Liability, Causation, and Damages in DC Sexual Abuse Claims

To build a strong civil sexual abuse claim, you need to be able to establish several different things. John Yannone discusses what factors he looks at when given a potential sex abuse case, and how damages in this type of case are typically determined.

Liability, Causation, and Damages

You need essentially three things in any personal injury case. First you have to have liability, which is that they had to a duty to do something, and failed to do it. You have to have damages, which are the injuries suffered by the victim. And you have to have causation, which is the link between the breach of the duty, and the damages that it caused the victim.

In the context of any case, you’re looking at making sure that you have all three elements that can be proven to make a strong case, and when you’re seeking monetary damages, there has to be a way to recover damages. So, for example, if it’s an individual who is not tied to a company or institution, the question is how much in assets does an individual have to take care of any judgment that might be gotten against them. So all of these are factors. You look at the nature of the conduct, the nature of the relationship, and what transpired. You look at the damages and the extent of them. You look to the link between the conduct and the damages. And you also look to the source from which to recover monetary damages.

What Else Do You Look For In Sex Abuse Cases?

Well, in terms of moving forward with a sexual abuse case, we take a look at the youth of the victim because of many considerations should the case goes to trial. If you can get the case resolved, it’s not so much of an issue but when you’re dealing with younger people the question is, how well can they withstand the trial process for a civil case in terms of testifying in court, holding up under cross-examination, and giving depositions. So there are things that the victim will have to be put through during the civil litigation process which need to be taken into consideration. This is in addition to the normal considerations taken into account for any potential plaintiff or witness.

On top of them, you also have to look at the age of the individual and how well they would withstand questioning.