Sexual abuse can change a victim’s life. Anyone who intentionally subjects another person to sexual contact without consent can be civilly liable for damages, including economic and non-economic losses. Sexual molestation, or any undesired sexual behavior, is a serious crime.
If you or someone you love has been the victim of sexual abuse in Billings, Montana, contact the trial lawyers at Heenan & Cook, PLLC. You can discuss the details of your case over a free initial consultation. You could be eligible for financial compensation from the offender or another party.
Why Choose Heenan & Cook, PLLC?
Why do clients choose us?
- We have a reputation for excellence in the community, in both settlement agreements and trial verdicts.
- We have decades of experience going up against major insurance corporations during settlement negotiations, as well as taking cases to trial.
- We operate on a contingency-fee basis. We only charge for our legal services if we secure a financial award for the client.
A sexual abuse case can be difficult for a victim and his or her family to negotiate alone. Hiring a lawyer from Heenan & Cook, PLLC, can help you get the most out of your lawsuit.
Why Do You Need a Lawyer?
Filing an insurance claim for a sexual abuse case in Montana can lead to negotiations with an insurance claims adjuster for medical bill reimbursement and other damages. Unfortunately, claims adjusters often try to take advantage of clients. Their goal is to convince the claimant to settle for as little money as possible. Hiring a Billings lawyer ensures no one takes advantage of you as the victim of sexual abuse. It also gives you peace of mind during the legal process, knowing an attorney with decades of experience is arguing your case on your behalf.
Montana Sexual Abuse Laws
Montana Code Section 45-5-502 defines sexual assault as knowingly subjecting someone else to any sexual contact without that person’s consent. Montana takes sexual assault, abuse, and molestation cases seriously. A first offense can result in a fine of up to $500 and/or a jail sentence of up to six months. Second offenders can face up to $1,000 in fines and one year in jail. Third offenders face $10,000 in fines and up to five years imprisonment. If the victim of sexual assault is less than 16 years old, and the offender is at least three years older or inflicts bodily harm on the victim, the offender can face life in prison.
Civil vs. Criminal Sexual Abuse Case
After a criminal attack such as sexual abuse, two different case types may open against the perpetrator: criminal and civil. The city of Billings will press criminal charges against the abuser, if applicable. The prosecution will then handle the criminal case, with the goal of obtaining a verdict and sentence, such as jail time or fines. A civil case is not to punish the defendant, but to give the victim compensation for his or her damages. It is up to the victim of sexual abuse in Billings, Montana to file a civil lawsuit against the perpetrator.
A civil lawsuit will require the victim and his or attorney to prove the abuser’s fault for sought-after damages. Proving fault in a sexual abuse case may take hiring expert witnesses, gathering evidence, and building a case to present to a judge or jury. Damages may include medical bills, physical pain and suffering, emotional distress, lost wages, lost quality of life, and punitive damages for the defendant’s intent to harm. Hiring a lawyer can make these legal processes easier on an abuse victim, and help to maximize financial compensation.
Contact Our Sexual Abuse Attorneys Today
The attorneys at Heenan & Cook, PLLC, have the experience, compassion, and commitment you need for a strong sexual abuse lawsuit in Billings. Contact us today to learn more about your case during a free, confidential legal consultation.