Bentonville Sexual Assault Attorneys
Fighting to Recover Compensation for Survivors of Sexual Assault in Bentonville
Are you a survivor of sexual assault? You may not realize you often have the right to take civil legal action against your abuser. This can help you secure justice, peace of mind, and compensation for damages in addition to any penalties imposed in criminal proceedings.
At Potts Law Firm, we are committed to helping survivors of this reprehensible crime exercise all of their rights. Our Bentonville sexual assault lawyers are compassionate to the unthinkable challenges you are experiencing in this difficult moment and are here to support you throughout each stage of the legal process. You will have the full attention of our team from beginning to end, and we will do everything possible to deliver a favorable, optimal outcome. With over 250 years of collective experience and $1 billion recovered for our clients, you can feel confident that we have the skills, knowledge, and resources needed to prevail.
If you are ready to discuss your case with us, we encourage you to schedule a free initial consultation by calling (479) 323-3738 or contacting us online. You will pay no legal fees unless we win.
Can I File a Sexual Assault Civil Lawsuit Even If My Abuser Was Not Convicted in Arkansas?
Many victims of violent crimes rely on the criminal justice system to hold perpetrators accountable for their actions. Though justice does sometimes prevail in these proceedings, just results are in no way a guarantee. Furthermore, the survivor of a sexual assault will have a limited role in a criminal case. They will generally have no say in whether a plea bargain negotiated between the prosecution and the defense is accepted. Even if a conviction is secured, a survivor of sexual assault may or may not receive restitution, which will almost certainly not be sufficient in covering all calculable and incalculable losses.
But what about situations where the prosecution fails to obtain a conviction and the perpetrator of sexual assault escapes accountability? Fortunately, you still have the right to file a civil lawsuit against a perpetrator of sexual assault even if they are acquitted in a criminal trial. Criminal and civil legal proceedings operate separately from one another. A conviction in a criminal trial does not guarantee the success of civil litigation and vice versa.
In fact, there are many situations where a civil lawsuit may be successful despite a failure to convict. This is due to the differing standards of proof that apply in civil and criminal cases. In a criminal trial, you must prove the defendant committed the offense beyond a reasonable doubt, which can be a tall order even when there is ample evidence. In a civil lawsuit, you must only show that the defendant more likely than not committed the offense, a much lower bar.
What Is the Deadline for Filing a Sexual Assault Civil Lawsuit in Arkansas?
How long you have to take legal action against a perpetrator of sexual assault in Arkansas will depend on how old you were at the time of the offense and whether the misconduct could be considered “assault and battery” under state law. Note that the deadlines for civil legal action work differently than those relevant to criminal prosecution. Our Bentonville sexual assault attorneys can help you understand how much time you have.
If you were at least 18 years old at the time of the sexual assault, you will generally have three years from the date of the offense to file a civil lawsuit. If the offense constitutes assault and battery, you will only have one year from the date of the attack to start the legal process.
If you were less than 18 years old when you were sexually assaulted, you have until you turn 55 to file a lawsuit thanks to a new state law enacted in 2021. Additionally, if you were previously unable to take civil legal action for sexual assault experienced while you were under the age of 18 due to an expired statute of limitations, you may have another opportunity to file a lawsuit if you act before January 31, 2024.
If a loved one with a physical or mental disability was sexually assaulted, you have until they turn 55 to file a lawsuit, no matter how old the survivor was when they were abused. You also have until January 31, 2024, to bring a claim on behalf of a disabled loved one if you were previously ineligible to do so due to an expired statute of limitations.
Arkansas’s deadlines for these cases can be confusing, especially with the new laws activating “lookback” periods for vulnerable persons. Get in touch with Potts Law Firm as soon as possible and we can quickly ascertain whether we can help you pursue a case.
Contact us online or call (479) 323-3738 to learn more about the legal options available to you. Same-day appointments are available, and our firm offers legal services in English and Spanish.
I had a wonderful experience with this law firm.- Stephen P.
I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend him or any of the team at Potts.- Theo C.
The Potts Law Firm is a powerhouse of brilliant attorneys.- Molly H.
I would recommend Potts Law Firm for any and all legal matters that come my way in the future!- W. Gary
Great law firm!- Hugo G.