In recent years, the media and the legal system have raised public awareness and documentation of clergy abuse. Although much of this publicity has centered on the Catholic Church, ministers, pastors, rabbis, and other clergy members from other denominations have also been involved in these incidents of abuse. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries as a result of clergy abuse, you may have a legal claim for compensation. A Fresno clergy abuse lawyer can assess your situation and determine whether you have a valid legal claim.
Many clergy abuse claims do not arise or come to light until many years after childhood abuse has occurred. Proving liability in these types of cases can be challenging and complex. Getting legal assistance from Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help you navigate clergy abuse claims. Call (800) 219-9622 to learn more about getting started on your claim and holding clergy and their employers accountable for the parts that they played in your abuse.
Childhood Clergy Abuse
Children and their families have every reason to trust the clergy members at the churches and other places of worship that they attend. As a result, clergy sexual abuse can be particularly devastating due to the inherent violation of trust from a person in a position of authority. This abuse may cause permanent psychological trauma and related issues to survivors of abuse, which, in turn, can lead to continuing difficulties in relationships, education, work performance, and other life activities.
Studies and media accounts have traditionally focused on sexual abuse by priests and other religious leaders within the Catholic Church. Reuters reports cover-ups of sexual abuse within the church from 1950 – 2002. However, the Catholic Church is not the only denomination that has weathered reports of widespread sexual abuse.
Recently, investigative reporters in Texas uncovered hundreds of Southern Baptist clergy and staff members who abused victims, according to The Associated Press. As a result, clergy sexual abuse does not appear to be a phenomenon that is unique to the Catholic Church.
Deadlines for Civil Claims Based on Childhood Sexual Assault
California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill into law in 2019 entitled the “California Child Victims Act.” This law significantly extends the timeframes that childhood sexual assault victims have to file civil claims related to their abuse, including those who have fallen victim to clergy abuse. The California Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) §340.1 expands the deadline for these victims to file their claims until they turn 40 years old or 22 years from the date that they become legal adults at age 18. Furthermore, if adults do not discover injuries that stemmed from childhood sexual assault until much later, they have a full five years from the date that they discover the injury in which to file their claims.
The California Child Victims Act also opens a temporary three-year window for childhood sexual abuse survivors to file civil claims in situations where the law otherwise would prohibit them from filing their claims. For example, if the statute of limitations or timeframe for filing a claim for this type of injury has already passed, victims now have from January 1, 2020, until December 31, 2022, to file their claims.
A Fresno clergy abuse lawyer can assist you in building a claim against all potentially liable parties, including not only your abusers but also those religious bodies that employed them or allowed the abuse to occur.
For a free legal consultation with a Clergy Abuse Lawyer serving Fresno, call (800) 794-0444
Seeking Compensation in Clergy Abuse Cases
Whether efforts to cover up abuse are present in your case or not, you may be eligible for various forms of compensation or damages in a clergy abuse case. If you suffered physical injuries, for instance, you may be able to recover the costs of medical treatment. Likewise, if they suffer mental trauma and emotional distress as a result of the abuse, the costs of treatment for the resulting mental health conditions may be compensable. Other intangible forms of compensation also may be available, such as compensation for pain and suffering, permanent impairments related to the abuse, and more.
The financial toll of clergy sexual abuse injuries can be significant. In a recent study at the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (JHSPH), researchers found that the total costs of childhood sexual abuse in 2015 topped $9.3 million. These costs included medical expenses, as well as those related to child welfare, special education, violence and crime, suicide, and loss of worker productivity.
Fresno Clergy Abuse Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
Get Legal Help Today
Surviving clergy abuse as a child is no small task. However, you may qualify to get compensation from those who abused you, as well as the religious institutions that allowed and, in some cases, facilitated your abuse. Not only can you get compensation for your losses, but you also can hold these entities accountable for the injuries that they inflicted on you and so many others. A Fresno clergy abuse lawyer may be able to assist you with seeking compensation after you or a loved one has suffered from this form of abuse.
Getting started on your clergy abuse claim is easy with the assistance of Pintas & Mullins Law Firm. We know that your financial status should not prevent you from getting compensation for your injuries. Therefore, you will pay nothing upfront for us to begin work on your claim. We will collect our legal fees only when you receive an award or settlement from those responsible for your injuries. Call (800) 219-9622 right away and see what we can do to help.