Ottawa Sexual Assault Lawyers
If you or a loved one was sexual assaulted, you are entitled to compensation. Sexual assault is an invasive and traumatizing act that often leaves profound physical injuries and permanent emotional pain. One incident can change your life. It is not uncommon for survivors of sexual assault to develop debilitating psychological illnesses like depression and anxiety, or intense feelings of guilt, anger, and sadness.
Our compassionate Ottawa sexual assault lawyers at SG Injury Law can help make sure the responsible party is held accountable to the fullest extent of the law. Find out how to get started on your case when you contact our office at (613) 518-2416 for a free consultation.
Why Choose SG Injury Law?
When you are the victim of a sexual assault, you need an experienced injury lawyer to help you navigate the complex civil legal system and get the justice you deserve. At SG Injury Law, we understand that no amount of money can replace what you’ve lost as a result of the assault. However, we will work tirelessly to fight for justice on your behalf.
Our Ottawa injury lawyers will help build your case, gathering the evidence and information which is needed to prove your assaulter’s liability. We will also work to prove the extent of your injuries and how these injuries have caused damages, such as income loss, loss of ability to complete activities of daily life, and pain and suffering.
Most importantly, we do our work from a place of compassion, respect and care. We understand that opening up about your experience is never easy. We take a delicate approach, ensuring that you and your comfort are our top priority. We will work closely with you to help put the past behind you so you can build a new future.
What is the Difference Between the Criminal Process and Civil Process?
The purpose of the criminal proceeding for sexual assault is to punish the offender for the crime. The Crown (government) will charge the assaulter for their crimes. While the survivor will be a witness for the Crown, they will have no control over the process, is not a party to the action, and will not be represented by a lawyer. The process is accused-centric.
In contrast, the purpose of the civil proceeding for sexual assault is to compensate the survivor for their losses. The survivor will be in control of the process, will be a party to the action, and will be represented by a lawyer. The process is survivor-centric.
Another primary difference is the burden of proof. In the criminal proceedings, the accused will only be deemed guilty if the Crown is able to provide enough evidence to prove that they are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. This is a very high evidentiary burden that is difficult to meet. As a result, sometimes guilty offenders are found “not guilty” and let go. This itself can be traumatizing and deflating to the survivor.
However, in civil proceedings, the burden of proof is much lower. The survivor must show that the accused is more likely than not to have done the assault. If the survivor is able to prove that on a balance of probabilities the accused committed the assault, they will be held responsible for the pain they caused.
As a result, the civil proceeding can be much more empowering and can provide justice to the survivor when the criminal justice system fails to do so.
What Damages Can a Survivor of Sexual Assault Obtain as a Result of a Civil Lawsuit?
A single incident of sexual assault can have devastating effects on your life. You may have the right to recover both pecuniary and non-pecuniary damages. Pecuniary damages describe your financial losses, while non-pecuniary damages encompass every other way your life has been affected by your injuries. Some of the more common types of damages you could recover in your claim include:
- Loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Past and future cost of care
- Punitive damages
Limitations Periods for Historical Sexual Assault Claims
Unlike most other lawsuits in Ontario, there is no limitation period for civil claims for sexual assault. Both new and historical incidents of sexual assault can be litigated. Sexual abuse survivors in Ontario are able to initiate legal claims regardless of when the abuse occurred.
Get Help From an Ottawa Sexual Assault Lawyer Today
If you have experienced a sexual assault in Ottawa or Eastern Ontario, it is important that you hire an experienced sexual assault lawyer to help you obtain the caring support and full compensation you deserve.
We have the skills, experience and compassion to help you through this difficult time. To find out what legal actions may be available to you, contact our dedicated Ottawa injury lawyers at SG Injury Law today. Complete our quick contact form or call our law firm at (613) 518-2416 to schedule your free consultation.