REPRESENTATION OF VICTIMS / SURVIVORS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT

Victims, survivors, of Sexual Assault suffer traumatic and often lifelong injury. Physical and mental.

Sex assault is an assault upon a victim’s person . . . whether it is harassment, unwanted touching or contact, or rape… simply, a sexual act of any kind without a victim’s consent.

It may involve children or juveniles, who cannot consent to any sexual contact with an adult because, under the law, the adult was in a position of trust, or where the ages of those involved means that there is no possible legal consent to any sexual contact.

Victims of sexual assault need the representation of a good lawyer to counsel, advise, assist, and pursue litigation against those responsible. Sex assault often involves persons known to the victim and is a betrayal of trust, and often a betrayal by other individuals or businesses whose negligence makes them responsible as well for the sexual assault . . . and liable under the law.

SEX ASSAULT IS A CRIME

Sex assault is a crime. If reported, the perpetrator should be prosecuted in the criminal justice system. The criminal justice system, separate from the civil justice system, is where the perpetrator is prosecuted for the criminal act of sexual assault, unlawful sexual contact, harassment, or other related offenses. If convicted, the perpetrator will face punitive sanctions such as prison, jail, or probation.

The criminal justice system can be intimidating and confusing to a victim. As former prosecutors, the lawyers at Frederick | Ganderton understand the innerworkings of a district attorney’s office, and are able to fully walk a victim through the criminal justice process, and assist them with asserting their rights under law, as a victim. We help the victim feel more confident, secure, and to understand the process of the criminal justice system.

SEXUAL ASSAULT VICTIM / SURVIVOR REPRESENTATION IN THE CIVIL JUSTICE SYSTEM

In addition to the criminal justice system, victims may have a civil claim against the perpetrator of the sexual assault, as well as businesses, facilities, schools, churches, clubs, and other organizations or individuals that may have failed to protect the victim under law.

We, at Frederick | Ganderton, litigate sexual assault claims against the perpetrators of sex assaults, as well as any and all others who also bear responsibility, liability, for the assault, which includes those businesses, schools, organizations, churches, clubs and others who negligently failed to protect the victim by, for example, hiring a perpetrator who should have never been offered employment in the first place, failing to properly supervise a perpetrator, retaining a perpetrator despite knowing better, and even assisting the perpetrator through inaction or even covering up a perpetrator’s offense or obstructing any investigation into any incidents of sexual assault or misconduct.

HOW WE CAN HELP

Michael Frederick and David Ganderton, the law Partners at Frederick | Ganderton in Denver, are uniquely experienced and trained to be that lawyer for victims of sexual assault. As former Deputy District Attorneys, with over 15 years of misdemeanor and felony prosecution experience between us, including the prosecution of sex assault cases ranging from harassment, unlawful sexual contact, and rape, as well as cases involving those who cannot legally consent, involving children and juvenile victims.

If law enforcement authorities have filed criminal charges against the perpetrator, sexual assault victims will have the added stress as a victim within the criminal justice system. As former Deputy District Attorneys, we know what to expect in the criminal justice system and are able to help guide and represent our clients throughout the criminal process while representing them in a civil action against those responsible.

The Partners at Frederick | Ganderton have sought justice for victims of sexual assault throughout our legal careers, both in the criminal prosecution of perpetrators of sex assault in our prior careers as Deputy District Attorneys, have for the past decade as attorneys in the civil arena, and continue to do so today, seeking compensation for, and protecting the rights of victims of sexual assault.

Some common types of businesses, organizations, and locations involved in Colorad lawsuits involving sexual assaults include, but are not limited to:
  • Schools
  • College and University Campuses
  • Juvenile Detention Centers
  • Jails or Prisons
  • Places of Employment
  • Homes or Residential
  • Churches
  • Hotels
  • Physician’s, Doctor’s, Physical Therapy and other Health Care Offices and Facilities
  • Public Transportation – Light Rail / Buses
  • Uber / Lyft / Taxis
  • Massage Facilities
  • Youth Sports Facilities
  • Day Care and Childcare Facilities
  • Spas, Gyms, Yoga, and other Exercise and Training Facilities and Studios
  • Tanning Salons
  • Restaurants, Bars, or Clubs
  • Concert Venues

Simply, any location under the control or direction of an organization or individual, or any person who shared responsibility in assuring the safety of a victim or location, may also share responsibility, liability, for incidents of sex assault that occur on their watch. 

DAMAGES FOR VICTIMS / SURVIVORS IN COLORADO

Through civil litigation, a victim, if successful, may be awarded civil damages.  Civil damages, under law, are monetary in nature. The damages that one suffers due to a sexual assault deserve compensation, and victims can seek this compensation through civil law. Settlements can be obtained, or sizable jury verdicts can be awarded, against those responsible for the assault including, as stated above, third parties, organizations and/or individuals whose negligence contributed to its occurrence.

TYPES OF DAMAGES

Sexual assault damages are either economic damages or non-economic damages. 

