What to Expect from a Clergy Sexual Abuse Settlement

If you have been sexually abused by a priest or clergy, you’re not alone in your traumatic experience. Thousands of allegations of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy and others are reported yearly. While you might not be alone in your trauma, that doesn’t mean you understand what to expect from a clergy sexual abuse settlement if you decide to seek legal representation and file a claim. Learn helpful settlement information below to feel more confident in the steps you take next.

Claimable Damages in a Clergy Sexual Abuse Lawsuit

If you’ve enlisted the services of a priest sexual abuse lawyer to bring forth a claim against a priest or clergy member, you might be curious about the damages you can claim. In most cases, clergy sexual abuse cases are similar to other sexual abuse cases in which you might be eligible for economic and non-economic losses.

In some situations, you might have economic losses you’d like to receive compensation for, such as medical treatment and therapy to heal from the trauma you experienced. You might also be eligible for non-economic or compensatory damages, such as emotional trauma, loss of life enjoyment, and pain and suffering.

Punitive damages might be awarded depending on the case and your experiences at the hands of clergy. These are paid on top of economic and non-economic damages and are often awarded to deter people from committing such crimes. However, punitive damages are generally rare in clergy abuse settlements.   

Factors Affecting Your Settlement Amount

Any victim reading up on past sexual abuse cases might have an idea of what they can receive from their own case. Settlement figures can vary dramatically, with many factors affecting the outcome. Your unique settlement figure might be affected by how long the abuse occurred, the nature of it, how old you were, and how it impacted your life. The more severe the abuse you experienced, the higher your settlement figure might be.

Clergy Abuse Statute of Limitations

Victims of sexual crimes don’t always report their crimes right away. They might be vulnerable children, unsure of what to do, or don’t feel comfortable or supported enough to seek legal help. In some situations, statutes of limitations might impact a victim’s ability to seek justice for themselves. For example, victims have seven years after they attain the age of majority in Maryland, while civil or criminal actions may be brought at any time in Maine. Your chosen lawyer can advise you of the relevant laws in your state.

Liable Parties in a Clergy Sexual Abuse Lawsuit

There can be many liable parties in a clergy sexual abuse lawsuit. You might wish to sue your church or be more inclined to sue particular ministers, pastors, or clergy members responsible for your sexual abuse. Your chosen lawyer can advise on the best course of action based on the facts of your case and your desire to receive justice for the pain and suffering you’ve endured.

It’s hard to know what to expect from a clergy sexual abuse settlement. However, with the right clergy sexual abuse lawyer on your side, you might have all the information you need to proceed with your case confidently.

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