Our Michigan sexual abuse injury lawyers have a comprehensive understanding of the laws regarding sexual abuse and the lifelong effects on the victim.
We understand the extremely sensitive nature of the case, how trying a lawsuit can be for the victim, and the importance of maintaining client confidentiality.
We represent clients throughout the state of Michigan and fight to win them the compensation and justice they deserve.
We have the experience, knowledge, and skill to win your case. We settle more than 97% of our cases for the maximum amount of compensation before ever going to court. We will do the same for you.
If you or someone you care about was the victim of sexual abuse and would like to file a lawsuit, you should contact our office immediately to discuss your case. Call our experienced attorneys now at (800) 606-1717 to discuss your case.
Types of Sexual Abuse Lawsuits We Handle
Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. is the smart choice for your sexual abuse case. Since 1969, our award-winning lawyers have represented victims with the highest degree of integrity and compassion.
Our top-rated lawyers oftentimes represent sex abuse victims from all age groups, ranging from children to senior citizens in cases involving sex abuse and criminal sexual conduct by:
- Team doctors
- Athletic trainers
- Medical staff
- Sport coaches
- U.S. Olympic Organizations
- School personnel
- Youth directors and leader
- Universities, Colleges, and educational institutions
- Private contractors
- All other persons
Sexual Abuse & Sexual Assault Statistics
The following statistics have been selected from the most credible sources available to provide a look at sexual violence and the many ways it affects Americans each year, according to RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) -- the nation's largest anti-sexual violence organization.
1. Every 98 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted. And every 8 minutes, that victim is a child. Meanwhile, only 6 out of every 1,000 perpetrators will end up in prison.
2. The rate of sexual assault and rape has fallen 63% since 1993, from a rate of 4.3 assaults per 1,000 people in 1993, to 1.6 per 1000 in 2015.
3. 1 out of every 6 American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime (14.8% completed, 2.8% attempted).
4. About 3% of American men -- or 1 in 33 -- have experienced an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime.
5. From 2009-2013, Child Protective Services agencies substantiated, or found strong evidence to indicate that, 63,000 children a year were victims of sexual abuse.
6. A majority of child victims are 12-17. Of victims under the age of 18, 34% of victims of sexual assault and rape are under age 12, and 66% of victims of sexual assault and rape are age 12-17.
Michigan Sex Abuse Lawsuit Statute of Limitations
Many times, the abuse occurred when the victim was a child or adolescent and other victims were over the age of eighteen (18) at the time of their abuse. Quite often the victim has failed to report the abuse due to fear or retribution until many years after the incidents took place. Until recently, many victims were surprised to learn their cases could not be brought due to the passing of a time deadline.
The statute of limitations or time deadline to sue for this type of case was recently extended by statute and now permits a longer amount of time to file a lawsuit against both the perpetrator of the abuse and also any institutions potentially liable to the victim. Many victims can now have their day in court and get compensation for the abuse and the psychological damage caused by the abuser.
The new statute of limitations was enacted in large part due to the sex abuse lawsuits filed against Dr. Larry Nassar and Michigan State University. The deadlines extend to other cases as well.
The statute of limitations was amended in Public Acts 180 and 181 of 2018 and signed into effect by the Michigan Governor on June 12, 2018.
For adults, the period of limitations is 10 years for an action to recover damages sustained because of criminal sexual conduct. It is not necessary that a criminal prosecution was brought as a result of the abuse. However, if a criminal prosecution was brought it does not matter whether the prosecution or proceeding resulted in a conviction of the abuser. The victim may still file a civil lawsuit.
If the victim was a minor at the time of the abuse, he or she has the following time to sue at any time before whichever of the following is later:
(a) The individual reaches the age of 28 years.
(b) Three years after the date the individual discovers, or through the exercise of reasonable diligence should have discovered, both the individual’s injury and the causal relationship between the injury and the criminal sexual conduct.
Unfortunately, if you fail to meet these deadlines, your case will be destroyed forever and you cannot sue for your injuries or the harm caused by the abuse.
Proving Sexual Abuse By Doctors
In recent years, sex abuse by physicians has gathered a lot of attention on the news. To prove that a doctor sexually abused a patient, it is necessary to prove that a either sexual relationship outside of the physician's office or that sexual abuse occurred between the doctor and the patient in the office or hospital. Many times, there is no physical evidence to prove that this happened and there are no eyewitnesses to these acts. Doctors who engage in this type of illegal conduct often feel empowered because they know that many people may not believe the victim because of the doctor's stature in the community. It then becomes a "he said, she said" battle between the two sides and credibility of each person is a big factor in determining what actually happened.
