When a child suffers at the hands of a sexual abuser, it is devastating both for the child and for his or her parents. Such events often leave physical and psychological injuries that can accompany the child for the rest of their life and have lasting consequences that impact every facet of their lives.
If this has happened to your child, you may be considering the pros and cons of putting together a civil lawsuit against the perpetrator of this crime. What kind of recovery could you obtain for your child if your lawsuit is successful?
Restitution from the perpetrator
Your child’s ordeal may have left them with physical injuries that required medical attention. In addition, you may need to pay for counseling in order to help them to overcome the psychological trauma of their abuse. These measures can be costly, and justice demands that the perpetrator of the crime reimburse you for the money that you spend on healing for your child.
Sometimes a judge will order that the perpetrator pay restitution in their criminal trial. This does not preclude you from filing a civil lawsuit against them as well.
However, sometimes the perpetrator may not have any money to pay you with, and may not have any worthwhile assets in their name. If you are unable to receive financial restitution from the defendant in your lawsuit, then you may need to seek a recovery by other means.
The Victims of Crime Compensation Office
The State of New Jersey has a special fund whose purpose is to provide victims of violent crime with compensation that they otherwise may not be able to obtain. Under certain circumstances, your child may qualify for financial assistance from the Office so that you can pay for counseling and other needs associated with their abuse.
No amount of money can truly make up for the sexual abuse of a child. But by seeking to maximize the financial restitution for your child, you can help them to receive the support that they need to recover from their ordeal as much as possible.