Michigan Sexual Abuse by a Coach Lawyer
Coaches who work with children and student-athletes are supposed to teach them skills and the value of teamwork, help develop their character, and serve as role models. Tragically and all too often, however, coaches betray the trust of athletes and their parents. Incidents of sexual abuse by coaches regularly make the news and leave athletes and families to grapple with physical, emotional, and psychological trauma for years and decades to come.
It can take incredible courage for survivors of sexual assault to come forward and share their stories. Many try to bury the trauma in ways that compound their struggles. Often, a life event like a divorce, loss of a job through PTSD, newfound sobriety, or a psychological breakdown leads survivors to grapple with their pain and try to move past it.
That healing process can include the difficult decision to contact a lawyer to try to hold their assailants and others who may have facilitated the abuse accountable for their actions. At Sommers Schwartz, we know that sexual abuse survivors and their families count on us to obtain the justice and compensation that can help them heal. We pursue their claims with fierce determination while also treating our clients with the respect, sensitivity, and compassion that can give them strength during and after the process.
Filing a Sexual Abuse Claim Against a Coach
While acts of sexual abuse against minors (or adults) can and do lead to criminal charges, survivors may also pursue civil claims for monetary damages from the perpetrator as well as institutions or other individuals whose negligent or intentional conduct permitted the abuse.
Michigan recently changed its laws regarding how long an individual has to file a claim for illegal sexual abuse committed by a coach. Survivors now have until either age 28 or three years from the date the abuse is discovered, whichever comes later, to take legal action.
This change to the statute of limitations has been significant for survivors of childhood sexual abuse who may take years to recognize what happened and feel comfortable coming forward. Even though the window for filing is now open longer, time is still a critical factor when considering a sexual abuse lawsuit. It is crucial to act as soon as possible.
Others Can Be Held Responsible for a Coach’s Abusive Conduct
Although a coach may be the sole abuser, they are often not the only responsible party. The schools and organizations that employ them sometimes ignore complaints of sexual misconduct, hoping to avoid a damaging scandal and expensive litigation. They may fail to thoroughly vet coaches and place a known abuser in charge of vulnerable young people. If the institution’s negligence contributed to or enabled the abuse, it too may be liable.
A Michigan Sexual Abuse Attorney Can Help Survivors Heal
It can be challenging and scary to come forward with sexual abuse claim against a coach. But you need not suffer alone. Speaking to a sexual abuse lawyer can be a big step in your journey towards justice and healing.
If a coach sexually abused you or your child, we welcome the opportunity to help you. Please contact the experienced and knowledgeable attorneys at Sommers Schwartz today to arrange your free and confidential consultation.