When there are no eyewitnesses and no other evidence, investigators and hospital administrators may have knowledge of prior similar complaints against a doctor by other woman and those went ignored or not properly investigated. Evidence of other similar acts can help prove and win a case. Also, any physical evidence that could prove the abuse is a major factor in proving and winning a case.
What Is Not Considered Medically Necessary During A Medical Exam?
Doctors who sexually abuse patients during an exam often attempt to explain or excuse their unlawful behavior as being "medically necessary" or as a "proper medical technique." Many times, they even give the patient a false explanation regarding the "technique" to justify it during the exam. As you would suspect, the specific acts of a sexual assault are never document in the patient's chart and the exams are just noted as "normal" to conceal what actually happened behind the closed door.
An examination of private areas on your body is frequently necessary for health-related purposes. However, the exam should always be limited to steps that are absolutely medically necessary. Here are some things that are normal and not normal during an exam of private parts of your body, according to RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) -- the nation's largest anti-sexual violence organization.
It Is OK For The Examiner To
- Explain each part of the exam to you before and while it is happening.
- Use gloves.
- Encourage you to tell them if something feels wrong or uncomfortable.
- Is the same sex as you, if you have asked.
- Only ask you to undress the part of your body being examined.
It Is Not OK For The Examiner To
- Refuse to answer your questions or tell you to be quiet.
- Examine private parts without gloves.
- Refuse to tell you what they are doing or why they are doing it.
- Decline to have another person in the room with you.
- Insist that you undress parts of your body they are not examining.
- Ask you questions about your sexual activity that makes you uncomfortable.
RAINN created and operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800) 656-HOPE in partnership with more than 1,000 local sexual assault service providers across the country and operates the DoD Safe Helpline for the Department of Defense. RAINN also carries out programs to prevent sexual violence, help survivors, and ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice.
Damages In Doctor Sexual Abuse Lawsuits
Doctor sex abuse cases can have significant damages. These include non-economic damages such as emotional distress, but also can include significant economic damages such as ongoing therapy and medication needs, and a loss of earning capacity, wage loss or loss of services.
In addition, the patient's spouse may have his own claim for loss of society and companionship and loss of consortium, as well as the disruption of the family.
Simply put, doctors and other medical professionals are not allowed to have sexual relationships with patients. When a doctor-patient relationship exists, there is no circumstance that would allow a doctor to have sex with a patient. Even if the doctor later claims that sexual contact was consensual with the patient, this is completely unjustifiable and unlawful.
Lawsuits For Child Sexual Abuse
Victims of child sexual abuse do have legal rights against their abusers as well as those who negligently permitted the abuse to occur.
The damages and injuries caused by child sexual abuse are far-reaching and often last a lifetime. These can include physical injuries as well as severe psychological injuries, such as post-traumatic stress disorder.
The lingering effects of child abuse can hurt a victim's self-esteem, their ability to form relationships, and their ability to obtain and maintain employment.
Lawsuits against child abusers not only seek to bring criminals to justice, but they also seek compensation for the victims in order to help them heal. Victims may face high medical bills, the need for mental health care, and other financial burdens brought on by the abuse.
Statistics On Child Sexual Abuse
The prevalence of child sexual abuse can be difficult to accurately determine because it often goes unreported. Child sexual abuse is also not uniformly defined, so statistics may vary depending upon who conducts the study. That being said, the following sexual abuse statistics represent some of the research conducted on child sexual abuse.
- 1 in 5 girls and 1 in 20 boys is a victim of child sexual abuse.
- 20% of adult females and 5-10% of adult males recall a childhood sexual abuse incident.
- Over the course of their lifetime, 28% of American youth ages 14 to 17 had been sexually victimized.
- 3 out of 4 adolescents who have been sexually assaulted were victimized by someone they knew well.
- Children who experienced rape or attempted rape in their adolescent years were 13.7 times more likely to experience rape or attempted rape in their first year of college.
How Can I Prepare My Child For A Medical Examination?
It can be stressful to plan a big safety talk about sexual assault with your kid. However, it may be helpful and beneficial to talk with your child about what to expect during an exam or visit to the doctor, according to RAINN.
Talk about the visit afterward and encourage your child to tell you if they felt uncomfortable at any point, or if anything happened during the visit that wasn't already talked about as "OK."
