Pittsburgh Sexual Abuse Lawyers
Legal Options for Pittsburgh Sexual Abuse Victims
If you are a sexual abuse survivor in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, contact an experienced lawyer as soon as possible. Your attorney can protect your rights and ensure your voice is heard.
While the below information is useful, nothing compares to the knowledge and guidance you’ll receive from a skilled attorney.
At Andreozzi + Foote, PC our talented legal team can discern if your case is worth pursuing and what your next course of action should be.
UPDATE: HB 963 to extend the statute of limitations on sexual abuse
What to know about pursuing sexual abuse charges in Pittsburgh
Taking legal action against your abuser is a big step. Before you begin the process, be sure you take the following considerations into account:
- You need to be emotionally prepared — No one can start the process but you. When you are emotionally prepared for the journey, reach out to a skilled attorney.
- Taking action against your abuser can empower you — From the moment you choose to pursue charges against your abuser, you, the survivor, become empowered and are able to make vital decisions like “do I want to seek an early resolution to my claim and possibly an out of court settlement” or “do I want to file a lawsuit and attempt to publicly expose the truth.”
- Your privacy can be protected — At Andreozzi + Foote, we understand that you want to put the case behind you and move on with your life. The last thing you need is potential employers or friends seeing your name linked to sexual abuse online. Rest assured, we regularly provide sexual assault victims with the option of filing a lawsuit under a pseudonym such as “John Doe” so that they can move forward with their sexual abuse case anonymously.
At the end of the day, our lawyers examine every option to attain the best outcome with the least amount of impact on your life. Let us worry about your case so you can focus on your life.
Are there limitations to pursuing a sexual abuse case in Pittsburgh?
There are certain legal limitations you should be aware of before pursuing a sexual abuse charges.
- Statute of limitations — While you may be “psychologically” prepared to pursue sexual abuse charges, legally, you must do so within the statute of limitations. If the statute of limitations in your case has run out, you may be barred from taking action.
- Case is unviable — You must realize that being abused and having a case within the statute of limitations does not automatically make your case viable. If you are trying to hold an organization, religious institution, health care agency, business or third party accountable for sexual abuse in Pennsylvania, they must have owed you a duty of care and must have violated that duty. At Andreozzi + Foote, we establish this by proving the perpetrator was negligent in supervising, retaining or hiring the defendant, or by showing the defendant failed to adopt and implement necessary procedures to protect children.
- Viable case not worth pursuing — Lastly, you might have a viable sexual abuse case that law firms simply will not take. Unfortunately, taking action directly against an abuser rarely results in financial compensation because many defendants lack the assets to satisfy a judgement. Because of this, law firms that operate on a contingency fee basis, earn little to no commission. As a result, the best option for sexual abuse survivors lies in the criminal justice system.
It is important to note that Pennsylvania law does not require that all businesses carry liability insurance, and many companies that do carry insurance have exclusions for molestation and sexual assault, anyway.
Where in Pennsylvania Should I pursue My Sexual Abuse Case?
In Pennsylvania, juries uphold the values of our criminal justice system and do not tolerate sex crimes against anyone. However, we generally tell our sexual abuse clients to pursue charges in Philadelphia whenever possible.
Throughout our vast experience in courtrooms across the state, we find that Harrisburg jurors are the most sympathetic towards abuse victims.
Below is some other important information about pursuing a sexual abuse case in Pittsburgh
- Defendants often rush to settle cases out of court in Harrisburg because its jurors have a reputation for awarding excessive verdicts.
- Philadelphia’s court system is more equipped to move a sizable volume of cases in an efficient and organized manner.
- A preliminary conference will be set up among the attorneys and a court representative soon after your lawsuit is filed to set deadlines for your case and ensure there are no unnecessary delays — defendants will strive to delay their case as long as they can and the court system in Philadelphia simply will not permit such nonsense that may work in other parts of the state.
