibilities of Employers and Property Owners?
State and federal laws recognize the legal responsibility employers and property owners have for providing reasonable care to prevent sexual assaults. In many premises liability cases, the plaintiff’s attorney files a legal action against both the perpetrator and the party responsible for providing reasonable care to prevent a sexual assault incident. The requirements established for reasonable care depend on the circumstances of a sexual assault case.
Employers and property owners found guilty of negligence can pay both economic and non-economic damages. After found legally liable, both the employer/property owner and the perpetrator of sexual assault might have to compensate the victim.
Why Should I Hire a Sexual Assault Attorney?
Many sexual assault victims shut down after falling victim to the crime. They refuse to get help for emotional distress issues and just as importantly, fail to take legal action against the perpetrator. If you are a victim of sexual assault, contacting a personal injury attorney can help you receive the compensation you deserve for violations of premises liability statutes.
Help Filing a Civil Lawsuit
One of the highly-rated premises liability lawyers at Morgan & Morgan can help you file a persuasive civil lawsuit against your employer or the owner of the property where the sexual assault took place. We will assist you with gathering and organizing the evidence needed to win a lawsuit or motivate the other party to negotiate a favorable settlement. Physical evidence is a key factor for winning a premises liability lawsuit, as is finding witnesses that corroborate your version of events.
A personal injury attorney helps you submit medical records that confirm your injuries. For many sexual assault cases, plaintiffs seek monetary damages for mental health treatment. The premises liability lawyer you work with from Morgan & Morgan ensures you file your civil lawsuit before the expiration of the statute of limitations established by Pennsylvania law. Plaintiffs have two years from the day of a sexual assault to file a premises liability lawsuit in Pennsylvania.
Conducts a Thorough Investigation
Sexual assault cases generate two types of legal actions: Civil and criminal. On the criminal side, a law enforcement agency takes over the investigation of the incident. For a civil lawsuit, your premises liability attorney conducts a separate investigation. Your personal injury lawyer will review the official police report and then use some of the findings to determine whether your employer or a property owner failed to provide a reasonable standard of care.
You should not investigate your sexual assault case because of the danger you might find yourself in by asking questions and recovering evidence.
Determine the Value of Your Case
The best Pittsburgh sexual assault attorneys calculate a reasonable value for monetary damages. Your lawyer will examine your medical bills to come up with an accurate figure for economic damages. For non-economic damages, your attorney must factor in the costs associated with pain and suffering. Some states have established a formula for calculating the value of pain and suffering, but judges and juries are not bound to follow the formula for a sexual assault case involving the violation of premises liability statutes.
You also might receive punitive damages, which punish the defendant for not providing the reasonable standard of care as mandated by state law.
What Do I Look for in a Sexual Assault Lawyer?
The best sexual assault lawyers in Pittsburgh share many of the same attributes. You want to work with a lawyer who listens to your concerns, as well as pursues the same goals that you want for your case. Working with a personal injury attorney who expresses genuine empathy is a valuable factor to consider when searching for one of the best Pittsburgh sexual assault lawyers.
Your legal counsel should have compiled an impressive record of recovering monetary damages for victims of sexual assault. Every premises liability attorney on your shortlist should have earned the credentials to practice personal injury law in the state where you live. Above all, your legal counsel must fight hard for your rights according to Pennsylvania law.
Knows How to Interact With Law Enforcement
Because many sexual assault cases involve the filing of a civil lawsuit and one or more criminal charges, your attorney must be able to interact with law enforcement. Your lawyer must be careful not to overreach while investigating the circumstance that might have caused your employer or a property owner to commit one or more acts of negligence. Even if you decide not to file a civil lawsuit seeking monetary damages, you still require the services of an attorney to help you interact with one or more law enforcement agencies.
Knows How to Negotiate a Favorable Settlement
The best sexual assault lawyers in Pittsburgh know how to negotiate favorable settlements for their clients. Although you cannot avoid a criminal trial, you can save time and money by settling a premises liability case. Settlements often happen during the discovery phase of a civil case. Discovery represents the phase that brings the legal counsel for both parties together to share evidence and other types of information. If the lawyer representing the defendant feels you have a strong enough case to receive monetary damages, the attorney might propose a financial settlement that your personal injury lawyer either accepts or rejects.
How Do I Find the Best Attorney for My Sexual Assault Case?
Finding one of the best sexual assault attorneys in Pittsburgh, PA requires you to combine digital technology with old-school networking. The Yellow Pages used to list attorneys by the type of law practiced, but the phone book for business listings no longer has any relevance when it comes to searching for a premises liability lawyer.
Old-school networking remains a highly effective way to find the right sexual assault attorney. Start by asking trust friends and family members for recommendations, before branching out to network with your neighbors and professional peers.
A referral from a lawyer can lead you to an experienced premises liability lawyer. The recommendation you receive does not have to come from legal counsel that practices personal injury law. For example, you might know a workers’ compensation attorney who can refer you to a personal injury lawyer who specializes in litigating premises liability cases.
Read Online Reviews
Reading client reviews left on sites such as Yelp and Google can be the final factor that determines which premises liability you should hire. You want to find positive reviews that emphasize a sexual assault lawyer’s investigation skills, as well as the ability to convey genuine empathy.
Contact Morgan & Morgan Today
You should only consider Pittsburgh sexual assault lawyers who schedule free case evaluations for potential clients. During a free consultation with a premises liability attorney, you want to discover how long the lawyer has practiced personal injury law. You also want to ask about the record of success the attorney has for gaining favorable judgments and settlements. One of the most important questions you should ask during a free case evaluation concerns how much of your case a lawyer will work. You want a personal injury lawyer who supports you from the day of a free case evaluation to the end of civil and criminal proceedings.
If you are a victim of sexual assault in the workplace or on publicly or privately owned property, you should contact Morgan & Morgan to schedule a free case evaluation. We operate on a contingency fee basis, which means you do not pay upfront legal fees. This allows you to focus on taking care of medical bills until we negotiate a settlement or you win a judgment from a judge or jury.