You can tell them why the doctor might need to touch them in certain places, and what kind of touch is OK and not OK. The key is to start these conversations when your kids are young, and have these conversations often.
How To Talk To Your Child About Sexual Assault
Conversations about sexual assault can be a part of the safety conversations you're already having, like knowing when to speak up, how to take care of friends, and listening to your gut.
Teach young children the language they need to talk about their bodies and information about boundaries to help them understand what is allowed and what is inappropriate. The following bullet points, courtesy of RAINN, can help children know when something isn't right and give them the power to speak up.
1. Teach children the names of their body parts. When children have the words to describe their body parts, they may find it easier to ask questions and express concerns about those body parts.
2. Some parts of the body are private. Let children know that other people shouldn’t touch or look at them. If a healthcare professional has to examine these parts of the body, be present. It’s OK to say “no.”
3. It’s important to let children know they are allowed to say “no” to touches that make them uncomfortable. This message isn’t obvious to children, who are often taught to be obedient and follow the rules. Support your child if they say no, even if it puts you in an uncomfortable position. For example, if your child doesn't want to hug someone at a family gathering, respect their decision to say “no” to this contact.
4. Talk about secrets. Perpetrators will often use secret-keeping to manipulate children. Let children know they can always talk to you, especially if they’ve been told to keep a secret. If they see someone touching another child, they shouldn’t keep this secret, either. Learn more about protecting a child from sexual assault.
5. Reassure them that they won’t get in trouble. Young children often fear getting in trouble or upsetting their parents by asking questions or talking about their experiences. Be a safe place for your child to share information about things that they have questions about or that make them uncomfortable.
6. Remind them they won’t be punished for sharing this information with you. Show them what it looks like to do the right thing. It could be as simple as helping an elderly person get off a bus or picking up change that someone has dropped on the ground. When you model helping behavior it signals to your child that this is a normal, positive way to behave.
7. When they come to you, make time for them. If your kid comes to you with something they feel is important, take the time to listen. Give them your undivided attention, and let them know you take their concerns seriously. They may be more likely to come to you in the future if they know their voice will be heard.
What Are The Punishments For Committing A Sex Crime In Michigan?
All states have rape and sexual assault laws, which basically make it illegal for a person to engage in sexual intercourse or other sexual acts with a person who doesn't give consent or can't give consent.
In Michigan, rape and sexual assault are called "sexual abuse." The Michigan Code defines sexual abuse generally, and then divides it into different degrees of sexual abuse. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the sexual abuse, a person will be guilty of committing sexual abuse in the first degree, second degree, or third degree.
Michigan classifies all sexual abuse crimes as felonies -- however, the actual class of the felony and the penalties vary depending on the degree of the sexual abuse. Ultimately, the degree of the crime depends on the specifics of the crime committed, with higher degrees of the charge generally receiving harsher punishments.
Michigan Criminal Sexual Conduct In The First Degree Punishment
• Imprisonment for life or for any term of years.
• For a violation that is committed by an individual 17 years of age or older against an individual less than 13 years of age by imprisonment for life or any term of years, but not less than 25 years.
• For a violation that is committed by an individual 17 years of age or older against an individual less than 13 years of age, by imprisonment for life without the possibility of parole if the person was previously convicted of a violation committed against an individual less than 13 years of age or a violation of law of the United States, another state or political subdivision substantially corresponding to a violation committed against an individual less than 13 years of age.
• Lifetime electronic monitoring.
• The court may order a term of imprisonment imposed under this section to be served consecutively to any term of imprisonment imposed for any other criminal offense arising from the same transaction.
Michigan Criminal Sexual Conduct In The Second Degree Punishment
• Imprisonment for not more than 15 years.
• In addition, the court shall sentence the defendant to lifetime electronic monitoring if the violation involved sexual contact committed by an individual 17 years of age or older against an individual less than 13 years of age.
Michigan Criminal Sodomy Punishment
• Felony, punishable by imprisonment in the state prison not more than 15 years.
• If such person was at the time of the said offense a sexually delinquent person, may be punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for an indeterminate term, the minimum of which shall be 1 day and the maximum of which shall be life.
Michigan Criminal Sexual Conduct In The Third Degree Punishment
• Felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 15 years.
Michigan Criminal Sexual Conduct In The Fourth Degree Punishment
• Criminal sexual conduct in the fourth degree is a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 2 years or a fine of not more than $500.00, or both.
