In 2021, the law regarding the statute of limitations for sexual abuse changed. Under the new rules, victims of sexual abuse have a greater chance to file civil claims against their abusers, including the institutions complicit in the abuse or coverup.
Time is now limited for certain victims to file sexual assault claims against institutions. Speak with a personal injury attorney right away for proper legal guidance.
The Statute of Limitations for Sexual Abuse Cases in Arkansas
Many types of legal cases have a statute of limitations. A statute of limitations is a law that prevents victims from filing a lawsuit after a certain period has expired. The time clock usually begins running on the date of the injury or the date the victim reasonably discovers the injury.
Failing to file a lawsuit within the specified time can have negative repercussions. While you could still file your claim in court, it would more than likely be thrown out, and you would lose your right to pursue a legal remedy for your harm. This is why it is critical to take note of these statutes and file lawsuits in a timely fashion.
Under previous Arkansas law, a child sexual abuse victim had until their 21st birthday to file a civil claim. This gave them until the age of majority (18) plus three years — in other words, a three-year statute of limitations to take legal action after reaching adulthood.
Because of this stringent law, many adults who experienced sexual abuse as children lost the opportunity to file a lawsuit. Now, Arkansas law has changed and given these individuals a second chance.
How the Law Has Changed: The Two-Year Revival Window
In 2021, Arkansas passed a law changing the statute of limitations for sexual abuse cases. Instead of kids having until the age of 21, the new law extends the age cap to 55. Future abuse victims will be able to bring a case until age 55 or three years from the date of discovery, whichever date is later, to file a civil claim.
Additionally, the change in law allowed for a two-year revival window. This means that if a lawyer has previously turned away your case due to the expiration of the statute of limitations, the new law has provided an avenue for justice.
From February 1, 2022, to January 31, 2024, victims of sexual abuse can file a civil claim against their abuser and the institutions responsible for allowing or covering up the abuse. Because time is limited, you must take action as quickly as possible to avoid losing your right to file a lawsuit again.
2023 is coming to a close. As that happens, victims who were previously unable to seek justice are quickly losing their chance to do so. If you or a loved one have previously experienced sexual abuse, do not hesitate to consult with a qualified attorney as quickly as possible.
A Special Note Concerning the Boy Scouts’ Bankruptcy Trust Case
With the change in law, sexual assault victims have been allowed to file claims against institutions, including certain churches and organizations. One of the organizations facing the most legal trouble for past sexual abuse is the Boy Scouts of America.
Boy Scouts sexual abuse victims must note that filing a claim before January 31, 2024, is imperative to help ensure you receive full compensation according to the terms of the Bankruptcy Trust agreement. Waiting to file a claim after this date can result in unfortunate circumstances, including receiving as little as 10% of your claim’s value.
Sexual Assault Claims Against Institutions — Don’t Lose Your Opportunity to Take Legal Action
If you or a loved one have experienced past sexual abuse, you may have the chance to get the justice you deserve. Time is of the essence; do not wait any longer.
The experienced legal team at Rochelle McCullough is ready to assist you with your case. Contact our firm today to schedule a consultation.