Sexual assault is not only a criminal matter. Illinois law also allows survivors to file a civil lawsuit and hold the perpetrator and other responsible parties accountable. Our Belleville, IL sexual assault lawyers know the severe physical and emotional injuries that result from sexual assault. We can help you get the justice and compensation you deserve. 

Contact us now for a free and confidential case review with our legal team.

What Counts as Sexual Assault in the Eyes of the Law?

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Sexual assault can encompass any unwanted sexual acts that violate your autonomy and dignity. This includes when a victim is unable to consent, such as the cognitively impaired or incapacitated individuals. Persons severely impaired by drugs or alcohol may also be unable to give consent. 

Acts that qualify as sexual assault may include but are not limited to:

  • Unwanted touching
  • Anal or oral sex against a person’s will
  • Rape within marriage 
  • Sexual acts with minors

Illinois Sexual Assault Laws

In Illinois, sexual assault laws are outlined in the criminal code, 720 ILCS 5/11-1.20(a).  A person can be charged with criminal sexual assault in Illinois if they commit an act of sexual penetration and:

  • Use force or threat of force to coerce the victim into the sexual act.
  • Know the victim cannot understand the nature of the act or cannot give consent.
  • Is a victim’s family member, and the victim is under 18.
  • Is 17 years old or older and holds a position of trust or authority concerning the victim, and the victim is at least 13 but under 17.

Penalties for sexual assault convictions in Illinois can range from imprisonment to fines and mandatory registration as a sex offender. However, in addition to the criminal charge, victims can file civil personal injury cases and pursue damages. 

A Belleville, IL sexual assault lawyer at Bradley Law can assess your case confidentially and sensitively and determine your best next steps.

How Common Are Sexual Assaults in Illinois?

Unfortunately, sexual assault is a significant issue in Illinois, as it is elsewhere. According to the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority, over 37,000 victims of sexual violence received services from an Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault (ICASA) rape crisis center between 2010 and 2015. This averages over 10,000 individuals served annually. 

Sexual assault is also prevalent at Illinois educational establishments. A study conducted by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign found that as many as one in ten female students experience sexual assault. There may be many more unreported assaults, with victims hesitant to come forward.

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, compensation may be available. You’re not alone, and you deserve justice. A Belleville, IL sexual assault lawyer at Bradley Law can help you understand your rights and options. We’re here to help you through this challenging time. 

Where in Belleville Do Sexual Assaults Occur?

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According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), more than half of all sexual assault incidents happen in or near the victim’s home. Other common locations for sexual assaults include:

  • Open public places (15%)
  • At or near a relative’s home (12%)
  • In parking garages and other enclosed public areas (10%)
  • On school property (8%)

Sexual assaults can practically happen anywhere and at any time. If you or someone you love was the victim of a sexual assault, seeking legal advice and support as soon as possible can be crucial to hold the perpetrator accountable. 

What Does a Belleville, IL Sexual Assault Lawyer Do?

If you’ve been a victim of sexual assault, an attorney can be by your side every step of the way and advocate for you throughout the legal process. At Bradley Law, we want you to receive full and fair compensation for your ordeal to allow you to move forward with your life and access the help you need. Here’s what we can do for you:

Gather Evidence to Prove Your Case

Evidence in sexual assault cases can be tricky to obtain. However, we can collect crucial evidence, such as statements from witnesses who observed the incident or who can attest to your emotional state after the sexual abuse. We can also work with law enforcement to determine whether the perpetrator has committed prior criminal sexual offenses. Such evidence can strengthen your credibility and your legal case. 

Identify all Liable Parties 

In cases of sexual assault there may be multiple parties responsible. This can include individuals and institutions or organizations, such as schools, sports teams, or healthcare settings. Your Belleville, IL sexual assault lawyer can conduct a thorough investigation to identify all potentially liable parties and explore all avenues for compensation.

Hire Experts and Specialists to Strengthen Your Case

Sexual assault cases can be complex. Since we want to give you the best chance to prevail, our attorneys can work with expert witnesses, such as psychologists, therapists, and others. These experts can be invaluable for assessing the impact of sexual assault on your physical and emotional well-being.

