West Virginia sexual assault lawyer Chirag Desai of Desai Law represents victims. You deserve justice. You deserve fair compensation. Call (304) 974-1974 to talk to a lawyer and start your case.
Table of Contents
- Lawyer for Sexual Assault in West Virginia
- Sexual Assault Claims in West Virginia
- Compassionate Representation, Serving West Virginia
- The Claim
- The Compensation
- Why Choose Desai Law
- Free consultations – Taking New Cases
Lawyer for Sexual Assault in West Virginia
If you are a victim of sexual assault, please contact Desai Law for a confidential consultation with our compassionate team. Our law firm focuses on one thing – justice for victims. When you need advocacy, accountability and fair financial compensation for sexual assault, our law firm can represent you.
Work with an experienced lawyer who is dedicated to your cause. Call (304) 974-1974 or message us to discuss your case and begin today.
Sexual Assault Claims in West Virginia
If you are a sexual assault victim in West Virginia, here is what we want you to know:
- Sexual assault is against the law in West Virginia. It is a tort or an offense against a person.
- West Virginia law allows sexual assault victims to bring their own legal claims.
- To receive compensation, you must bring a claim and prove your case.
- Claims may be brought against offenders and the institutions that allow them to offend.
- A lawyer can represent you. Desai Law can represent you.
Abusers, and those who enable them, often try to cover up their actions and attempt to avoid accountability. As a lawyer for sexual assault in West Virginia, we are prepared to hold wrongdoers accountable. With legal advocacy, we build your claim and prove your right to compensation.
Call (304) 974-1974 or message us to discuss your situation with a lawyer.
Compassionate Representation, Serving West Virginia
Lawyer Chirag Desai founded Desai Law with the mission of helping victims. From our offices in Morgantown, we represent clients throughout West Virginia.
We know that sexual assault is a serious offense, greatly harming the victim. Victims are often silenced. But we can help.
You can have a West Virginia sexual assault lawyer who advocates for you. We take on the powerful institutions who allow sexual abuse to happen. Throughout the case, we are your voice as we seek justice and your financial compensation.
Where can sexual abuse occur?
Sexual abuse occurs in many contexts and settings. It often involves abuse of a position of power. Here are some situations where sexual abuse may occur:
- Medical care – Doctors, dentists, chiropractors, physical therapists, massage therapists, psychologists, nurses and medical assistants may commit abuse.
- Police stations – Law enforcement officials may abuse their authority, including law enforcement officers, corrections officers and court staff.
- Fast food – Workers may face sexual harassment and a hostile work environment.
- Gas stations – Employees often work alone and at night, leaving them vulnerable. Patrons may be assaulted. Gas station owners must take reasonable steps to prevent harm, including sexual assault.
- Restaurants, bars – A bar must have sufficient security to protect patrons. In addition, restaurant and bar workers may be assaulted by patrons, coworkers or supervisors.
- Athletic industry – In the athletic industry, those in charge are often decision-makers. Victims are often afraid to speak for fear of jeopardizing their status on the team.
- Contractors and construction – Sexual harassment may be a result of the culture in the construction industry.
- Employment – An employer may create an environment that allows sexual abuse to occur.
- Religious and civic organizations – Too often, religious and community organizations harm those they should protect.
- Schools and daycare – Minor children are vulnerable to abusers. Schools and daycares must hire safe workers and monitor them appropriately.
Each victim should be heard. West Virginia sexual assault lawyer Chirag Desai represents victims in a variety of situations.
A sexual assault claim says three things:
- Sexual assault occurred.
- The defendant is responsible.
- The victim deserves compensation.
Sexual assault is non-consensual touching of a sexual nature. It can occur when a perpetrator misrepresents the nature and sexual purpose of their actions.
A perpetrator is always directly responsible for sexual assault as an intentional tort. In a claim against the offender, you show that the defendant committed sexual assault and the damages you deserve in compensation.
Against third parties, you show how the party allowed or enabled the sexual abuse. We build the evidence of your claim by interviewing witnesses and gathering company records. We look at the actions and failure to act that resulted in harm. A claim may be based on negligence – the breach of the duty of care to prevent or stop abuse.
A sexual assault victim is injured physically and emotionally. A claim should reflect the great harm that a victim suffers.
Compensation may include:
- Medical bills incurred as the result of the abuse
- Psychological and mental health counseling
- Lost income if you are unable to work
- Emotional anguish
- Mental damages like anxiety, avoidance of certain situations and PTSD
- Compensation for physical injury and pain
Being a sexual assault victim may change the way you interact with others. It may cause difficulty in employment, personal relationships and daily life. These losses should be reflected in a claim for compensation. As your lawyer, we ensure that your claim for compensation is complete.
Notes on damages
- Punitive damages may be compensable if the defendant acted with a conscious, reckless and outrageous indifference to the health, safety and welfare of others. (West Virginia Code § 55-7-29.)
- West Virginia law generally does not limit sexual assault compensation. West Virginia Code § 55-7B-8 limits non-economic damages only in professional liability claims, like medical malpractice. The limitation is not applicable in an intentional tort or general negligence sexual assault claim.
