Rochester Clergy Abuse Attorneys
If you or a loved one have been abused by a member of the clergy, our experienced Rochester clergy abuse attorneys will hold your abuser accountable and help you obtain compensation for your suffering. The child victims act was passed to order to give victims a year to come forward and hold their abusers accountable.
There are no words to describe the horror of which clergy abuse survivors have experienced. If you’re here, you have probably known that abuse and are looking for retribution. We understand the mixed emotions you are most likely dealing with. If you are experiencing any fear about starting a claim, please know that you have full control of this legal situation. We understand that it can be extremely difficult to think about having to relive those memories and for that reason, it is totally up to you to pursue this claim. If you are feeling any guilty about suing the diocese, please understand that it is not immoral to do so. In fact, it is your right to do this. You have been wronged and you are legally and morally allowed to stand up against your abuser and say enough is enough. You have the power in this situation and we want to champion your case for you. You can meet with one of our experienced Rochester clergy abuse attorneys in a free confidential consultation to discuss your case and your legal options.
This is not a typical case where people are seeking out compensation. People get money all the time for car accidents or slip and falls, but this is different. You are seeking reparations from the diocese of Rochester. More often than not, these cases will end in settlement and will not be litigated. The amount of money that the United States alone has reached over $3 billion total. That number will only increase as more and more victims come forward. Since 1950, the Catholic diocese of Rochester has settled over $1.6 million dollars to as many as 20 victims that had experienced sexual abuse from 24 priests. Not every victim accepted the reward they were offered so that number of victims is probably much higher.
The way to ensure you get compensation is two-fold. First, you need to know if you are eligible to file a suit. There are new statute of limitations that have been put into place by Gov. Andrew Cuomo called the child victims act that will be enacted on August 14th, 2019 that say you will have one year to bring your claim from the date of enactment. That one year time limit is for the survivors who have been abused in the past, no matter how old they are and despite if they have previously been time barred. For example, if this sexual abuse happened many decades ago and you’ve waited well past the statute of limitations, you are now allowed to file your claim up until August 14th, 2020. Past that, you may be barred from filing so it is important to move quickly.
The law also changes in a way to give people more time to file their suit. It used to be that if you waited until past the age of 23, you were going to be barred from filing. Now, you have up until the age of 28 to file a criminal claim or you have until you turn 55 to file a civil claim. This act is giving a lot of previously thrown out cases new opportunities. There were so many people who missed out for one reason or another. If you fall under this category, you must act quickly.
Should you choose to pursue a suit, it is vital that you speak to an experienced attorney. If you ever had a negative experience with the diocese, you’ll know just how difficult it will be to take them on again. We know that it is a hard battle to fight, and we want to win it for you. When you meet with us, we will educate you about what your rights are and what options are available to you. We want you to know that everything we talk about is held in strict confidence. It is a traumatic thing that you went through and we respect your privacy as well as your right to say no to filing a suit.
We know that it is hard to think about the process for compensation because it is such an emotional issue. There are a lot of victims who may never come forward because they don’t want to talk about what happened. We know just how difficult that is. It can feel like a very isolating circumstance but that may be because the Catholic church told you that you were the only victim. They have been keeping these accusation quiet to protect their abusers. It wasn’t until recently that they have been releasing names of abusers.
New York’s Child Victims Act gives expanded rights to survivors of sexual abuse by extending the statute of limitations for bringing a claim. This applies to both civil and criminal claims against priests, teachers, counselors, and anyone else who has committed sexual abuse.
Formerly, those who were sexually abused as children could only bring civil and criminal claims up until the age of 23. Under the new law, victims can bring civil claims up until the age of 55 and criminal claims up until the age of 28. The Child Victim’s Act will also provide all abuse survivors, regardless of their current age, until January 14, 2021 to bring legal action against their abusers. Beginning on August 14, 2019, even those that were previously time-barred by the statute of limitations can file claims even if their abusers have died.
In recognition of the fact that many victims have already been forced to wait years for access to the justice system, the new law will give trial preference to revived cases. Judges will also be required to undergo additional training concerning crimes involving sexual abuse of minors.
The Child Victim’s Act will also treat public and private entities equally by removing current notice of claim provisions for public entities and further clarifying that both entities are subject to the one-year look-back window.
When this time is up on January 14, 2021, however, so is the opportunity to bring certain claims. Furthermore, the window may be significantly shortened if a defendant (such as a diocese or the Boy Scouts) declares bankruptcy. It is incredibly important, therefore, to contact an attorney as soon as possible to learn about your options since your time to file a claim may be limited.
Contact Our Office Today
If you are ready to seek compensation and tell your abuser that they deserve to pay for what they did, please don’t hesitate to call our office today for a free consultation with our caring and supporting Rochester clergy abuse attorneys. We will respect your story and allow you to be in control of your claim.