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South Carolina Crime Victims Attorney

Options for Crime Victims in Columbia, SC

If you have been the victim of assault and battery in South Carolina and suffered a serious injury, not only does the perpetrator face criminal charges, but you also have the right to file a civil lawsuit against him/her. One of the most important steps you must take to recover damages is to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer for your case.

At the Law Office of James R. Snell, Jr., LLC, we are committed to helping you recover your entitled compensation. Our legal team can investigate the incident, collect and analyze evidence, and maximize the financial compensation you deserve. Do not hesitate to let us fight for you while you heal from your injury.

The following are some of the cases that we may be able to assist with:

  • Sexual assault of an adult or child
  • Theft and embezzlements
  • Criminal trespasses
  • Relationship violence
  • Computer crimes
  • Stalking or telephone harassment
  • Victims of a DUI or hit-and-run automobile accident
  • Carjacking, drive-by shootings, and intentional collisions
  • Murder and manslaughter
  • Assaults resulting in severe personal injuries
  • Assaults or robberies occurring at shopping centers and other public places or businesses
  • Crimes occurring at hotels or motor inns
  • Drunk or negligent boaters

If you are in search of an experienced Columbia personal injury attorney, the Law Office of James R. Snell, Jr., LLC is dedicated to providing excellent representation for our clients. We understand the severity of your situation, and we are sensitive to your unique needs related to the injuries and circumstances of your case. Your situation is important to us, and we will approach your case with the attention and devotion that it requires.

Fighting for Child & Adult Sexual Assault Survivors in South Carolina

The impact of child sexual abuse and exploitation can last a lifetime. Not only can the physical violation be extremely traumatizing, but it can also lead to psychological and emotional scars, substance abuse, and suicidal thoughts, especially when the abuse was committed by a trusted adult and spans a lengthy period of time. Unfortunately, sexual abuse of children is a widespread issue and affects thousands of Americans of all ages, backgrounds, and genders, but there are several legal remedies available for survivors.

If you or a loved one has been the victim of sexual abuse in South Carolina, our Columbia legal team at the Law Office of James R. Snell, Jr., LLC is ready to help survivors obtain the justice they deserve and maximize the compensation from the institutions that failed to protect them. We understand that no amount of money can ever undo the abuse you suffered, but it can help you obtain the therapeutic and rehabilitative services you need to build a brighter future.

Our firm represents survivors of sexual abuse by:

  • Family members
  • Priests and the Clergy
  • Teachers and school staff
  • Childcare and healthcare providers
  • Coaches and mentors
  • Camp counselors and scoutmasters
  • Any organization with a duty to protect children

What is Sexual Abuse?

Sexual abuse or sexual assault involves non-consensual sexual contact. Legally and morally, children—minors under 18 years of age—are unable to provide consent to such activity. Any sort of sexual contact to a child is a serious crime.

Common forms of sexual abuse include:

  • Sexual intercourse
  • Oral sex or sexual contact
  • Groping or fondling
  • Indecent exposure
  • Creation or distribution of child pornography
  • Harassment
  • Stalking

In addition to criminal charges, survivors may bring a civil lawsuit against their abusers and seek financial compensation for the abuse they suffered. Our legal team is here to help survivors and their families navigate the complexities and difficulties of these cases.

Assault & Battery in South Carolina

In general, assault means causing imminent fear of harm against someone, while battery is the actual harm the victim sustains. While many states consider assault and battery as separate offenses, South Carolina law links them together.

The following are the four types of assault and battery charges in SC:

  • Assault and battery in the third degree – Also known as “simple assault,” this offense occurs when a person unlawfully injures or attempts to injure someone else.

  • Assault and battery in the second degree – This offense occurs when a person unlawfully injures or attempts to injure someone else, and the victim suffers moderate bodily injury (i.e., loss of consciousness, temporary or moderate disfigurement, temporary loss of body function or organ, injury that results in a fracture or dislocation, or injury that results in medical treatment and anesthesia).

