Being a victim of child molestation can negatively impact you for the rest of your life. Fortunately, under California law, you may be able to sue the person who molested you, even after you have turned 18 years of age, in order to get some retribution. However, California law puts a statute of limitations on what period of time you will be able to bring your lawsuit. Here are the limits on when you can sue.
Before your 26th birthday
Under California Code of Civil Procedure Section 340.1(a), you may sue for the recovery of damages against your attacker any time before you turn 26 years old. As long as you file the lawsuit against your attacker before your 26th birthday, you will not have a statute of limitations problem.
Within three years of discovering the injury or illness
If you have been injured or suffered an illness as a result of the child molestation, you have additional time to sue. California Code of Civil Procedure states that you must commence your legal action within three years of discovering the psychological injury or illness, or within three years after you reasonably should have discovered the psychological injury or illness.
This is often known is having a “repressed memory” of the child molestation. Often, victims suffering from a repressed memory of child molestation do not realize that his or her problems in life are connected with the child molestation that he or she suffered in the past until much later in their lives.
In order to show that you are suffering from a repressed memory, you will need a letter or statement from a health care provider stating that you suffer from a repressed memory. Also, if you were to proceed with the lawsuit, you would have to answer detailed questions during the discovery process about molestation. This is often a stressful process for the victim because it brings back memories of the child molestation.
How can an attorney help me through this process?
An attorney can advise you of what the statute of limitations are for your case. This can help you avoid the possibility of not being able to sue because the statute of limitations deadline has already passed.
Also, an attorney can help provide you with important information you need to know about the court procedure. For example, you must file the lawsuit against your attacker in the city where the child molestation occurred. Having an attorney by your side during this difficult process will ensure that your lawsuit is not unnecessarily delayed or dismissed.
Call Wallin & Klarich today
If you or someone you know is considering bringing a lawsuit against the person who molested you as a child, you need to contact an experienced Southern California attorney who can help you in your case. At Wallin & Klarich, we have over 30 years of experience successfully helping our clients resolve their legal issues. We know that this is a difficult time for you and we are here to answer any questions you may have. Our offices are located in Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, Victorville, West Covina, Torrance, and Sherman Oaks.
Please call us at (888) 280-6839. We will be there when you call.