Michigan Criminal Statutory Rape Punishment
• Imprisonment for not more than 15 years.
• Criminal sexual conduct in the first degree between someone 17 and over and someone under 13 is punishable by imprisonment from 25 years to life.
• Criminal sexual conduct in the first degree between someone 18 and over and someone under 13 is punishable by imprisonment for life without the possibility of parole if the person was previously convicted of certain other serious crimes committed against an individual less than 13 years of age or a violation of law of the United States, another state or political subdivision substantially corresponding to a violation of this section or certain other sections committed against an individual less than 13 years of age.
• For conduct punishable as criminal sexual conduct in the second degree against a minor between 13 and 16, an offender can be imprisoned for up to 15 years.
• Sexual conduct in the third degree with a minor between 13 and 16 can result in up to 15 years imprisonment.
• Sexual conduct in the fourth degree with a minor between 13 and 16 and who is at least 5 years younger than the offender can be punished with up to two years imprisonment or a fine of $500.00, or both.
What Is The Experience Of Buckfire Law Firm In Filing Sexual Abuse Lawsuits?
If you are in need of a lawyer for a sexual abuse claim, you will want a strong, experienced law firm who will best represent your interests while maintaining the sensitivity your case deserves. Firm attorneys Lawrence J. Buckfire and Robert J. Lantzy are licensed Michigan and Ohio attorneys.
Our top-rated sexual abuse injury lawyers have a comprehensive understanding of the laws regarding sexual abuse, and we have extensive experience handling these cases in the courtroom.
We are currently handling cases against Michigan State University and Ohio State University and have successfully represented clients in sex abuse lawsuits for decades, including cases against public officials, private business, and those in the medical profession.
Our lawyers have won the top awards in the legal profession, including:
- U.S. News & World Report Best Law Firms
- "Best Personal Injury Attorney" by American Lawyer Academy
- Named Top 100 Trial Lawyers
- Honored as "Super Lawyers"
- Top Martindale-Hubbell Rating (AV) for Skill & Integrity
- Member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum
How Much Does It Cost To Hire Buckfire Law Firm For My Case?
You do not have to be concerned about the money you might need to hire our top-rated lawyers. You can have our legal team on your side without paying a penny out of your pocket. We will accept your case and represent you under our No-Fee Promise.
It literally costs nothing to get started, and if your case is unsuccessful for any reason, you owe us nothing. We promise you in writing.
Michigan Sexual Abuse Lawyer No-Fee Promise
You do not have to be concerned about the money you might need to hire a lawyer. You can afford to have our legal team on your side without paying a penny out of pocket.
- No money to hire us or to get started on your case.
- We pay all case costs and expenses from start to finish.
- You pay no legal fees whatsoever unless you receive a settlement.
- Phone calls to our office are always free, forever.
We will represent you in your Michigan sexual abuse case under our no-fee promise. This means that you will not be charged any legal fees whatsoever unless we obtain a settlement or recovery for you. You have absolutely no obligation for legal fees unless we win your case. If we do not obtain a settlement for you, you owe us nothing.
Sexual Abuse & Sexual Assault Victim Resources
- Michigan Legislature (The Michigan Penal Code)
- Sexual Assault Prevention & Awareness Center (University of Michigan)
- Michigan Domestic & Sexual Violence Prevention & Treatment Board (Teen Dating Violence)
- Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN)
- Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering & Tracking (SMART)
- The Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline
Contact Our Sexual Abuse Lawyers & Start Your Lawsuit
There are three ways to get started on your child sexual abuse case, all of which are free of charge. You can:
- Submit the Free Case Review Box on this page. An attorney will contact you shortly to advise you on your case.
- Chat with our online live operator who will provide your information to our law firm.
- Call (800) 606-1717 any time of day to speak with an injury lawyer about your case.
Our experienced Michigan doctor sexual abuse lawyers handle cases for victims of abuse against doctors, hospitals, clinics, surgeons, and nurses.
Our experienced, professional, and first-rate sexual abuse lawyers will offer support and legal advice during the time period, all the while working hard on your case so that you get the settlement you deserve.
Individuals who suffer injuries due to sexual abuse from a doctor should contact one of our experienced Michigan doctor sexual abuse attorneys. Call us now at (800) 606-1717 to discuss your case and learn your legal rights.
Warning: There are strict time deadlines for filing Michigan child abuse injury lawsuits. Call us today to learn more about Michigan laws.