Children who are victims of sexual abuse can suffer serious physical and psychological trauma. While filing a lawsuit may be the last thing victims and their families want to think about, talking to an attorney can be an important step.
At the law offices of Anderson & Cummings, we understand how sensitive these cases are and how important it is that abusers and those who enabled them are held accountable. Our goal is to secure compensation to help victims with the physical and emotional scars.
Our firm recovered a verdict and settlement of $20.4 million on behalf of 11 children who were sexually abused by their pastor. Partners Seth Anderson and John Cummings are award-winning, board certified trial lawyers.
A consultation with one of our Fort Worth child sexual abuse lawyers is complimentary and confidential. You pay no upfront fees for our legal services.
Anderson & Cummings. A Firm You Can Trust. Ph: (877) 920-9009.
Am I Eligible to File a Case?
Our lawyers need to review your situation during a free consultation. Child sexual abuse cases can be complex. Different factors must be examined to determine the validity of a claim and the value of damages.
If a criminal case was filed and the outcome was not favorable, you may be eligible to file a civil case in court. We know that holding negligent parties responsible for their behavior, including those who hide the abuse or protect the abuser, can be an important part of the healing process and may provide some financial relief to treat the long-term effects many survivors often experience.
Compensation for Victims of Sexual Abuse
The forms of compensation available to victims of sexual abuse will vary, but may include:
- Past and future medical care
- Physical pain
- Mental anguish
- Costs to relocate
- Loss of wages
- Physical rehabilitation
- Psychological therapy
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of companionship
A Fort Worth child sexual abuse lawyer from our firm is prepared to pursue maximum compensation for you. We are ready to organize mental health counseling services and offer guidance for victims and their loved ones. We have over 50 years of combined legal experience protecting victims’ rights.
Free Case Evaluations. No Upfront Fees. (877) 920-9009.
Understanding Child Sexual Abuse
When an adult intentionally or knowingly causes harm to a child sexually, it is known as child sexual abuse and is illegal under Texas law. This abuse can be both physical and mental, such as:
- Engaging in sexual conduct with a child
- Exposing oneself to a child
- Doing sexually explicit acts in front of a child or forcing a child to watch
- Making crude remarks via phone calls, text messages or online chats
- Sharing pornographic movies, videos or images with a child
- Taking provocative pictures of a child
- Viewing and violating a child’s privacy (when bathing or undressing)
If your child has been the victim of sexual abuse, our lawyers at Anderson & Cummings are available to discuss your legal options. There is no risk in calling us and no obligation to take legal action.
Who Could Be Liable for Child Sexual Abuse?
In child sexual abuses cases, the perpetrator is often someone in a position of power that the child knows, looks up to and trusts. This is why this type of abuse can go on for so long.
Victims are often scared to get their abuser in trouble or even embarrassed to come forward and have others find out. Victims may even wonder whether what they lived through is considered sexual abuse.
Parties that could possibly be held liable for sexual abuse include:
- School teachers, counselors and coaches
- Churches and clergy members
- Other religious institutions
- University professors and physicians
- Boy scouts and troop leaders
- Daycare providers
- Youth sports teams
- Summer camp counselors
- Gymnastic organizations
- Dance clubs
These institutions or organizations could be held responsible for aiding the perpetrator, such as failing to report the abuse, failing to reprimand the perpetrator for previous incidents, failing to run adequate background checks when hiring and other negligent behavior that leads to the harm of a child.
Time Limits for Taking Legal Action
In June of 2019, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed a new bill into law to help strengthen protections for victims of child sexual abuse by doubling the time limit victims have to take legal action against their abusers. Victims now have up to 30 years from their 18th birthday to file a civil lawsuit.
Child sexual abuse victims prior to this legislation had 15 years from the date they turned 18 to sue. Reach out to a licensed Fort Worth sexual abuse attorney to learn more about your rights and options.
At Anderson & Cummings, we work hard to pursue negligent and abusive parties to not only seek maximum compensation for our clients, but to prevent them from harming other children ever again.
We Are Available 24/7 to Take Your Call: (877) 920-9009.
Signs of Sexual Abuse in a Child
Identifying child sexual abuse can be hard since perpetrators often take measures to cover their actions. However, there are certain signs that a child may have been victimized.
Physical signs could include trauma to the genital area, such as bruising or bleeding that cannot be explained, ongoing or chronic pain while urinating or having bowel movements or wetting the bed.
Behavioral signs could include a sudden change in appetite or eating habits, such as refusing to eat, exhibiting inappropriate sexual behaviors, or refusing to bathe or change clothes.
Emotional signs could include having nightmares, trouble sleeping, fear of being alone at night, sudden mood swings, excessively worrying, or a child reverting back to sucking his or her thumb.
There are also many long-terms effects from childhood sexual abuse, such as:
- Severe self-esteem issues
- Major depression
- Shame and guilt
- Sleep-related issues
- Social phobia
- Inability to trust others
- Flashbacks of the abuse
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Revictimization (getting involved in abusive or toxic relationships)
- Sex and intimacy issues
When victims of child sexual abuse mature, they often take on certain coping mechanisms to deal with the harm done to them. This may include drug or alcohol dependency or other self-destructive behavior.
Resources Available for Sexual Abuse Victims
There are numerous resources available to child sexual abuse victims on a local, state and national level. These resources include, but are not limited to:
- Alliance for Children – Tarrant County – This center in Fort Worth helps provide clinical counseling services and forensic interviews for children of sexual abuse and their families.
- Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) – This is the agency to call if you suspect sexual abuse of a child. Child Protective Services (CPS), a division of DFPS, is generally responsible for conducting civil investigations of alleged abuse within the home, but also investigates reports of sexual abuse by other entities, such as school personnel.
- Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline – This hotline is devoted to preventing abuse in children, including sexual abuse. Professional crisis counselors are ready to offer assistance 24/7.
Anderson & Cummings is Prepared to Protect You
Families may be overwhelmed after learning their child was the victim of sexual abuse. We understand and want to remind you that you are not alone. Anderson & Cummings’ experienced attorneys provide free case evaluations to empower our clients and encourage them to fight back against the injustice they suffered. Take a look at our client reviews to see what our satisfied clients had to say about our services.
An initial consultation is 100 percent free and completely confidential. You are under no obligation after this meeting to hire our firm, but if you do, we charge no fees while we work on your case.
Our office in Fort Worth located at 4200 W Vickery Blvd is about ten minutes away from the Tarrant County Courthouse.
Anderson & Cummings. Trusted. Local. Lawyers. Ph: (877) 920-9009.