About the New York Child Victims Act
In February 2019, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the New York Child Victims Act, a landmark piece of legislation that offered survivors of child abuse additional opportunities for restitution and recovery.
One of the most important elements of the Child Victims Act recently went into effect on August 14th: the one-year window to file a civil suit against any responsible parties. Our New York sexual abuse and assault lawyers are here to help those victims who were harmed.
What is the Child Victims Act?
The Child Victims Act essentially expanded the statute of limitations for survivors of child sex abuse. Under the new law, survivors now receive extended time to file charges against their abusers, pursue a civil suit against them, or both. The details are as such:
- Survivors have until they turn 28 to pursue criminal charges
- Survivors have until they turn 55 to file a civil lawsuit
Despite this time extension, legislators also understood that some survivors may still have been disqualified from the new statutes. Therefore, the Child Victims Act also added a one-year window for all survivors to pursue civil compensation.
Starting August 14, all survivors of child sex abuse in New York have one year to file a lawsuit against their abusers – or any parties directly or indirectly responsible for their abuse.
Who is Eligible for Compensation?
During this one-year period, all survivors of child sex abuse in New York are eligible to file a civil suit against their abusers and any other liable parties – regardless of age or statute of limitations.
How Long Do I Have to File Suit?
According to the new provisions detailed in the Child Victims Act, survivors now have until they turn 28 years old to pursue criminal felony charges, and until they turn 55 to file a civil suit against the responsible parties.
If you fall outside of these new criteria, you may still sue your abuser and any other liable parties. The period to file a suit started on August 14th and runs for one year.
Are There Any Limitations?
It is important to note that, while you may be able to file a civil suit against your abuser under this one-year period, you are not able to pursue criminal charges.
Is a Sexual Abuse Lawyer Necessary?
Since August 14th, the state of New York has already filed more than 400 lawsuits against alleged child abusers – but many of the lawsuits may very well be thrown out or otherwise dismissed because of poor paperwork or otherwise subpar legal planning.
If you or a loved one is considering filing a lawsuit, it is highly recommended to consult an attorney exactly for these reasons. A lawyer skilled in representing survivors of child sex abuse can approach the case in a way that maximizes your chances of success – their past experience in abuse cases can give you an upper hand throughout the claims process. Additionally, if you are pursuing compensation against a large organization, such as a celebrity or a religion, an attorney can help you compile the most thorough case necessary to obtain the maximum possible recovery.
Before taking advantage of the Child Victims Act, please contact an experienced sexual abuse attorney to assist you through the whole claims process.