Can I Sue My Attacker If They Aren't Found Guilty?

Maverick Ray Law
January 11, 2023

Pursuing Civil Damages After a Sexual Assault

Sexual assault survivors are often disheartened by the criminal court system. It is a long, arduous process that in some cases can result in little to no justice for a victim. What few survivors realize is that they can pursue a civil lawsuit to hold their attacker financially liable for the harm that they caused.

At Maverick Ray & Associates, we represent individuals who have been sexually assaulted in Houston and the surrounding areas. Our experienced legal team can help you pursue a civil lawsuit against the person that harmed you or another liable party even if they are found not guilty in criminal court. If you were sexually assaulted, contact our office at (281) 346-9451 to schedule a free consultation.

The Difference Between a Criminal Case and a Civil Lawsuit

Criminal cases are separate from civil lawsuits. A criminal case is brought by a district attorney or prosecutor who files charges against a person who has committed a crime. A civil lawsuit is brought by a plaintiff against a person who has caused them some sort of harm. A person does not have to be convicted in criminal court to be held accountable in a civil lawsuit.

It is important to note that even if a criminal case results in a conviction, a person still has the right to sue their attacker. Suing an attacker or another liable party for your sexual assault can help you obtain compensation for any of the losses you experienced as a result of the attack. For instance, you can sue for damages related to your medical bills, lost wages, physical pain, emotional suffering, and more.

When Can I Sue an Attacker After a Sexual Assault?

You can sue an attacker after a sexual assault at any point before the statute of limitations expires. However, it is in your best interest to file a lawsuit as soon as possible after the offense occurs. It is important to discuss your case with an experienced personal injury lawyer who can help you determine your rights after an assault.

Does an Attacker Need to Be Found Guilty in Criminal Court?

An attacker does not need to be found guilty in a criminal court to be held accountable in a civil lawsuit. A sexual assault survivor can sue their attacker regardless of whether their attacker was found guilty or if criminal charges were ever filed.

A civil court has a lower burden of proof compared to a criminal court. This means that even if there was not enough evidence to hold your attacker criminally liable, there may be enough evidence to hold them accountable in a civil lawsuit.

Can a Third Party Be Held Liable for a Sexual Assault?

Depending on the situation, a third party may be held liable for damages related to a sexual assault if they breached a duty of care that they owed to you. Generally, in sexual assault cases, it is a property owner or an organization that can be held legally responsible for failing to provide a safe environment resulting in your harm.

Hiring an Experienced Attorney

If you were sexually assaulted in Houston or the surrounding areas, contact our office at (281) 346-9451 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. Let us be your advocate during this difficult time.