Child Sex Abuse Lawyer in California

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In addition, he has been named Orange County Medical Malpractice Lawyer of the Year by Only 1 attorney in each community is given this very prestigious award.

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Attorney Thomas Cifarelli files suit on behalf of victim of child sexual abuse by boxing coach

Congratulations to Thomas Cifarelli for again being named by Southern California Super Lawyers, Los Angeles Magazine and Orange Coast Magazine as one of the Top 50 Attorneys in Orange County for 2014.

There may be nothing in the world more horrific than the harm suffered by a child who has been sexually abused. The emotional scars left by child molesters and abusers never completely heal, and victims can never reclaim that which has been taken from them. Child sex abuse victims need a strong advocate in these matters — someone who will fight to see that the wrongdoers and the organizations responsible for overseeing them are held accountable for your child’s suffering.

At The Cifarelli Law Firm, LLP in Orange County, California, we represent abuse, auto accident and injury victims throughout California and across the United States in a wide variety of child abuse and child injury matters. Our lawyers understand the responsibility that school districts, day care centers, residential care facilities, churches and youth organizations have to protect children from all types of harm, and we will be there to fight for your child when those responsibilities are not met.

Seeking Justice For Injured Children

Children who are sexually abused or injured have the right to be fully compensated for their pain and suffering, emotional distress and medical care. Our only concern in these cases is your child’s long-term welfare. We work to determine the full extent of his or her needs and conduct a thorough investigation to determine who was responsible for the harm he or she has suffered.

While seeking compensation for our clients is always our first priority, we know that there is more work that needs to be done. In addition to seeing that our clients’ needs are fully accommodated, we work to create a fundamental change in the way the negligent parties do their jobs in an effort to prevent future victimization of other children.

Liability In Child Sexual Abuse Claims

Child sexual abuse is a parents’ worst nightmare. Child sex abuse has been known to not only impact the victim, but the whole family as well. Fortunately, California State law provides victims the opportunity to sue the perpetrator for damages.

If you or a loved one has been subjected to child sexual abuse in Orange County, contact our law office for a consultation. We can help you pursue criminal charges and file a civil complaint against the perpetrator. The criminal trial will have no direct impact on the filing of a civil action. Read on to learn more about how to establish civil liability in a California child sexual abuse case and how our attorneys can help you.

Child sexual abuse occurs when a child experiences unwanted sexual activity were the perpetrator uses force, makes threats, or takes advantage of the youth. Sexual activity is defined as any sexual activity between an adult and child, such as fondling, intercourse, oral-genital contact, or exposure to child pornography. No physical touching needs to occur in order for an act to be deemed as sexual activity. Additionally, even if the perpetrator argues that the child consented to the activity, he/she can still be held liable for sexual abuse.

A civil personal injury lawsuit can be filed against the perpetrator for damages. You can file a lawsuit for assault and battery, or the intentional infliction of emotional distress. You do not have to wait to the conclusion of the criminal trial to file an action on behalf of your child.

Most predators who commit sexual abuse serve as caregivers. Initially, your child may not display signs of being sexually abused. Possible signs of child sexual abuse to look out for consist of the following:

  1. Nightmares or sleep disturbances
  2. Sexual interest at an early age
  3. Extreme anger and tantrums
  4. Fear of certain places or people
  5. Toileting regression

A child who has experienced sexual abuse may not be able to speak up right away. You may need to hire an investigator to determine if abuse is occurring. Contact our attorneys for more information on working with an investigator regarding child sexual abuse in California.  In addition, you may be able to file an action against a person who was mandated to report the occurrence of sexual abuse but failed to do so. Damages in a civil action for child sexual abuse compensate victims for pain, suffering, emotional distress, medical expenses, psychiatric care, and counseling costs arising from the violent sex abuse.

California Child Sexual Abuse Laws

Childhood sexual abuse is one of the worst things a human being can be forced to endure. In addition to the immediate physical trauma, child sex abuse often inflicts emotional damage that can last well into adulthood. In too many cases, victims never fully recover from the horrors to which they have been subjected.

In California, victims of child sexual abuse have the right to sue their abusers and, in some cases, the institutions that enabled the abuse. However, many children are so frightened by the prospect of confronting their abusers that they do not tell anyone about the abuse until many years after it occurred. Others may repress memories of the abuse, only to have them reappear later in life. Unfortunately, this delayed reporting can sometimes prevent victims from being able to take legal action.

Under current California law, sexual abuse victims who are adults over the age of 26 are often barred from bringing suit over childhood sexual abuse.

In 2003, the California Legislature opened up a special one-year window to allow abuse victims whose claims have been barred by the statute of limitations to seek compensatory damages. A bill currently pending before the Legislature would open up another similar one-year window.

Under the terms of the legislation, previously time-barred claims will be allowed so long as the plaintiff either turned age 26 before January 1, 2003 or discovered the source of his or her injury on or after January 1, 2004. In essence, the legislation is intended to restore the ability to sue for a subset of abuse victims who could not bring claims during the initial one-year window.

The bill is being hailed by victims’ advocates as a major step forward for holding abusers accountable. Some groups, however, are opposing the legislation, arguing that it unfairly exposes them to liability. One of the most vocal opponents has been the Catholic Church. The Church did not contest the 2003 window, but it has now changed its approach in the wake of numerous lawsuits claiming sexual abuse by priests or other members of the clergy.

Dedicated Child Abuse Attorneys

Get help from a trusted Orange County child sexual abuse and injury attorney. Contact our office to discuss your child’s claim with a member of our legal team. You can reach our office by phone at (949) 502-8600.

The Cifarelli Law Firm offers free consultations to child abuse, sexual abuse, child neglect, bullying, auto accident, medical malpractice and personal injury victims in California.

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