California Sexual Abuse Attorney

Adult Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse

Potter Handy Law Firm represents adult victims of childhood sexual abuse in civil lawsuits throughout California. We will thoroughly investigate all aspects of your case with a view to seeking compensation from the parties responsible. Even if your case has taken place some time ago, we have the resources to investigate your case. 

Call (800) 383-7027 or email us to schedule a free, confidential consultation. 


How long do sexual abuse survivors have to file a claim?

The time limit for filing a suit is different in civil cases depending on whether the defendant is a child or an adult (over 18 years of age). 

Adults: CA Civ Pro Code § 340.16 

In any civil action for the recovery of injuries suffered as a result of sexual assault, where the assault took place on or after the 18th birthday of the victim, the date to start the case shall be as follows: 

Within 10 years from the date of the last act, an attempted act or an assault with the intention of committing an act of sexual assault by the defendant against the plaintiff. 

Within three years of the date on which the plaintiff discovers or is reasonably expected to find that the injury or illness is the result of an act, attempted act or assault with the intention of committing an act of sexual assault by the defendant against the plaintiff. 

The new limitation statute took effect on 1 January 2019. If you have been assaulted before that date, you may only have three years from the date of the attack to file a claim. 

Children 

As of January 2020, childhood victims of sexual assault will have until their 40th birthday, or within 5 years of the discovery of the abuse, to file a civil lawsuit. The law also allows for a three-year window for the revival of any claims that would have been barred by the statute of limitations. If the childhood abuse was covered up, victims may have the right to claim treble damages in their claim. 

Potential changes to the law in AB 218 

At this time, legislation has been introduced to expand those times limits. Assembly Bill 218 (AB 218) would increase the statute of limitations, allowing victims of childhood sexual assault another 22 years from the age of majority – or until the age of 40 – to file a claim. It would also expand the discovery time limits from 3 years to 5 years. 


Upholding the rights of sexual abuse victims throughout California

At Potter Handy Law Firm, we can help you navigate the complexity of filing a civil suit against your abuser and the institutions that have protected him or her. Don’t miss out on your opportunity to get your closure and justice for yourself and others like you. 

Call (800) 383-7027 or email us to schedule a free, confidential consultation.