Calculate the Worth of Your Personal Injury Case

While compensation can’t turn back the time, getting adequately compensated can provide access to healthcare and counseling. It can also avert some of the financial issues, such as loss of income, you may face in the aftermath of your ordeal. 

We can assess the full impact of the incident on your home life, career, and life quality to arrive at a fair compensation amount. Our personal injury lawyers know how to negotiate effectively with an insurance company and defense attorneys to maximize your recovery. 

You don’t have to struggle with an upsetting and exhausting claim alone. Our compassionate sexual assault lawyers can leave no stone unturned in helping you recover adequate compensation. 

A Belleville, IL Sexual Assault Lawyer Can Maximize Your Compensation

A sexual assault can throw your life off track and impact your physical and psychological health, career, and relationships. However, an attorney at Bradley Law can help you receive fair compensation for all damages.

Damages for Physical Injuries 

Sexual assaults can cause painful physical injuries, including tearing and bruising, internal organ injuries, and sexually transmitted diseases. Additionally, victims may experience unwanted pregnancies or even infertility after an assault. 

You could qualify for all necessary medical treatments for your physical injuries, such as surgeries, hospital stays, medication, and rehabilitation.

Compensation for Psychological Injuries

The psychological injuries from a sexual assault can be wide-ranging and just as debilitating as physical injuries. Survivors may be entitled to compensation for emotional distress and psychological injuries, including but not limited to:

  • Depression and anxiety 
  • Insomnia
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Panic attacks

The Impact of the Sexual Assault on Your Life

Sexual assaults don’t just cause physical and emotional injuries but can disrupt your entire life. You may have trouble succeeding or progressing in your career due to the assault or fail to reach academic goals. In some cases, victims are unable to form intimate relationships after an assault. 

Your physical and emotional injuries may also prevent you from partaking in hobbies or activities you enjoyed before the incident. In this case, you could qualify for awards for reduced quality of life due to the sexual assault. 

Punitive Damages 

Should your sexual assault case go to trial, a court may order punitive damages. While generally rare in personal injury lawsuits, punitive damages may be awarded when the perpetrator’s actions were egregious and malicious.  

FAQs – Ask a Belleville, IL Sexual Assault Lawyer 

What are my next best steps after a sexual assault in Belleville? 

Protecting your rights and preserving evidence can be vital when you or a loved one experienced a sexual assault. Here are your best next steps:

  • Seek medical help: Visit a healthcare provider for a medical examination and treatment of any physical injuries or trauma. A medical report will be crucial for your legal claim. 
  • Report the assault: Contact the Belleville Police Department to report the assault. An incident report can serve as vital evidence of the sexual assault.
  • Preserve evidence: Try to preserve clothing worn during the incident that may contain DNA evidence. Avoid showering or washing any items until after you’ve spoken with law enforcement.
  • Call a Belleville, IL sexual assault lawyer: An attorney at Bradley Law can provide legal advice, advocate on your behalf, and help you file a lawsuit to pursue damages.

Should I hire a Belleville, IL sexual assault lawyer to file a legal claim?

Theoretically, you don’t require a lawyer to file a lawsuit. However, working with an experienced sexual assault attorney can give you the best chance of recovering what you deserve. It can also make the entire process less stressful and overwhelming. 

An attorney can guide you through the legal system and protect you from attempts by the other side to discredit your testimony or push you into lowball settlement amounts. If negotiations fail to result in an adequate settlement, we can take your case to trial and fight for full and fair compensation.

Bradley Law Fights for Sexual Assault Survivors

Don’t let a perpetrator get away scot-free. You deserve justice and compensation and can hold them accountable. Fighting back not may not only provide you with some closure and compensation but can also potentially prevent future sexual assaults. 

Our compassionate and dedicated Belleville, IL sexual assault lawyers are here for you.  We will take the time to listen to your concerns and answer your questions. Our attorneys have helped individuals like you get justice for over 30 years. Get started now and contact us for a free consultation to understand your rights and options.