- Since Philadelphia is not ideal for them, the defendant may need to have the case removed to another County or even Federal Court.
- A Philadelphia judge will analyze your case, evaluate issues like the connections between the defendants and the city of Harrisburg, and decide if your case should stay in Harrisburg or will be allowed to move to Philadelphia.
While we favor Philadelphia County for our sexual abuse survivor clients, our legal team has also had considerable success in the nearby suburban counties, such as Chester, Bucks, Delaware, and Montgomery.
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Damages available for sexual abuse victims in Pittsburgh
Our experienced attorneys aim to obtain the most favorable outcome for our clients.
We personalize our approach to meet the single needs of each survivor client we represent.
While the civil system has its boundaries (i.e., we generally cannot collect damages against the abuser, we cannot force the police to criminally charge negligent or intentional actors, etc.) we are able to assist in many other ways.
By pursuing charges against your abuser, you begin a journey that many survivors find to be cathartic and necessary. Many clients feel that this alone is more empowering and important than any financial gain.
During discovery, our legal team can obtain and review documents and witness statements related to your abuse that can shine new light on your case. Additionally, it can compel institutions to give up information, including secret files, and as result, end future incidents of abuse.
Make no mistake — we recognize the severe impact the abuse has had on your life and we will work tirelessly to maximize your financial recovery. However, we also comprehend the significance of non-economic rewards and making sure your abuser never harms anyone else.
Verdicts and Settlements
Verdict of $88,000,000
Settlement of $12-Million
Settlement of $10-Million
NEGLIGENT SECURITY HOMICIDE
Verdict of $1.75-Million
Verdict of $1.53-Million
Settlement of $1.4-Million
Ben and Nate are great guys. They walked me through the whole process, from beginning til the end. The receptionist and very nice. Answer all my questions and concerns. I will refer them to anyone. Their not like other lawyers that talk around the topic. They tell you just how it is or how they believe it will be. Thank you guys so much.
Ben and Nate took their time in handling my case with compassion and care. I never had to wonder what was going on. They always made sure to include me in each and every decision that needed to be made before they were made. Their entire staff was always very polite and knowledgeable. I cannot say enough kind words about Andreozzi + Foote; they are simply the best!
One of the best personal injury lawyers in the country. Great experience. Really genuine people at Andreozzi and Associates.
Handled our case SO well even though it took a long time to settle, and STILL helps us with paperwork related to the settlement account every now and then. They were honest with us from the get-go, worked REALLY hard on our behalf, and always kept in touch with us about what was going on. So pleased.
When you and your child are victims of a horrid crime it’s hard to understand why things are the way they are. Information and answers are what you want, but unfortunately the system doesn’t offer that. Nathaniel has fielded and patiently listened to a broken mother wanting nothing more than for someone to help her understand why she has no answers, and through these phone calls Nathaniel has been very informative, honest and upfront. I would recommend Nathaniel and this firm to anyone who is seeking answers, help and professionalism in a firm when going through such difficult times.
Can’t say enough about the kindness and compassion of this law office. They helped me immensely with a difficult case and the level of support they provided me was stellar.
It is impossible to put into words our gratitude for Ben and Nate through the most trying time of our life. As scared, confused, and traumatized parents, the isolation and loneliness of litigation are abysmal. In the beginning, everyone surrounding you has endless bright ideas and can’t say enough how you should pursue action, but then when it comes down to it, these cheerleaders are suddenly silent and nowhere to be found in what feels to be your darkest hour. Thank God we had these two extraordinary men at our side from the moment we contacted them. Their friendship, counsel, and sound resolve to do everything they could in order to balance the scorecard meant more than we can ever convey, and is simply immeasurable. If we had known how simple this seemingly horrific ordeal would’ve been with their help from the start, we wouldn’t have agonized a single minute over doing what we did. If you are in a similar position as I’ve described, take advice from someone who’s been through the worst, thankfully with the best. Call them!