If you were molested as a child, filing a criminal case against the perpetrator can help ensure they get the justice they deserve and that they do not harm anyone else. But a criminal trial will not result in you getting compensation for the pain and suffering you endured as a result of this person's actions. For that to happen, you also need to file a civil case against the perpetrator. This can be a difficult endeavor, but here are a few tips to help you through.
Hire a lawyer you feel comfortable with.
It's important that you find a lawyer who has experience with molestation cases and someone who is going to work hard on your behalf. However, those are not the only qualities you should look for in a lawyer. You should meet with a few lawyers personally before formally hiring someone. Make sure the person you hire makes you feel comfortable and at-ease. You will have to discuss difficult topics with your attorney, so hiring someone you feel comfortable around will make the process less emotionally challenging.
Take care of yourself emotionally.
Sadly, some victims end up giving up partway through their case because it takes too much of an emotional toll on them. To ensure you don't end up in the same situation, start taking care of yourself on a mental level right now. Start seeing a therapist if you are not seeing one already. Confide in a few friends who make you feel comfortable. Engage in activities you love that make you feel validated.
Present all evidence.
If you have already been navigating the criminal case related to the crimes committed against you, then you may have been told some evidence was not permissible in court. Realize that this does not mean the same evidence won't be helpful to your civil case. Present your lawyer with any and all evidence you have — let them decide what is relevant.
Be willing to settle.
Realize that in many cases, the defense will wish to settle out of court rather than going to trial. They may offer to give you a portion of what you're asking for as a settlement. Some victims turn down this offer and decide to go to court because they feel they deserve more. It's certainly your right to take this approach. Just realize that a court case will be emotionally challenging and may take several years. Be open to the possibility of settling out of court -- and remember that the perpetrator is already being punished via the criminal case.
Contact a law firm, like Robert J. Campos & Associates, P.L.C., for more help.