Doctor Sexual Abuse Attorney
Doctors are some of the people that we trust the most in society. Unfortunately, there is a connection between positions of trust and an abuse of this trust when it comes to sex crimes. This can lead to doctors, chiropractors, and other health care providers abusing and assaulting their patients.
If you or someone you know is a survivor of doctor sexual abuse, please contact Manly, Stewart & Finaldi for a free confidential consultation. Our doctor sexual abuse attorneys will treat you with respect and dignity while protecting your rights and demanding justice on your behalf.
What Is Considered Sexual Assault by a Doctor?
The definition of sexual assault is to touch the intimate parts of another person against the victim’s will or while he or she is restrained, for the purpose of sexual arousal, gratification, or abuse. Sexual assault by a doctor is a form of medical malpractice in which a medical practitioner violates the law, the physician’s Code of Ethics and the Hippocratic Oath to sexually assault a patient.
Examples of Sexual Abuse by a Medical Professional
Sexual abuse or assault by a medical professional can take the form of nonconsensual touching, molestation, rape or statutory rape, doctor sexual harassment, indecent exposure, penetration, oral copulation, or child sexual abuse. Some examples of sexual abuse by a medical professional that our doctor sexual abuse attorneys have seen include:
- A doctor making inappropriate jokes, remarks, or sexual advances.
- Touching a patient inappropriately.
- Performing unnecessary examinations on private parts.
- Taking photographs of a patient’s privates with a personal device.
- Taking advantage of patients while they are under anesthesia or unconscious.
Any type of sex crime committed against a patient during a physical exam, medical test or treatment can qualify as doctor sexual abuse. The medical professional in question could be a physician, dentist, chiropractor, sports doctor, nurse, physical therapist, any other health care practitioner or a hospital staff member. Learn more about what qualifies as sexual abuse by a doctor by speaking with a California sexual abuse attorney.
Who Can File a Sexual Abuse Lawsuit Against a Doctor?
Bringing a sexual abuse lawsuit can result in justice and financial compensation for a survivor and his or her family members. Filing a lawsuit against a physician or health care center, for example, can shed light on sex crimes being committed by health care providers in your community – potentially protecting future patients from assault. Parties that can file sexual abuse lawsuits against physicians include:
- A sexual abuse survivor.
- A minor child’s parent or legal guardian.
- The survivor’s family members (if the survivor has passed away).
- The survivor’s spouse or domestic partner (for loss of consortium).
- Witnesses (for emotional distress).
Past doctor sexual abuse lawsuits that made the news include the case against Olympic Gymnastics physician Larry Nassar and USC gynecologist George Tyndall. Lawsuits against health care providers for sexual abuse and assault can result in financial compensation for the survivor and his or her family members.
Who Is Liable for Doctor Sexual Abuse?
Liability, or financial responsibility, for doctor sexual abuse may go directly to the doctor or physician who committed the wrongdoing if he or she was working as an independent contractor at the time of the incident. This is a common arrangement between doctors and health care centers. If the individual was an employee of the health care center or school, however, a sexual abuse survivor may be able to hold the facility vicariously liable.
What To Do if You Were Sexually Abused by Your Doctor or Physician
If you were sexually assaulted by your doctor, tell someone immediately. Although coming forward can be difficult, it is critical to protect yourself and others in your community by speaking out. Then, consult with a doctor sexual abuse attorney about a potential sexual abuse civil lawsuit. Most importantly, learn how to cope with what happened in a healthy way with assistance from a trained professional, such as a therapist.
How To Report Doctor Sexual Abuse
Reporting doctor sexual abuse or assault is the first step in seeking justice and accountability for this heinous crime. Call 911 to report it to the police if it is an emergency, such as if you think another patient is at risk of bodily harm. To report an abusive doctor to the police in a nonemergency, search for the number online. In Los Angeles, for example, call (310) 444-0701 to reach the Los Angeles Police Department.
Next, contact the hospital or doctor’s office where you or a loved one suffered the abuse. Tell them that you wish to file an official complaint against the physician and describe what happened. Then, report the crime to your state’s medical board. If you wish to speak to a trained professional about how to move forward emotionally, call the National Sexual Abuse Hotline at (800) 656-4673.
Proving Sexual Abuse by a Doctor
As a plaintiff in a civil sexual abuse lawsuit, you or your doctor sexual abuse lawyer must prove that what you are claiming is more likely to be true than not true. You must do this through a preponderance of the evidence. Evidence of doctor sexual abuse or sexual misconduct may come in the form of statements from witnesses who were present in the room at the time (such as a nurse), testimony from medical experts about the standard of care, a police report if the survivor reported the crime, and the survivor’s medical records or letters from a therapist.
Statute of Limitations on Doctor Sexual Abuse Claims
There is a law called a statute of limitations that makes it important to act quickly if you believe you have grounds to file a lawsuit against a doctor for sexual abuse. In California, for example, a sexual abuse or assault survivor who was over the age of 18 at the time of the crime has 10 years from the last act to come forward with a claim. If the survivor was a minor, he or she has until age 40 or 5 years from the date of discovery – whichever gives the survivor more time – to file. If you live in a different state, your deadline to file may differ.
Compensation for Victims of Doctor Sexual Abuse
Bringing a civil lawsuit for doctor sexual abuse could lead to financial compensation from the doctor or health care facility for your related economic and noneconomic losses. You may be entitled to a settlement or judgment award that pays you and your family for related medical expenses, therapy, mental health counseling, lost wages, physical pain and suffering, emotional distress, psychological trauma, the wrongful death of a loved one, and more.
Schedule a Free Consultation With a Doctor Sexual Abuse Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been sexually abused or assaulted by a doctor, don’t hesitate to contact us for a free consultation. We will listen to your story and make sure that your voice is heard in the civil justice system in your state. We can keep your identity anonymous throughout your case if desired. Call (855) 943-0864 for our West Coast office, (800) 700-2751 for our East Coast office or contact us online for more information. Our doctor sexual abuse attorneys are here to help.