What is the Statute of Limitations on a Sexual Assault Claim in CA?September 24, 2021
California is one of several states that changed its limitations on sexual assault or abuse claims in recent years. Largely in response to the #MeToo movement, these extended statutes of limitations allow people to file lawsuits against their assailants when they would previously have been barred from doing so. If you believe you might have a claim, speak with a Santa Barbara sexual assault injury attorney as soon as you can.
Current Time Limits
The time limits for filing a claim depend on your circumstances. Some examples include:
- For adults assaulted after January 1, 2019, the deadline is ten years after the assault or three years after discovering that injuries stemmed from the assault.
- For children who suffered sexual abuse, they have until age 40 to bring a claim or within five years of discovering they suffered abuse and injuries.
- For anyone abused as a child who is outside the current statute of limitations, there is a three-year window that started on January 1, 2020, that allows them to bring a claim regardless of how much time has passed.
Even though there have been recent extensions, you should never delay in consulting with a compassionate lawyer if you suffered injuries from sexual assault or abuse.
Standing Up for Your Rights as a Victim
Some people may be intimidated or scared to pursue legal action if they've been sexually assaulted, especially when the other person is a friend, family member, or acquaintance. But being victimized by someone you know doesn't mean that it's any less serious of an offense—and you shouldn't let fear prevent you from seeking justice for what happened.
Be sure to seek help so that this event has no power over how you live your life moving forward. Our legal team helps people in your situation, and we are on your side and ready to stand up for your rights.
The Attorney You Hire Matters
The type of attorney you hire to represent your case also matters, as attorneys are not all the same. It's important to consider what kind of experience and knowledge an attorney has when representing someone in this extremely sensitive area. You want an attorney who takes on sexual assault and abuse injury cases and knows the common issues that arise.
For example, if there was any evidence collected from a recent crime scene where a sexual assault occurred—such as clothing, bedding, etc.—it needs to be preserved before it deteriorates because time passes quickly. A skilled lawyer will know how best to handle these types of situations so that critical information isn't lost forever. Even if your assault or abuse happened years ago, we can help to prove what happened to you and the compensation you deserve.
Contact a Santa Barbara Sexual Assault Injury Attorney Today
The longer statute of limitations for sexual assault claims in California ensures that victims can hire an attorney and pursue justice even though time has passed. The legal team of Bamieh de Smeth, PLC, can help, so please contact us for a confidential case evaluation.