Finding A Michigan Sexual Assault Attorney
If you are a survivor of a sexual assault, finding a Sexual Assault Attorney can be an important step in your healing process.
In a shocking disclosure, the President of the University of Michigan issued a public apology for the alleged sexual misconduct of the school’s former director of University Health Service and athletic team physician, Dr. Robert E. Anderson. This revelation has invigorated an important and ongoing cultural discussion about the difficulties that sexual assault and rape survivors face when they complain, and the concurrent failure of institutions to respond appropriately.
It’s common for victims of sexual assault to hesitate before calling the police or seeking legal advice. The emotional and physical impact of a sexual assault is profound, and many individuals just want the fact that it all happened to recede into the background.
Victims of sexual abuse and sexual assault are often confused, embarrassed, and self-blaming about what happened to them. It’s more important than ever before to speak up and find help.
Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C., can meet with you for a free consultation at a time and place that is convenient for you, including your home or hospital room. We believe you and are here to help.
Speaking up is a scary thing to do. It takes courage. Reporting a crime to the police means stepping into a system that you can’t entirely control, at a time when you are feeling extremely vulnerable.
If you don’t have a family member, partner, or friend available to support you immediately, there are trained professionals available in Michigan to provide sensitive and compassionate guidance.
Michigan has a confidential, 24-hour sexual assault hotline to provide crisis support and referrals to assault survivors, and their friends and family. The hotline is staffed by professional crisis counselors with specialized training in crisis intervention, sexual assault, child sexual abuse, your rights as a survivor, and Michigan law.
The hotline staff can also connect you to other services such as Crime Victims Compensation and Michigan Victim Information and Notification Everyday (IMI-VINE), which provides sex offender registration and notification information.
Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C., understand the extreme trauma of sexual assault and abuse, and the long-term impact it can have on a person’s life. We’ve helped sexual assault survivors and abuse victims throughout Michigan pursue justice and find a resolution.
Reporting Is Not the Same as Filing Charges
If you received medical treatment after the sexual assault, the police are called automatically. You will need to speak with the police, but this does not commit you to pursue criminal charges.
Reporting the crime makes a range of supportive services available to you. For many survivors, reporting is a critical first step in their recovery journey.
Reporting the crime also helps law enforcement, social services, and medical and behavioral health professionals better understand the patterns of criminal sexual conduct and other sex crimes, enabling them to respond more effectively as a community of providers.
Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C., can help you negotiate the reporting process and advise you every step of the way, no matter what you ultimately decide to do.
Criminal vs. Civil Proceedings
Even though a sexual assault can lead to criminal prosecution — leading to jail time, probation, and other sanctions for the offender — a civil lawsuit is the only way an assault survivor can get monetary compensation for lost income, physical and emotional pain and suffering, and other impacts.
Damages in a civil personal injury claim concern the physical and emotional harm that you, the assault victim, have suffered and will continue to experience as a result of the assault or abuse. It’s important to remember that while the jury may award a significant amount of money in civil personal injury cases, it may be difficult to collect that money unless the perpetrator/defendant has significant personal resources.
In some cases, a civil lawsuit can be brought against another party, in addition to the perpetrator (e.g. corporations, schools, and other corporate entities).
Finding Attorneys In Michigan
Much like a family member, spouse, friend, or professional sexual assault advocate, an attorney can be an extremely helpful voice in your decision-making process after a sexual assault. Finding an attorney who’s handled cases involving sexual assault is one aspect of your research when you start looking, but there are other factors to watch for as well.
Most critical of all is your comfort level. You need to feel comfortable sharing intimate and perhaps embarrassing details about your assault, and you need to be comfortable sharing these details with your attorney.
You can look online in a lawyer directory and find basic information about various firms. Look for those specializing in handling personal injury civil claims. In fact, that’s where many people look first. But there are a few other avenues to explore, too.
Ask your family members, partner, friends — the people closest to you — for advice and referrals. If you received support from a crisis counseling center, the support network there could also be helpful in finding the Michigan Sexual Assault Attorney and law firm that’s right for you.
At Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C., we have the listening, speaking, and investigative skills you need to successfully pursue a sexual assault civil case in court. We invite you to browse our attorneys and then set up a face-to-face meeting so we can evaluate your situation and make recommendations.
We’re here to help you address your immediate needs following your assault, protect you, and make sure your interests are taken care of in whatever criminal or civil proceedings unfold in the months ahead.
Don’t Wait Too Long
In Michigan, the statute of limitations for filing a civil personal injury lawsuit against the perpetrator of a sexual assault is 3 years after the discovery of the incident, if the assault survivor is over the age of 28.
The state recently passed new laws that give childhood victims of sexual abuse up to 15 years after the incident — or until their 28th birthday, whichever is later — to pursue criminal charges against the person(s) involved.
Whether your sexual assault happened 6 months ago or yesterday, the professionals at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C., can help you get the answers you need and the justice you seek.
Contact us toll-free at (866)-466-9912 or contact us online by using our convenient form to schedule your free consultation.