LaPlace Sexual Assault Attorneys

Fighting to Recover Compensation for Survivors of Sexual Assault in LaPlace

As a survivor of sexual assault, you do not exclusively need to rely on the outcome of a criminal case to get the justice you deserve. You also typically have the right to file a civil lawsuit against your abuser. This important form of legal action empowers you to hold them accountable for their actions and potentially recover compensation for damages.

At Potts Law Firm, you are never alone. We are here for you during this unimaginably difficult time and can help you explore all available legal remedies. Our compassionate, driven team understands what is at stake, and you deserve the confidence of knowing your case is in good hands. With over 250 years of combined experience and over $1 billion recovered for our clients, our LaPlace sexual assault lawyers have what it takes to win and will be there to support you from beginning to end.

You pay no legal fees unless we prevail, so call (985) 236-0573 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation today. We offer same-day appointments and provide services in English and Spanish.

Can I File a Sexual Assault Civil Lawsuit If My Abuser Was Not Convicted in Louisiana?

When you report and provide evidence of sexual assault to law enforcement, you expect them to arrest your abuser and hold them accountable through the criminal justice system. Many alleged perpetrators of sexual assault do face criminal prosecution, but only some are convicted. In some cases, the state may not even choose to prosecute if they do not believe they have a case. The prosecution could also accept a plea bargain, allowing the defendant to get off on lesser charges.

The bottom line is justice is not guaranteed, and you will not play a significant role in any criminal prosecution. If the state chooses not to prosecute or is unable to secure a conviction, you may understandably be wondering if you can still file a civil lawsuit. Fortunately, the answer is “yes.”

The criminal and civil legal systems operate completely independently from one another. Whether a perpetrator of sexual assault is charged or convicted in a criminal court does not impact your ability to file a civil lawsuit. This also means that a criminal conviction does not guarantee a successful outcome in a civil case.

It is very possible to prevail in a civil lawsuit even if the perpetrator was not convicted due to the different standards of proof in criminal and civil proceedings. In a criminal court, the prosecution must prove the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, which is difficult to do in many sexual assault cases. In a civil lawsuit, the plaintiff must only prove the defendant more likely than not perpetrated the sexual assault, which can be far easier to accomplish.

If you are not sure whether you have a case, we encourage you to reach out to Potts Law Firm. Our LaPlace sexual assault attorneys can review your circumstances, including the events and outcome of a criminal trial, and determine whether we can help you pursue civil legal action.

We are ready to provide the comprehensive, empathetic legal support you deserve. Contact us online or call (985) 236-0573 to discuss your options with our team.

It's All About Your Recovery

Hear From Our Past Client's
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    “They were able to complete it in a timely manner and were great at keeping me up to date with communication throughout the entire process. I highly recommend using this law firm if the need arises.”

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    “Michael Bins has been extremely helpful in helping us to navigate a situation with an insurance claim on a commercial property. He’s gone above and beyond in moving our case toward a positive resolution that we’re satisfied with.”

    - Theo C.
  • The Potts Law Firm is a powerhouse of brilliant attorneys.

    “They know the law from every angle, dig deep, and will not accept anything less than what was asked in the original suit. The Potts team never backed down until the case was settled in full.”

    - Molly H.
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    “The Potts Law Firm answered all of my numerous questions in layman’s terms which is what I needed. I was able to lie back & heal from my injuries knowing full well that my obligations were being handled appropriately.”

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What Is the Deadline for Filing a Sexual Assault Civil Lawsuit in Louisiana?

It can take many years to come to terms with sexual abuse and decide to come forward, especially if the perpetrator intimidated the survivor into silence. Unfortunately, survivors of sexual assault in Louisiana do not get a substantial amount of time to decide whether they wish to file a civil lawsuit. If the sexual assault occurred when you were an adult, you only have one year from the date of the assault to start the legal process. This is why it is extremely important that you get legal advice as soon as possible.

If the sexual assault occurred when you were a minor, you can file a civil lawsuit regardless of when the abuse took place if you act quickly. Typically, a survivor who was sexually assaulted when they were a minor only has one year from the date they turn 18 or the date they discovered the sexual assault to file a civil lawsuit. However, recent state legislation activated a “lookback window” that allows all survivors who experienced sexual assault as a minor to take civil legal action even if this time limit already expired. Put more simply, if you were sexually assaulted while you were a minor and are now an adult, you have until June 14, 2024, to file a civil lawsuit.

What Types of Compensation Can I Recover?

The primary goal of the criminal trial is to determine whether the defendant is guilty and, if so, hand down the appropriate penalties. One of the penalties that may come with a criminal conviction is restitution, which requires the defendant to make payments to the survivor.

Restitution only very rarely covers all of a survivor’s damages, however, and it is not a guaranteed outcome. A civil trial is meant to specifically obtain the compensation that the survivor needs to cover all damages resulting from the sexual assault, including intangible losses that will not be covered by restitution.

Our LaPlace sexual assault lawyers will fight to get you compensation for all damages, including:

  • Lost wages and earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of consortium
  • Past, current, and future medical bills (including for mental health treatment)
  • Loss of enjoyment of life


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