Sexual abuse is one of the dangers that residents, especially children, face when dealing with New Mexico’s clergymen. It is a highly traumatizing ordeal that also breaches people’s trust in supposedly pious and upstanding individuals. If you or a loved one ever experienced sexual abuse from a priest, deacon, or another clergy member, you could still get justice and compensation for what happened.
A New Mexico clergy sexual abuse lawyer can help you take legal action against the church officials responsible for the abuse. You can call the team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 219-9622 today for a free case review.
Report Abuse as Soon as Possible
According to NM Statutes § 32A-4-3, everyone who has evidence or reason to suspect child abuse or neglect should report it to law enforcement immediately. They can start investigating the matter and apprehend the priests or clergymen responsible. Withholding information about the abuse can get you charged with a misdemeanor.
The New Mexico Attorney General has begun an investigation into allegations of sexual abuse committed by clergymen and other church officials.
Filing a Civil Case Against Sexually Abusive Clergies
Liable clergymen will face criminal charges if they get caught sexually abusing New Mexico residents. However, that does not guarantee they will receive a prison sentence as punishment. Another way that you can make them pay for their deeds is with a civil sexual abuse lawsuit. The civil court will examine your case and determine how much the clergyman and their supervisors should pay you as compensation for the injuries and anguish resulting from the sexual abuse.
For a free legal consultation, call (800) 794-0444
Recover Damages with Your Lawsuit
You can recover economic and noneconomic damages if you prove liability. Economic damages refer to the actual expenses you accrued due to the abuse. These include medical bills, rehabilitation costs, or lost wages while caring for your loved one. Meanwhile, noneconomic damages compensate for the other hardships you and your family experienced, such as psychological trauma and loss of enjoyment of life.
New Mexico does not have damage caps for these types of injury cases, meaning there technically are no limits to how much you and your family can recover. However, to ensure that you receive the appropriate amount, it would be best to monitor all the expenses related to the incident, such as receipts for hospitalizations and mental health treatment. Having these on hand will help in calculating damages correctly.
Pintas & Mullins Law Firm has New Mexico clergy sexual abuse lawyers available to help you form your sexual abuse lawsuit against the at-fault parties. They can assist in gathering evidence and the records detailing your damages. They can also present your case in court.
You can call our team today for a free consultation.
Consider Help From a Sexual Abuse Attorney
Besides helping collect evidence and other essential documents to form your lawsuit, a New Mexico clergy sexual abuse lawyer also has familiarity with state law. They can check for all statutes relevant to your situation and determine if you have other requirements you need to follow. An attorney can also represent you against the legal team hired by the liable priest, clergyman, or religious organization to defend them.
Check for Other Liable Parties
It is possible for other people to also have liability in a clergy sexual abuse case. Members of the church where the abusive priest served could have known about their actions but did not report them. Other clergy officials could have committed sexual abuse, as well. The diocese that let the priest continue with their heinous acts could also have liability for its gross negligence in handling its abusive clergy member.
A New Mexico clergy sexual abuse lawyer can also investigate whether more clergy members or other individuals became complicit in the abuse. They can review resources such as police reports or witnesses, and they can assist in filing a suit if you plan to sue these parties as well.
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Follow Your Case’s Submission Deadline
All civil lawsuits follow a statute of limitations or time limit for filing. NM Statutes § 37-1-30 carved out an exception to the typical three-year deadline on personal injury suits. A victim of childhood sexual abuse can file their case before their 24th birthday or three years after disclosing the abuse to a medical or mental health care provider, whichever comes later.
Your deadline might also get postponed if tolling exceptions apply to it. For example, an abusive clergyman fakes their identity or flees New Mexico to escape their charges. In that case, the statute timer might only resume its countdown when they come out of hiding or return to the state. Calculating your case’s due date can become challenging when such circumstances occur. A New Mexico clergy sexual abuse lawyer can help you determine your filing deadline and ensure that you submit your case within the time limit.
Bring Your Abusers to Justice
One cannot understate the trauma inflicted by a sexual abuser, especially when the victim trusted them, and the congregation sees them as a principled church official. Fortunately, justice is still attainable here in New Mexico. If you have any issues with developing your lawsuit, a New Mexico clergy sexual abuse lawyer could provide legal assistance. They can also speak on your behalf in court to help you fight for the justice and compensation you deserve.
The team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm has over three decades of civil litigation experience throughout the United States. Besides sexual abuse cases, we also handle nursing home abuse, product liability, and auto accident disputes. For further questions, you can call our team at (800) 219-9622 for a free case evaluation.