Manchester Sexual Assault Victim Attorney
Helping Victims of Sexual Assaults in Manchester and New Hampshire Statewide
Like other sources of injury, sexual assaults can inflict significant pain, suffering, physical damage and disability. Unlike other sources of injury, however, the trauma and indignity of a sexual assault can inflict psychological pain and harm beyond measure, which for many victims never completely goes away. Seeing the person responsible convicted for his crimes may bring a sense of closure to the victim and meet some of society’s goals for deterrence and revenge, but it won’t make up for the damages suffered by the victim. Moreover, in some cases the guilty party is never prosecuted or convicted. In some instances there are others who should be held accountable, such as the assailant’s employer, someone who put the assailant in the position where the assault became possible, or someone who was legal responsible for protecting the victim a the time of the assault.
Regardless of the outcome of any criminal proceedings, it is possible to recover compensation in civil court for the civil wrong (tort) of assault. It is also possible to pursue claims against other entities which may bear responsibility for the attack. Civil lawsuits for sexual assault can further serve important goals such as punishing those responsible, raising awareness and deterring future attacks, while at the same time providing the assault victim with much-needed financial assistance to deal with her injuries.
At the Law Office of Manning Zimmerman & Oliveira PLLC, our Manchester sexual assault attorneys have decades of experience helping injury victims in New Hampshire across the spectrum of civil tort claims. Our lawyers are skilled and experienced in holding responsible actors accountable for their actions, and our entire team focuses on doing the very best we can for our clients and helping them with their legal needs. If you or a loved one has suffered a sexual assault, we’ll devote ourselves to achieving justice in your case.
Can the attacker be sued if he was found not guilty in court?
The fact that a person was convicted in a criminal court of committing the assault can be compelling and useful evidence in a civil case, but it is not required. Criminal cases are different from civil lawsuits in many respects. Importantly, prosecutors must meet a high standard of proof to convict someone of a crime, establishing guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt.” In a civil case, you only have to prove your case by a “preponderance of the evidence” to hold the defendant liable. Also, criminal courts have strict rules of evidence that may not apply to a civil trial, so more facts often get to the jury in a civil matter. Finally, many factors go into whether a county attorney decides whether to bring charges in the first place, and not every criminal is arrested or tried. So regardless of whether your attacker was not convicted or never even brought to court, you may still be able to pursue a civil claim and obtain justice through a civil settlement or jury verdict.
Can the property owner be held liable for allowing the attack to occur?
The attacker may or may not have personal liability insurance or sufficient assets to obtain a significant settlement or judgment, but many times there is a third party that also bears some responsibility for the assault. For instance, if the attack occurred in a parking garage, hallway, stairwell or bathroom of a shopping mall or apartment complex, the owner or manager of the premises may have been negligent in maintaining the site with proper lighting, working locks or other basic security features. Such property owners can sometimes be held liable for assaults which occur in part due to their negligent security of the premises. In such cases, it is important to have a skilled and experienced lawyer who can build and present a strong case proving the property owner’s liability.
Other examples where third parties may be liable for assaults that occur on their property include schools, daycare centers, hospitals, nursing homes, state prisons and county jails. Students, patients, inmates and others are placed in the custodial care of a public or private entity, and that entity owes a duty to keep their charges reasonably safe. When an assault is committed by a teacher, prison guard, orderly or community caregiver, the organization in charge may be liable for negligence in their supervision, screening or hiring practices. Pursuing a civil claim in these instances is essential not just for the assault victim but also to put a stop to ongoing abuse which may happen to others at the facility. Our firm is knowledgeable in the unique issues and procedures involved in pursuing these types of cases.
Legal Help is Available for Victims of Sexual Assault in Manchester and New Hampshire
For skilled and knowledgeable legal help from a legal team committed to getting the best results and helping you with your needs, contact the Law Office of Manning Zimmerman & Oliveira PLLC at 603-624-7200 or 800-984-3151. Our Manchester sexual assault attorneys help victims of sexual assault find justice and compensation in Concord, Nashua and throughout New Hampshire statewide.