Students that engage in a sport at their school will often turn to their coach for support for many issues. Unfortunately, some coaches may use this relationship with their players to commit acts of sexual abuse against them. If a student is unclear about what to do in this situation, they could have difficulty reporting the situation to a parent or other faculty member. If your child was a victim of molestation by their coach, consult with an experienced Miami attorney for victims of molestation by coaches.
Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA are committed to fighting for victims of abuse that were taken advantage of by coaches they trusted. To schedule a free legal consultation, contact Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA at (305) 694-2676. You can also contact us online using our short submission form.
Reasons Molestation by Coaches Can be Unreported
Molestation is committed when an abuser forces a minor to engage in sexual activity for the gratification of the abuser. Consent is typically not an issue in molestation claims because minors that are sexually abused are usually incapable of giving consent to having sex with an adult because they are under the age of majority. This is especially true in cases where an adult molests a child that is under the age of 12.
A sexual abuser working as a coach may attempt to use their position of power to coerce a child into engaging in sexual acts. For example, a coach may state that a student may not be able to participate in a game if they do not exchange a sexual favor with the coach. Due to this difference in power balance, a child could be fearful of reporting the sexual abuse.
In addition to being scared of reprisal from their abuser, many victims of abuse may avoid reporting molestation or other sexual abuse for the following reasons:
- Feelings of shame or guilt
- The false belief they were the cause of the abuse
- Fear of the reaction of family members and friends
In some cases, a person may initially be unaware that they are a victim of abuse. For example, the popular case of USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, that used his position to mask molestation as medical treatment, shows that some victims may have been lulled into trusting a molester.
To learn more about who can be held liable for molestation, you should continue reading and speak with an experienced Miami sexual abuse attorney as soon as possible.
Liability for Molestation Committed by a Coach in Miami, FL
If a child is a victim of molestation by a coach, there arises a question of who could be held liable for the offense. The most obvious answer is that a civil claim can be filed against the coach, and their actions should be reported to law enforcement. However, there are other parties that could be held liable in a civil claim.
If a coach was employed by a school or other institution when they molested a player, the company that employs the coach could be held liable for their actions. This is possible under the doctrine of respondeat superior. Under this doctrine, an employer could be held vicariously liable for the actions of an employee that is committed within the scope of their employment.
If a coach molests a minor while they were in the process of instructing them, this illicit act could be imputed to their employer. For example, sexually abusing a player in the locker rooms at a school could result in the employer being liable for the coach’s actions.
Additionally, if an institution was aware of the coach’s actions or hired the coach while they were aware of molestation allegations in the past, this could also make the institution liable to the victim.
Damages Awarded for a Miami Molestation Lawsuit
Molestation and other forms of sexual abuse can leave a child traumatized and struggling with their experience, possibly for the rest of their life. As a result, a victim of molestation is within their right to seek compensation that may be used to seek help in dealing with the aftereffects of sexual abuse.
If a victim of molestation is successful in a civil claim against their abuser, they can be awarded damages for the losses. Compensatory damages can be divided into economic and noneconomic. Economic damages are awarded for losses that can be quantified, such as injuries, medical expenses, costs of therapy, and similar expenses. Noneconomic damages are awarded for losses that are difficult to calculate, like emotional distress and pain and suffering.
In a molestation case, the damages awarded will likely lean towards noneconomic injuries, which can make it difficult to estimate the compensation a victim will receive.
Additionally, punitive damages can also be awarded in some cases of molestation. Punitive damages are awarded because an offender committed a particularly heinous act intentionally. As a result, the court may award punitive damages to punish an offender for their actions. In Miami, punitive damages can reach up to three times the amount of compensatory damages.
Work with Our Experienced Miami Lawyer for Victims of Molestation by Coaches
If a coach used their position of power to molest your child, contact an experienced Miami lawyer for victims of molestation. Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA are invested in ensuring that sexual abusers are brought to justice for their crimes. You do not have to stand against your abuser alone, contact Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA at (305) 694-2676.