If you were molested by your coach, you may be able to sue your coach and recover damages.
Adults can come forward with claims of child sexual abuse years after the fact. In Florida, you may bring a claim in civil court against your coach within:
- Four years from when you discovered the injury or causation of the injury;
- Seven years of your 18th birthday
- Four years from when you left the dependency of your attacker
What Can I Do to Help My Case?
As an adult, giving us a list of anyone who might have witnessed the abuse will play a big part in your case. Contacting witnesses, former coaches and teachers, former teammates, and anyone else who may be able to verify that the abuse occurred will be a critical part of our case.
We will also review your past medical records and note any evidence of physical injury. Experts can also testify regarding the affects of the abuse on your overall health as an adult. Lastly, we may ask you to take the stand and talk about your horrific experience. This may be difficult for you to do, but it will give the judge and jury a real picture of what happened.
We recommend that, if you have not done so already, you seek counseling to help deal with what happened to you as a child. While therapy can be expensive, we will be sure to include the costs in your settlement demand.
What Should I Do If a Coach Abused My Child?
If your child’s coach molested him, he is likely suffering from physical and emotional injuries that require immediate attention. Consider taking the following steps to give them the best chance at recovery:
Seek Medical Attention
Time is of the essence when it comes to physical health. It is important that you schedule a doctor’s visit as soon as possible after the incident to make sure your child receives the medical care he needs.
Many victims want to shower or change clothes before going in for a check-up. However, it is beneficial for your doctor to see him immediately after the abuse, if possible. If your child submits to a rape kit, it will be much easier to collect DNA samples (i.e., bodily fluids, hair, and skin cells from the assailant) if he has not washed away all the evidence.
Our attorneys will use the doctor’s report, as well as the rape kit/DNA results, to establish that your child was the victim of sexual abuse.
Contact the Police
If you believe your child is in grave danger, call 9-1-1. If your child is safe with you and away from the abuser, file a report at your nearby police station. The police will conduct an investigation and document their findings. We can use the police report, as well as testimony, as evidence of the circumstances surrounding the incident.
Seek Attorney Advice
Once you have police and medical records documenting the coach’s abuse, you will need one of our sexual abuse attorneys to review your case. Keep in mind that even if the coach faces criminal charges, you can still sue for damages in civil court. The outcome of your civil case has nothing to do with whether the coach is convicted in criminal court
During our initial consult, we will discuss the details of what happened. We understand that it may be incredibly painful for you or your child to relive the traumatic experience, but we will do our best to make you or your child as comfortable as possible. We may require the answers to the following questions:
- Did anyone witness the incident?
- Are there videos or photos of the incident?
- Did the coach abuse others on the team?
- How many times did the abuse take place?
- What was the nature of the abuse?
- What were your injuries?
Once we have a general idea of what took place, we will conduct our own investigation. This will require us to contact potential witnesses, review police and medical records, find out as much as possible about the abusive coach and contact potential medical experts to testify on your behalf.
Where Can I Get Help with My Abuse Claim?
The team at Edwards Pottinger LLC wants to be your path to justice®. We will ensure the protection of your rights or those of your child throughout this entire process. We know how difficult this time can be for an abused child or parent.
We will do everything in our power to hold the coach and any other parties liable (e.g., a school if the coach was an employee, a property manager if negligent security made the abuse possible). If we successfully prove that your coach molested you or your child, you will likely recover damages for medical expenses, emotional trauma, and lost wages.
Call us today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case: 954-524-2820.