California Assembly Bill 2777 is beneficial for sexual abuse survivors because it allows some survivors to pursue compensation and hold parties accountable for the sexual abuse they endured. The Sexual Abuse and Cover-Up Accountability Act, which officially became law on January 1, 2023, opens a window of opportunity for some adult sexual abuse survivors who were previously barred from filing because of an expired statute of limitations.
Survivors who think they may be able to bring a lawsuit for sexual abuse can review their legal options with a sexual abuse attorney.
New Law Sets Two Deadlines for Filing a Lawsuit
Now that the bill has officially amended the Code of Civil Procedure Section 340.16, some adult survivors can seek compensation according to the applicable deadline in their cases. Some will have until December 31, 2023, to file a lawsuit. People to whom this deadline applies must meet the following criteria:
- The sexual abuse occurred on or after their 18th birthday.
- An entity (e.g., employer, school, or church) bears some responsibility for the abuse.
- The entity tried to block the disclosure of information about a previous instance or allegation of sexual abuse (i.e. covering up the incident); and
- The case meets the December 31, 2023 deadline.
The Second Deadline Applies to Survivors Who Meet These Criteria
Some people will have longer to pursue their cases. A December 31, 2026 deadline applies if:
- The abuse occurred on or after their 18th birthday;
- The abuse occurred on or after January 1, 2009; and
- The case could not go forward because its statute of limitations expired.
The 2026 deadline does not require an institutional coverup of sexual abuse.
The New Law Can Help Survivors Seek Justice and a Sense of Closure
California Assembly Bill 2777 not only gives adult sexual abuse survivors a new window of opportunity to hold the institutions responsible for their abuse but also allows them to find peace and justice on their own terms. In addition, the law can help many people gain the resources they need while focusing on healing and moving forward.
Unfortunately, most sexual abuse cases go unreported, as the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) notes. Yet, sexual violence is costly for survivors, long into the future. Per the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the lifetime medical costs, lost productivity, criminal justice expenses, and other costs for one sexual abuse survivor can reach six figures.
Common Damages in Sexual Abuse Cases
These financial costs are a high price for survivors to pay in addition to everything else they suffer. Sexual abuse attorneys can help survivors demand damages from the parties responsible for the harm suffered. Each case varies, but generally, people who suffered sexual abuse could recover damages with a fixed cost (economic damages) and those with no documented dollar value (non-economic damages). Non-economic damages are those losses that affect your overall health and well-being.
These two categories of damages can include:
- Medical costs and rehabilitation expenses
- Mental health therapy and counseling fees
- Lost income, benefits, and other earnings
- Lost earning ability
- Mental anguish
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium or companionship
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Other abuse-related losses
If you or a loved one wants to know more about the damages you might be able to recover from a California Assembly Bill 2777 lawsuit, an attorney can help. They can review your situation and identify the damages you could pursue.How Else Can a California Sexual Abuse Lawyer Help Your Case?
You deserve a legal advocate who understands what you have been through and has the professional experience to protect your rights and interests in the fight for justice. The Sexual Abuse and Cover-Up Accountability Act is new, but the complexity of state laws and civil actions isn’t. The right attorney understands the law and can explain how it applies to your case in simple terms. They can also prepare you for what to expect if you take legal action.
After an attorney takes on your case, they can do all the following to resolve it:
- Investigate the incident
- List all potentially responsible parties and their role in the incident(s)
- Collect and review evidence that backs up your account of events (e.g., medical records, police reports, witness testimony, etc.)
- Take care of case-related communications with all parties (e.g., telephone calls, emails, and other correspondence)
- Aim to negotiate a settlement that covers your losses
- Represent you at trial, if necessary
- Provide case updates so that you will know where your case stands
Each case requires a unique strategy that addresses the circumstances, but having a legal professional on board saves survivors the stress of enduring the legal process on their own. When they work with legal professionals, they can have confidence that someone is looking out for them and handling their case accordingly.
Call Greenberg Gross Today to Pursue Compensation Under California Assembly Bill 2777
Our sexual abuse attorneys are ready to explain how California Assembly Bill 2777 benefits sexual abuse survivors and how its benefits could help you. The measure, also known as the Sexual Abuse and Cover-Up Accountability Act, is fairly recent, but some expect the legislation to allow many survivors to come forward, as it opens a new window of opportunity.
You can start by learning what you can do to pursue a case of this kind. We’re ready to help, so give us a call today. We can discuss your eligibility to file under the new law and your legal options in the fight for justice.