Clergy sexual abuse continues to be a focal point for law enforcement and child protection advocates across the country following the revelations this there is a widespread and systemic problem with child abuse in religious organizations. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), sexual abuse is one of the most common forms of child abuse. It can have a profound effect on a victim’s life, sometimes leading to substantial problems when trying to manage their lives. Fortunately, many states are taking action to make it easier for victims to come forward and identify their abusers and find justice.
If you or a loved one are the victims of clergy sexual abuse, the laws are changing in your favor to help you take legal action against an abuser. Discuss your options with the office of a Nevada clergy sexual abuse lawyer to see how the new laws have opened up your options. Call the offices of Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 219-9622 for a free consultation about your case.
One of the first aspects of your case that will be addressed is liability. In a case where clergy members are involved, liability can be somewhat tricky to figure out. In most cases, the abuser is the one who is held liable. However, previous cases have revealed that religious organizations like the Catholic Church have taken extensive measures to try to cover up abuse. If this circumstance applies to your case, the organization is liable as well.
The party held liable can largely determine the amount of compensation that you can collect. Many clergy members have little money and few resources to pay compensation. This is why it is important to hold the organization responsible if it attempted to cover up the abuse. This strategy can be helpful in recovering compensation that can help you get the mental health and support you need to improve your life.
Clergy Sexual Abuse Laws in Nevada
According to the Child Welfare Information Gateway, Nevada is one of the states that includes clergy members on the list of mandatory reporters for child sexual abuse. Essentially, clergy members that suspect or know that abuse is happening are required to report that abuse to local authorities. If they do not, they may face criminal and civil charges.
Mandatory reporting laws are designed to encourage people who interact with children on a regular basis to watch for signs of abuse and to take action when necessary. These laws can help identify potential problems for law enforcement to investigate.
Aside from Nevada’s mandatory reporting law, many religious organizations have instituted mandatory reporting rules. For example, the Catholic Church has a mandatory reporting rule requiring clergy members to report suspected abuse to high-level local authorities within the church and directly to the Vatican for further analysis.
Many states are also increasing the length of the statute of limitations for filing lawsuits against abusers. The statute of limitations is the timeline for how long you have to file your lawsuit, and it usually starts when a child victim reaches the age of adulthood plus several years, depending on where you are. Some states have increased this by decades, while other states have eliminated the statute entirely. This means that if you are an adult victim of previous child abuse, you may be able to come forward now.
The goal of a civil lawsuit is to collect financial compensation to help you with expenses related to your recovery. Seeking medical treatment and the long-term financial impacts of being abused can have detrimental effects on your life. By collecting compensation from the responsible party, you may be able to eliminate some of your financial problems and get the help that you need for a full recovery.
Some of the most common claims in abuse lawsuits are pain-and-suffering compensation and medical expenses. Medical expenses can include anything from medical care for injuries to mental health care services. Pain-and-suffering compensation is intended to address the mental and emotional stress caused by the abuse that you suffered.
Settlement vs. Trial
Civil case claims are filed with the court before going to trial to be resolved. You may be offered a settlement agreement to try to end the case before it goes to trial. You are not obligated to accept, but it can be worth considering the potential benefits.
Settlement agreements can end your lawsuit without having to go to the stress of a trial and give you the opportunity to negotiate the amount of compensation you receive. Many victims opt for this route to keep the details of their cases private.
If you are offered a settlement agreement, you might want to review it with your Nevada clergy sexual abuse lawyer to weigh the pros and cons. You can also renegotiate to try to get the terms that you feel are most appropriate.
Contact Us to Schedule a No-Risk Consultation
Although it can be difficult to come forward in an abuse case, doing so may help you start your recovery. Recent changes in the law also offer clergy sexual abuse victims support that did not exist in the past. Start the process by discussing your case with the office of a Nevada clergy sexual abuse lawyer to see what your options are. Call the offices of Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 219-9622 to discuss your case with our team.