  • Assault and battery in the first degree – This offense occurs when a person unlawfully injures someone else by means likely to produce great bodily injury or death or happened during the commission of theft, burglary, robbery, or kidnapping.

  • Assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature – This offense occurs when a person unlawfully injures someone else and causes great bodily injury (i.e., an injury that causes a substantial risk of death, permanent disfigurement, and protracted loss or impairment of bodily function or organ) or there is a presence of a weapon. This is considered a lesser offense of attempted murder.

Third-degree and second-degree assault and battery are considered misdemeanors, while first-degree and aggravated assault and battery are felonies. A conviction can result in a lengthy jail or prison sentence, costly fines, and a criminal record.

Pursuing Damages for Injuries in Columbia, SC

In order to recover monetary damages as a result of criminal activity, it is necessary to have a potential source to recover from.

This may include:

  • An applicable insurance policy
  • A defendant with personal assets
  • A responsible third party

Unfortunately, in many cases, even with substantial damages, there may be no possibility of actual recovery; however in cases with a source of recovery it may be possible to receive full and fair compensation for your suffering. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a crime, please call our office. We provide a free case evaluation and there is no cost to see if we can help.

The law may limit the time you have to seek compensation for your damages, please call a Columbia personal injury lawyer today.

Seeking Damages in Sexual Abuse Cases

A civil lawsuit stemming from sexual abuse is separate from a criminal case. If an abuser is convicted in criminal court, he/she may face incarceration, fines, and other serious penalties. In a civil case, on the other hand, survivors and their families may recover monetary damages and other compensation from the abuser and other liable parties.

Another difference between a civil case and a criminal case is the burden of proof required for each court. In order to be convicted in criminal court, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant committed the offense “beyond a reasonable doubt.” The civil court will decide whether to award damages based on the “preponderance of the evidence,” meaning that the defendant’s actions “more than likely” led to the plaintiff’s injuries.

Although sexual assault is not a legal ground in civil law, the following are other legal theories a survivor may wish to abuser liable:

  • Assault and/or battery
  • Intentional infliction of emotional distress
  • Negligent infliction of emotional distress

In addition to a civil suit being brought against the abuser, survivors may also sue other parties. For example, if the incident occurred in a school, campgrounds, place of worship, place of business, or any other institution, that entity or even the abuser’s employer may also be held responsible for negligent supervision, negligent security, or failing to adequately protect young and/or vulnerable individuals.

If an abuser has been convicted in criminal court, then it may be easier to recover compensation in civil court. But even if the abuser is not convicted, he/she may still be held responsible for civil damages.

According to the statute of limitations in South Carolina, a child sex abuse victim has six years after he/she turns 21 years old, or three years from the date that he/she realized his/her injuries stemmed from abuse (whichever is later), to file a civil lawsuit. Damages can include pain and suffering, emotional distress, mental anguish, expected costs for future therapy and counseling, and even punitive damages.

Pursing Compensation for Assault & Battery

Assaults can occur in any location, whether it’s at a bar, sporting event, school, or even work. Victims of assault and battery typically suffer serious injuries that result in substantial physical anguish and emotional trauma.

Common types of damages include:

  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Lost income and reduced earning potential
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress

If you suffered an injury after being attacked at a place of business, not only may you be able to file a lawsuit against the perpetrator, but you can also sue the business owner or manager for negligent security. Property owners in South Carolina have a duty of care to ensure the premises are safe for guests. Since certain businesses are vulnerable to crimes, they must have property security measures in place.

Schedule a Free Consultation Today

Our firm is ready to protect your rights and best interests throughout the legal process. Let us examine your case, figure out all your legal options, and obtain the most favorable outcome in court.

Contact us today at (803) 359-3301 to discuss your case with our Columbia assault injury attorneys.

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  • Better Business Bureau - Accredited Business
  • American Association for Justice
  • South Carolina Association for Justice
  • Top 100 Trial Lawyers - The National Trial Lawyers
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