What You Need to Know About Suing for Past Sexual Abuse in Pennsylvania
Knowing what action to take after sexual abuse or assault can be difficult. Here is a guide on how to get help after sexual abuse occurs.
Pennsylvania has recently changed the civil statute of limitations for children that experienced sexual abuse, giving victims until the age of 55 to file a lawsuit. Victims who were 18-24 at the time of abuse have until the age of 30 to file a lawsuit. These statutes of limitations are not retroactive.
Statute of Limitations of Suing for Sexual Abuse
In 2019, Pennsylvania enacted legal changes extending the civil statute of limitations for children who experienced sexual abuse. The statute of limitation change would allow children who experienced sexual abuse to file a lawsuit until the age of 55. Survivors who are 18 to 24 years old at the time of sexual abuse have a deadline of the age of 30. The new statute of limitation is not retroactive, meaning the old laws will apply if the incident occurred before 2019. Under the old law, all adults, including those ages 18-24, have two years from the incident to file their case. Under the old law, child survivors would have until age 30 to file their case.
The criminal statute of limitations is different. Pennsylvania got rid of the statute of limitations for criminal charges in 2019, meaning an individual can file a criminal case at any time. For criminal cases before 2019, the survivor must file their case before their 50th birthday.
Suing for Sexual Abuse in Pennsylvania
Most victims file civil sexual abuse cases against an organization rather than the individual responsible for the crime. To successfully sue an organization, you must prove there was some form of negligence on the organization’s part. You must prove the organization owed you a duty of care. In this case, the duty of care is an employer’s responsibility for making the workplace a safe environment for everyone. An example of failing this duty of care is not having a sexual abuse policy. A sexual abuse and assault attorney can help you identify these negligent practices and help collect evidence for your case.