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Can I File a Lawsuit Against a Company for Sexual Assault?

Representation in Civil Liability Claims Against Perpetrators and Other Responsible Parties

Unfortunately, sexual harassment is too common in the workplace. Sexual assault is even worse and can take place anywhere. If you were sexually assaulted on a company’s property or by someone from within the company, you may be able to file a lawsuit depending on the circumstances. Sexual assault victims can file a civil lawsuit even if the perpetrator was not criminally charged or was acquitted in a jury trial.  

A New York sexual assault lawyer at Rheingold Giuffra Ruffo Plotkin & Hellman LLP can hold those at fault in your situation accountable and help you receive the maximum compensation for your injuries. We have secured numerous substantial sexual assault verdicts in New York against both individuals and powerful institutions such as churches, schools and corporations.  

What is Sexual Assault in New York? 

Sexual harassment and sexual assault are not synonymous. While sexual harassment addresses unwelcome physical or verbal attention and is generally a civil action, sexual assault involves the penetration or attempted penetration of the victim’s body or unwanted sexual touching. It is rape or a form of rape and a criminal act.  

New York criminal law categorizes sexual assault in the following areas of severity: 

  • Rape in the first degree 
  • Rape in the second degree 
  • Rape in the third degree 
  • Sexual misconduct (threatening, intimidating, or coercing)  
  • Criminal sexual act (oral or anal) in the first, second, and third degree 
  • Forcible touching 
  • Predatory sexual assault  
  • Sexual abuse in the first, second, and third degree 
  • Persistent sexual abuse 
  • Aggravated sexual abuse in the first, second, third, and fourth degree 

There are also several sex crime categories for child victims, as well as those who are mentally or physically incapacitated and cannot provide consent for sexual acts. View the link above to see a complete list. Or reach out to a trusted and compassionate lawyer at Rheingold Giuffra Ruffo Plotkin & Hellman LLP, who can help you understand how to categorize the assault, and how to move forward.  


Steps to Take When Filing a Sexual Assault Lawsuit 

Get yourself in a safe place after the assault and report the crime to law enforcement. While you are not legally obligated to report a sexual assault, it is necessary if you want the perpetrator investigated and charged with a crime and may strengthen your civil sexual assault lawsuit.  

A successful civil sexual assault lawsuit requires strong evidence. Although the assault was traumatic, it is critical to receive medical attention as soon as possible. Documentation from medical professionals can prove the assault took place. The Sexual Assault Forensic Exam (SAFE) Program in hospitals provides examinations and preserves evidence.  

While the first instinct of many sexual assault victims is to take a shower immediately, avoid doing so before undergoing a medical exam. In addition, do not change your clothes. Save any clothing you were wearing at the time of the assault. These items may contain the assailant’s DNA and other contaminants that might be critical in proving your case.  

In New York, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit depends on the form of sexual assault the victim suffered as well as their age. In some, it is two years from the date of the assault. In other cases, victims have up to 20 years to file a lawsuit. 

It is vital to consult a compassionate New York sexual abuse and assault lawyer who, after a thorough investigation, will determine whether any third parties, including corporations, may hold liability in your case.  

Who Can Be Held Liable for Sexual Assault in New York? 

While the person committing the sexual assault can be held liable, they are not the only party the victim can name in the lawsuit. New York law also allows victims to file civil lawsuits against third parties whose negligence directly or indirectly contributed to the attack.  

For instance, if the sexual assault took place on a company’s premises and lax security allowed the perpetrator to enter the building, the company could be held liable.  

If you were sexually assaulted by a fellow employee, your employer may prove liable. Perhaps the assailant had a sexual assault charge on their record, and your employer did not conduct a criminal background check prior to hiring that person. If you reported sexual harassment to a manager but nothing was done, and the harasser later sexually assaulted you, the employer could be held liable.    

Damages for Sexual Assault 

Damages, or compensation, in a sexual assault case may include: 

  • Medical expenses  
  • Current and future lost wages 
  • Mental anguish  
  • Emotional distress  
  • Loss of enjoyment of life 
  • Pain and suffering   

Contact a New York Sexual Assault Attorney  

If you or someone you know was the victim of a sexual assault, you need the help of the experienced New York Sexual Abuse and Assault Lawyers at Rheingold Giuffra Ruffo Plotkin & Hellman LLP. Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation today. Our attorneys work with a psychotherapist to ensure clients are handled sensitively in a trauma-informed manner.  Because we work on a contingency basis, you pay no fee unless you receive compensation.  

Call (212) 684-1880 or complete our contact form to schedule a free consultation with our sexual abuse and assault lawyers in New York.