- There are limitations that may apply to a claim falling under the Governmental Tort Claims Act.
What type of legal case is a sexual assault case?
A sexual assault case is a personal injury case brought by the victim. Intentional tort is one possible basis for a claim. A claim against an institution that harbored or enabled the assailant may be based on negligent hiring, supervision or retention.
Why do I need to bring a civil claim for sexual abuse? Isn’t it a crime?
There are several reasons why it may be important to file a civil claim for sexual abuse. It’s true that an offender may face criminal charges. However, there are important reasons to work with a West Virginia sexual assault lawyer.
- The defendant may not face criminal charges.
You would hope that a defendant would be criminally accountable for sexual assault. However, the charging decision is up to a state official. In a civil case, you decide to start the case. You may bring a case whether or not officials levy criminal charges.
- Additional parties can be named.
Sexual assault is often enabled by organizations and institutions. Too often, these parties look the other way, cover up and even shame the victims. You can name these parties to the case. Not only can they be held accountable, but they may be a source of compensation.
- You’re in charge of a civil case.
In a criminal case, the state’s attorney makes the decisions. They decide whether to offer a settlement and how to present evidence. In a civil case, represented by your sexual assault lawyer, you’re the one who makes the decisions with the guidance of your lawyer.
- The legal standard is different.
For a jury to convict someone of a crime in West Virginia, they must be convinced the person is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. With your civil case, the burden of proof is the greater weight of the evidence, or a preponderance. It’s possible for a civil case to be successful regardless of the outcome of criminal charges.
- Compensation is the goal.
A civil claim is about fair compensation for the victim. While a claim may result in a finding of liability and answers from those involved, ultimately, a claim seeks compensation for the victim. Damages are available to a victim that are not available in a criminal case. A civil case is necessary for a victim to truly receive justice.
- You can have a lawyer of your choice.
In a civil claim, you’re in control. You can have the lawyer of your choice representing you. You select your legal counsel and work with them throughout the case. Desai Law can represent you.
How long do I have to claim for sexual assault in West Virginia?
West Virginia Code § 55-2-12 creates a two year statute of limitations for sexual assault in West Virginia. The case doesn’t have to be completed by that time, only started. There are some exceptions that apply, including significant exceptions for minor victims. It’s always best to contact us right away to discuss your case.
What is the statute of limitations for sexual assault in West Virginia when the victim is a minor?
Under West Virginia Code § 55-2-15, there are multiple factors that dictate how long a victim has to claim for sexual assault in West Virginia. A victim assaulted as a child has 18 years after reaching the age of majority (age 36) or four years after discovery to sue the perpetrator, whichever is longer. They have 18 years after the age of majority to sue anyone who aided, abetted or concealed the abuse.
What if I didn’t realize that what was happening was sexual abuse?
In abuse cases, it’s common for offenders to explain away their actions and confuse victims. A person might not realize until years later that what happened was wrong, and that they are a victim of sexual assault. West Virginia recognizes these situations and creates an exception to the statute of limitations. The discovery rule may give you additional time to pursue a claim in a situation where you didn’t realize the abuse.
If you’re concerned about a situation, or you may have just realized that abuse occurred, please don’t wait to contact us. We can work quickly to protect your rights.
Why Choose Desai Law
When you are a sexual assault victim, you’re trusting your lawyer with one of the most important things you’ll ever do. The justice – and compensation – that you receive can impact your life going forward. You want to be heard, and you need your lawyer to capably represent your interests.
That’s what you can expect when you choose Desai Law as your West Virginia sexual assault lawyer. Here are some reasons clients rely on us with their most important legal matters:
- We’re focused on victims. Attorney Chirag Desai founded the law firm with the sole purpose of representing victims. Our focus is on you and your legal interests.
- Claims handled throughout West Virginia. From our Morgantown offices, we can represent you wherever you may need us.
- Commitment to community. Chirag Desai attended the West Virginia University College of Law. He chose to stay and build his law firm in the Morgantown community. He is deeply committed to representing the interests of those he serves.
- Honors and recognition. Super Lawyers has named Chirag Desai a Rising Star for the last three years. He is a two-time winner of the AVVO Client’s Choice Award. These awards are in recognition of the hard work our law firm does each day on behalf of our valued clients.
- Advocacy with compassion. We believe that compassion for our clients shouldn’t compromise aggressive legal representation. You need an advocate that won’t back down, relentlessly pursuing your case. That’s what you can expect when you choose Desai Law.
Meet our legal team – talk to a lawyer
We invite you to meet West Virginia sexual assault lawyer Chirag Desai. Get to know Desai Law and how we help clients.
Contact us for a personalized review of your case. We’ll learn about your situation, talk about the law and explain your options. We’ll take time to answer all your questions.
When you work with Desai Law, you know your lawyer by name. You’re a person we’re dedicated to serving – never a case number.
Free consultations – Taking New Cases
Desai Law, PLLC
449 Fortress Blvd
Morgantown, WV 26508