Enrolling your child in a sports program and watching them perform is a great moment in a parent’s life. Parents and children expect that a coach in charge of a team would be a hub of support for all the players. However, some coaches may use their position in order to prey upon unsuspecting children. If your child was a victim of molestation at the hands of his or her coach, contact an experienced Florida attorney for victims of molestation by coaches.
Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA is prepared to help you and your family stand against a sexual abuser that hurt your child. To schedule a free legal consultation to discuss your case, contact the Law Offices of Prosper Shaked at (305) 694-2676. You may also contact the firm online.
Determining Liability for Molestation by a Coach in Florida
If a parent learns that their child was abused by a coach that was in charge of their care, they are owed an explanation as to who is responsible for the trauma suffered by their child. It is clear that criminal charges and any civil claims should be filed against the coach; however, there could be other parties that can be held liable for the sexual abuse.
As a coach is likely employed by an educational institution or sports program, there is a possibility that the coach’s employer could also be liable for the coach’s heinous acts. Employers can be held vicariously liable for the acts of their employees through the doctrine of respondeat superior. Under this doctrine, acts committed by an employee within the scope of their employment can be imputed to their employer. For example, if a coach molests one of their players in the locker room of the school, this act could reflect upon their employer.
There may be other circumstances where an institution could be held liable for the actions of a coach. For example, if a school was made aware of sexual abuse allegations against the coach and failed to take any preventive measures, the school could be liable to the coach’s victims.
To learn more about filing a lawsuit against a coach and the school that employs them, you should continue reading and speak with an experienced Florida sexual assault lawyer.
When to File a Sexual Abuse Lawsuit in Florida
Victims of sexual abuse or molestation often have difficulty overcoming their traumatic experiences. As a result, some victims may need extensive time before they can be expected to face their abuser. Unfortunately, the statute of limitations places some restrictions on when a victim of sexual abuse can file a lawsuit against an abuser.
The statute of limitations determines how much time a plaintiff has to file a certain type of lawsuit against a defendant. If the plaintiff does not file their claim within the time limit, the defendant can move to dismiss the claim.
While the statute of limitations can seem unfair for some victims of molestation that were not aware that their claim was on-the-clock, Florida has provided some lenient timeframes for victims of sexual abuse. Specifically, victims of sexual abuse have seven years from the day they turn 18 to pursue a claim against their sexual abuser.
The statute of limitations can also vary depending on the circumstances of a victim’s case. For example, if the abuse by a coach were not discovered immediately, the victim would have four years from the date of the discovery to file a lawsuit against the abuser.
If a victim were under the age of 16 when they suffered sexual battery at the hands of a coach, Florida would not impose a statute of limitations. This means that the victim will be permitted to file their claim against a coach at any time, without worry that the case could be dismissed.
Damages Available for Florida Molestation Case
If a plaintiff in a molestation claim prevails in their lawsuit, they can be awarded damages from the court. Compensatory damages are divided into two categories: economic damages and noneconomic damages.
Economic damages are awarded for financial losses that can be easily quantified. For example, a victim in a molestation case can be awarded damages for medical expenses, costs of therapy, medication expenses, and other related costs. Noneconomic damages are awarded for unquantifiable losses like pain and suffering, emotional distress, and other similar issues.
Punitive damages can also be awarded in a molestation case. Punitive damages are awarded when a defendant has committed an act that is so egregious or heinous that the court believes they must punish the defendant. In Florida, punitive damages can reach up three times the amount of compensatory damages or $500,000, whichever total is higher.
Contact an Experienced Florida Lawyer for Victims of Molestation by Coaches
If your child was sexually abused by their coach, you should consult with an experienced Florida sexual assault lawyer as soon as possible. Sexual abuse lawyer Prosper Shaked recognizes the traumas a child must endure after being molested, and he is here for you. You do not have to fight your case alone, contact the Law Offices of Prosper Shaked at (305) 694-2676 for a free legal case evaluation.