Insurance is intended to cover expenses in case something happens. While many people may not think of it, certain criminal acts can lead to policies to help victims. This is becoming a growing issue in terms of supporting sexual abuse victims. Many state governments believe that specific insurance policies should and do cover sexual abuse.
State governments are finding new ways to address CSA (child sexual abuse) as described by the National Institutes of Health. Insurance policies are a part of the plan to ensure that victims can get the support that they need. However, there are many questions still surrounding insurance coverage for victims of sexual abuse.
Types of Insurance
When examining the possibility of insurance coverage for victims of sexual abuse, it is important to start with an understanding of insurance. There are multiple types of insurance coverage, but few specifically apply to sexual abuse claims. These include:
- General Liabilities (GL) plans: GL plans are the basic plans that are designed to cover anything that happens. Many argue that GL plans inherently cover sexual abuse. However, some plans explicitly cover it under a clause that covers being the victim of criminal activities.
- D&O/EPLI plans: D&O/EPLI are, essentially, employer plans. They specifically cover sexual harassment, but some argue that this also includes sexual abuse by the nature of the coverage that they provide.
There are many other types of insurance that are not covered on this list. Determining if an insurance plan covers sexual abuse can be difficult unless it explicitly states it in the plan documents. Consulting a child sexual assault lawyer can help you determine if you can file a claim with your current insurance policy. Many state governments are examining how these plans are written and may take steps to ensure that sexual abuse will be covered under insurance plans.
Types of Child Abuse Expenses
Child abuse usually results in several types of expenses for victims and their families. Medical costs can be extensive depending on the specifics of the incident(s). Most victims end up with some level of medical expense debt, although this is usually handled by the parents of the victim since the victim is a child. Still, it can impact their quality of life by taking funds away from the family that otherwise could have been spent taking care of the family.
During childhood and as they age, victims often need mental healthcare. Counseling can be quite expensive, especially for trauma-related care which is a specialty. This is an expense that transfers to the victim from the parents as the victim gets older. The costs are also ongoing, making it a part of the victim’s permanent budget. Many victims struggle to maintain jobs or establish social connections, making it difficult to earn a living. In many cases, this puts the cost of care out of reach.
Common Injuries From Child Sexual Abuse
CSA also comes with injuries that seem to be almost universal among victims. Treating these injuries is the key to helping victims get their lives back on track. These injuries may include:
- Physical damage: Violent sexual assault can lead to a variety of physical injuries, including cuts, bruises, broken bones, and genital damage. These are the most immediate injuries that are addressed after a sexual assault since they require medical care to properly heal.
- Pregnancy: Depending on the specifics of a case, pregnancy is a possible outcome. Since the majority of victims are women, there is a somewhat high chance that this could happen.
- STDs/STIs: It is also possible and common to contract an STD or STI from sexual abuse. Most abusers are not tested regularly for diseases, making it more likely that they will contract one and pass it on to victims.
- Social Anxiety: CSA can lead to problems forming social attachments, which makes victims anxious about social situations.
- Stunted development: CSA victims may also show signs of stunted development, particularly in the behavioral and emotional areas.
- Anti-social behavior: Some CSA victims tend to start showing anti-social behavior by avoiding social situations and acting out to avoid social interactions.
- Behavioral problems: CSA victims often develop behavioral problems by acting out and struggling to regulate emotional responses.
- PTSD: CSA victims experience trauma which leads to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in many cases. Specialized treatment is needed to help in the healing process.
There are other injuries from CSA not covered on this list. There are organizations, like the Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, trying to address these problems by finding early interventions to stop them from happening. While progress is being made, there is still a lot left that needs to be understood to help victims.
Call Us to Discuss the Details of Your Potential Case
If you or a loved one is the victim of child sexual abuse you may be eligible to receive compensation for your damages and losses. There is a chance that you can file a personal injury case and recover a monetary award to help you get the medical and mental health support that you need. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 794-0444 to discuss your case with our legal team today. The call is free and there is no obligation.