The statute of limitations for sexual abuse cases in New York varies depending on the type of abuse you suffered and your age at the time it occurred. Sexual abuse laws can be complex, but a civil litigation attorney with our firm can work to pursue compensation before your time runs out.
New York’s Statute of Limitations for Adult Sexual Abuse
The statute of limitations for taking civil action against an abuser or third party (such as a church, school, or business) is different based on whether you suffered the abuse as a child or an adult.
Until recently, adult sexual abuse victims in New York had between one and five years to pursue a civil lawsuit (or press criminal charges) for most sexual abuse, assault, violence, or misconduct offenses. However, in 2019, the state extended the statute of limitations for some sex crimes under CVP/213-C, commonly known as the Child Victims Act.
Now, victims over age 18 have 20 years to take action for new offenses (the change is not retroactive). You can find a list of sex crimes included in the extension at NYCourts.gov.
Adult Survivors Act
New York’s Adult Survivors Act, signed into law in May 2022, allows adult sexual abuse victims previously barred by the statute of limitations a limited “lookback” window to take action. Under this act, victims will have from November 2022 to November 2023 to file a lawsuit for any abuse suffered after age 18, regardless of how long ago the abuse occurred.
New York’s Statute of Limitations for Child Sexual Abuse
New York also recently extended the statute of limitations for victims seeking compensation for child sexual abuse. According to the New York City Bar, the Child Victims Act gives victims until age 55 to file a civil lawsuit for damages related to child sexual abuse. Previously, victims only had until age 23.
The Child Victims Act also allowed a lookback window and was the model for the Adult Survivors Act. However, the lookback window for child sexual abuse cases ended in August 2021.
Why did New York Extend the Deadlines to Pursue Sexual Abuse Cases?
New York is one of many states that is changing the law in recognition of how hard it can be for sexual abuse victims to come forward. Victims often experience feelings of guilt, shame, depression, and confusion. They may feel fearful or even guilty about reporting their abuser, particularly if it is someone they know and trust, like a religious leader, teacher, family member, or friend. This can be especially true for child victims.
Extending or “tolling” the statute of limitations acknowledges the societal, legal, and personal hurdles victims face in reporting abuse and gives them more time to bring their abuser (or the institution that harbored them) to justice.
An attorney with our firm can answer further questions about the statute of limitations, tolling, and how they apply to your specific case.
You Can Pursue Monetary Compensation for Sexual Abuse Damages
If you or a loved one suffered from sexual abuse, our team can help you pursue compensation for your damages. This may include:
- Medical bills: You can seek the cost of past and future medical care related to your abuse, including emergency room treatment, hospital stays, doctor visits, medical procedures, prescription medications, and mental health services.
- Lost income: This includes back pay, lost wages, earnings, and benefits, and the loss of your earning potential.
- Pain and suffering: Sexual abuse often causes physical, emotional, and mental harm. You can seek monetary awards for severe bodily injuries, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, fear, insomnia, mental anguish, and other quality of life reductions.
Resources for Victims of Sexual Abuse
Whether you are grappling with the aftermath of a recent or past sexual assault, help is available. To find out more about crisis support services in your area, contact the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) National Sexual Assualt Hotline at 800-656-4673 for free, confidential, 24/7 advice. You can also chat with RAINN at online.rainn.org.
Consider reaching out to our sexual abuse attorneys for assistance with your civil claims. We help victims of abuse, assault, violence, and misconduct pursue the awards they deserve. We will:
- Investigate your abuse and gather case evidence, including witness statements, medical records, police reports, physical data, and more
- Prepare your insurance claims or lawsuits and file them within the statute of limitations for sexual abuse cases in New York
- Identify your damages and pursue fair compensation for your losses
- Advocate for you during negotiations and communications with opposing parties
- Fight for the most advantageous resolution to your case
- Represent you at trial if necessary
Call Greenberg Gross for a Free Consultation
We want to help you exercise your rights and get justice. The parties responsible for harming you should pay, and we can stand by your side and fight for the compensation you need to retake control of your life.
Our services will cost nothing up front. We do not want your current financial situation to be an obstacle, so we work on contingency. Our fees come from your successful settlement or verdict, and we do not get paid unless we win. To learn more, contact us today for a risk-free case evaluation.