Maryland Sexual Assault & Abuse Attorneys
Representing survivors of sexual abuse and assault throughout the state
Our attorneys at Plaxen Adler Muncy, P.A. represent individuals that have been victims of sexual assault and sexual abuse, and work to hold those individuals and the organizations that employ or enable them responsible. We will work with you to identify any organizations, businesses, and/or medical facilities that are responsible for employing or enabling perpetrators of sexual assault and abuse. Victims of sexual assault and abuse may be entitled to substantial compensation if these organizations can be properly identified.
Who can file a civil case in Maryland for sexual abuse or assault?
If you or your loved one was a victim of sexual assault or abuse, you can file a claim against the perpetrator. However, there may be times where other people or parties are also liable. Survivors can sue third parties if the victim can show:
- the person of governmental entity owed a duty of care to the victim;
- the person or governmental entity employed or exercise some degree of responsibility or control over the alleged perpetrator; and
- there is a finding of gross negligence on the part of the third party.
What is Maryland’s law regarding child sex abuse cases?
If you are an adult who has been sexually assaulted or abused, you have three (3) years to file a civil claim against your abuser, and/or any other applicable third parties.
In 2017, the civil statute of limitations for a victim of child sex abuse against a third-party was extended to 38 years old or three (3) years after the perpetrator is convicted of a crime – whichever is later.
Filing a lawsuit for childhood sex abuse by members of the Catholic Church
On April 5, 2023, the Maryland Attorney General’s Office publicly released a redacted version of an investigative report detailing sexual abuse allegations against the Baltimore Catholic Church spanning decades. The report investigated, and discovered, over 600 young people that were sexually abused by more than 150 members of the Baltimore Catholic Church from the 1940s to 2002. The report identified new abusers, who had not previously been accused, and corroborated allegations that had been publicly reported. The report included narratives describing patterns of abuse within the Church, efforts by the Church to cover up such allegations, as well as the long-lasting effects such abuse has had on victims. Priests and other abusers rarely faced any legal ramifications for their actions. Despite the findings in the report, many are still frustrated that the report remains heavily redacted to protect the identities of involved clergy members and those who enabled them.
In Maryland, the law has allowed victims of child sex abuse an opportunity to file a civil lawsuit until 38 years old – however, the Maryland legislature has passed a bill that would repeal the state’s civil statute of limitations in these types of cases. The bill, known as “The Child Victims Act of 2023” was passed by the Maryland Senate and House, and has been sent to Governor Moore who is expected to sign. This legislation would allow victims of child sex abuse to file a claim against their abusers and their institutions, even if their claim had already expired under the prior statute of limitations. Additionally, the legislation would increase the non-economic damages cap to $1.5 million in actions against private institutions, and $890,000.00 in actions against the State of Maryland.
The attorneys at Plaxen Adler Muncy, P.A. are monitoring the progress of this legislation in order to appropriately counsel victims of sexual abuse and hold those who perpetuated these offenses accountable.
How civil and criminal sex abuse cases are different
In civil cases involving sexual assault and abuse, the standard of proof only requires us to prove that it is more likely than not that the abuse occurred, which is a lesser burden that criminal cases which require the State to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the abuse occurred. While you may have been hesitant to pursue or report your case criminally, the facts of your case will be analyzed differently in a civil context.
What kinds of damages can I seek in a civil sexual assault or abuse case?
You may be entitled to compensation for:
- Medical expenses, including for any ongoing physical or psychological treatments
- Lost wages, both past and current
- Pain and suffering experienced as a result of the abuse, including physical and psychological pain
Why Plaxen Adler Muncy, P.A. can help with a civil sexual assault or abuse case
The attorneys at Plaxen Adler Muncy, P.A. fight for sexual assault and abuse victims throughout Maryland. All of our attorneys have undergone Trauma Informed training on how to represent sexual assault survivors. While the facts of your case may be personal and difficult to discuss, our attorneys understand the complexities of these cases and oftentimes the hesitations to come forward and discuss what happened due to fears of not being believed, not having proof, or even retribution from the abuser. Our attorneys are trauma-informed and are equipped to identify any and all possible Defendants responsible for the perpetrator’s abuse to ensure that we protect your right to pursue compensation.
Our office accepts sexual assault and abuse cases on a contingency basis, meaning, our fee would be a percentage of what is recovered for you by way of settlement or trial – only if we are successful. Please review our team and let us know if there is someone specific you prefer to speak to.
Maryland attorneys fighting for survivors of sexual abuse and assault
If you have experienced sexual assault or abuse, and you believe an organization employed or enabled the abuser, you should contact one of our Maryland sexual assault and abuse attorneys immediately for a confidential consultation. Please be aware there are statutes of limitations for pursuing cases involving sexual assault and abuse, and our attorneys can counsel you on the options available for your case. Please call us or fill out our contact form to schedule a free consultation and discuss your options. We maintain multiple offices throughout the state for your convenience.