California Assembly Bill 2777 (AB 2777) was signed into law recently in California by Governor Gavin Newsom. This law provides adult sexual assault or abuse survivors more time to file claims or lawsuits seeking financial compensation for the suffering they have endured.
There are two new deadlines. Whether they apply to your case depends on the specifics of your situation.
A Magnified Look at AB 2777
This bill permits survivors whose claims or lawsuits were barred by previous statutes of limitations to file them in certain circumstances. It does not allow the reopening of cases that have already been adjudicated.
In fact, AB 2777 may allow survivors of abuse to file a claim, regardless of how long ago the abuse occurred, when one or more entities were legally responsible and were involved in a cover-up or any prior allegation of abuse.
How Do These New Deadlines Help Victims of Sexual Abuse?
These new deadlines may give survivors of adult sexual abuse the opportunity to file a case that was previously time-barred. The two deadlines and their criteria are as follows:
December 31, 2023:
- You survived sexual abuse that occurred on or after your 18th birthday;
- An institution or entity shares some responsibility for your abuse and damages;
- That institution or entity attempted to cover up the disclosure of information regarding sexual abuse; and
- Your case was filed by December 31, 2023.
This new law and deadline are especially important as it helps survivors who struggled to file claims because of cover-ups.
December 31, 2026:
- You survived sexual abuse that occurred on or after your 18th birthday; and
- The abuse occurred on or after January 1, 2009.
The new deadline helps survivors by giving them the opportunity to bring claims previously deemed ineligible based on the prior statute of limitations. A sexual abuse lawsuit lawyer can help you understand your options for compensation.
What Do I Do If I’m Eligible Under the New Bill?
If you believe you have an eligible sexual abuse case, you can talk to a lawyer about your options for seeking compensation. A lawyer can examine your case and help you gather evidence to support your claim or lawsuit.
How Does a Lawyer Help With a Sexual Abuse Case?
- A lawyer helps by protecting your rights and best interests. They give you legal advice and help you make decisions impacting your life. They know the laws and understand how this new bill will affect your case and compensation eligibility. They review your entire case to help determine liability.
- They can guide you through the entire process of collecting evidence and documenting the injuries you suffered. They can help you identify and calculate all your damages so you will know what to include in your claim.
- Your lawyer can handle settlement negotiations or help you take your case to court if needed.
- Whether a settlement is appropriate or a trial is the way to go, your lawyer will help you understand your options and then represent you on that path.
This is not an exhaustive list of ways your lawyer will help. They will do everything they can to secure the best possible outcome for you.
What Are Damages and How Do I Receive Compensation for Sexual Abuse?
When someone is sexually assaulted or abused, they suffer in many significant ways. They can seek compensation for all their suffering. For instance, if you were forced to pay for medical treatment related to the crime, you can seek compensation for those medical expenses.
If the crime caused you to miss out on work, you could be eligible to seek compensation for lost income and lost earning potential. Many people suffer mental trauma related to the incident and could seek mental health treatment to recover. Mental health treatment can be expensive, and these costs can be included in the damages.
Various non-economic damages can also be included in a sexual abuse claim, such as the physical and mental suffering associated with the incident. Other damages could include lost life enjoyment, scarring and disfigurement, anxiety, fear, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and more. Your lawyer will identify all your damages, assign value to them, and fight for the compensation you’re entitled to.
Reach Out to Discuss Your Case with Our Firm
The passing of California Assembly Bill 2777 is good news for survivors of sexual abuse. Those previously unable to seek justice and compensation may now be eligible to do so under the new deadline. However, laws can be confusing and legal processes are complicated.
You may be unsure of whether you qualify to bring a claim or suit under the new bill, but our lawyers can help you understand your legal options. Reach out to Greenberg Gross and tell us about your case today. We offer free case consultations. You do not have to manage your case alone and shouldn’t. We are your advocates and will fight for your justice while you focus on your well-being.