ECONOMIC DAMAGES

Economic damages, or “specific” damages, are designed to compensate the victim for their actual and measurable losses.  Examples of economic damages include medical bills, bills for mental health treatment, lost wages, and lost earning potential.  Economic damages include reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses as a result of injury. The award of economic damages involves calculating medical bills, lost wages, and lost earning potential caused by the sexual assault. 

NON-ECONOMIC DAMAGES

Non-economic damages include emotional distress, pain and suffering, physical impairment, disability, or disfigurement, loss of companionship, loss related to the survivor’s reputation, and loss of enjoyment of life.  Non-economic damages, or “general” damages, are not calculated by adding up documented bills and receipts, but are often based on prior incidents and awards of damages, as well as the severity of the harms and trauma caused by the sexual assault.

Noneconomic damages for mental trauma and emotional distress typically make up the lion’s share of damages awarded in a sex assault case.  Calculating noneconomic damages can be somewhat challenging as the components of noneconomic damages simply do not have concrete nor easily discernible values, but at Frederick | Ganderton, we understand the survivor’s trauma of sex assault and the valuation of non-economic damages.

PROVING NON-ECONOMIC DAMAGES

The most common way that survivors prove the level of damage caused by a sexual assault is through expert witnesses whose opinions can assist insurance adjusters, defense attorneys, or juries understand the severity of trauma associated with sex assault, and the long-term effects the trauma will have on a survivor.   Often, survivors experience post-traumatic stress disorder and may suffer from complex trauma that may affect a survivor for the rest of their lives and lead them to seek therapy far into the future.

PUNITIVE DAMAGES

Punitive damages are used as a form of punishment for defendants and also as a deterrent to help prevent similar behavior occurring again. In Colorado, a survivor may be awarded double the actual damages (economic and non-economic damages) as a punitive measure.  If a person or organization acted in a “malicious” and/or “willful and wanton” manner, showing disregard for the survivor’s safety, they may be liable for punitive damages. 

SEEK AN EXPERIENCED LAWYER

It is essential to reach out to a knowledgeable lawyer to ensure that your rights are being protected.  Sex assault claims can carry deadlines, and each civil action in Colorado has what is called a statute of limitations.  When pursuing a claim through the civil law process, a survivor must be able to determine who may be liable for the assault, who may be negligent for allowing it to occur, what the damages are, negotiate with defense adjusters and lawyers, and ensure that all deadlines are met.  Simply, a survivor needs a competent, understanding, and experienced lawyer.

Consider Frederick | Ganderton for your legal representation in this difficult time. We have experience handling cases involving sexual assault that require sensitivity and patience, and competence in asserting a survivor’s rights under the law.

FAQs

Does a sexual assault victim have limited time to bring their claim?

Sexual assaults may have happened yesterday or may have happened years ago, maybe many years ago. For a victim or a survivor of a sex assault, often they’re concerned that too much time has passed. To answer that question it’s important that the victim contacts an attorney.

They must talk to a lawyer about what happened because often there is not necessarily a limit on time. It is very important, either way, that they reach out for help and assistance. They need legal advice or perhaps they need to just talk to somebody. As far as any time limitation, they need to speak to an attorney, they need to call us at Frederick | Ganderton.

We want to hear their story. We want to listen to them and of course advise them. As to any time limits or any concerns about how much time has passed, we can assist them in understanding whether or not they have a claim. Most importantly, at any time they need to reach out to professionals to seek the help that they’re going to need. This is something we are more than able to assist them with.

What is the most important thing a victim or survivor should know?

There is no most important thing a victim should know because every victim or survivor of a sexual assault is unique, is special. Cases or claims involve anybody and everybody. It can be sadly children or juveniles, often who were placed into a situation which there was a person who should have had their backs, who was responsible for them often called a position of trust.

Of course all sex assaults involve a betrayal of trust. So as far as that, the most important thing a victim should know, there isn’t any one thing. However, what they can do is speak to an attorney, they can speak to us. Then we will have a chance to discuss their claim or their case including what has happened to them, what they’ve been through, and what they’re most concerned about. We can help them determine what is perhaps the most important thing or things that they’re facing, or that they will experience, if they choose to move forward with a case or a claim.

Why have you devoted your careers to helping victims?

We have devoted our careers to defending and assisting victims and assuring that their rights are protected and that their claims are pursued. That is what we are uniquely trained and experienced to do.

Simply, it is what we do best. It is what we do well. It is what we have always done.

We have done this since before we were even attorneys, and definitely since we’ve been practicing law as prosecutors, and now in pursuing their civil rights and claims. We will continue to do this as long as we are still practicing law.

FREE AND 100% PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL CONSULTATIONS

We understand that sexual assaults are very sensitive in nature.  Accordingly, we offer free and completely private and confidential consultations to discuss your claims.  If we represent you on your case, we will do so on a contingent fee basis. We do not get paid a legal fee unless we obtain a settlement or court award for monetary damages for you.  You will not have to pay a retainer or pay hourly. 

If you, or your child, is a victim of sexual assault or abuse of any kind, we ask that you contact us so that we may consult privately with you and potentially represent you in seeking compensation from those responsible for the assault.

For your free and completely private and confidential consultation, contact Frederick | Ganderton LLP, Attorneys at Law, today at 720-588-9120.