Child abuse, sexual abuse, assault, and homicide have a devastating effect on the victims of crime. While abusers usually tend to be someone known to the victim like a teacher, a co-worker, a family member or a neighbor, sometimes the abuser is a total stranger. The law not only provides for criminal prosecution to punish the abuser, but also civil action to attempt to make the victim whole again. Lawsuits by victims help hold the abuser as well as entities that facilitated the abuse directly accountable (such as schools, DHS, nursing homes, taverns, daycare centers, etc.). Lawsuits by victims encourage business owners or government entities to improve security and reduce the potential for future crime. For answers to questions regarding crime victims, please the Crime Victim Representation FAQs.
As a Deputy District Attorney for Multnomah County I prosecuted homicides, sexual abuse, child sexual abuse, felony assaults and many other violent crimes. I also worked in juvenile court prosecuting minors who sexually abuse other children. Every victim of crime comes to the court system with different needs and expectations. An essential part of any successful case is making sure the victim’s needs are met and they are treated with the respect and care they deserve. While sending a criminal to prison or making them pay you money will not undo what was done, it can go a long way to achieving some measure of justice. I have helped literally thousands of victims of crime navigate the court system.
Representing victims continues to be a priority of mine in private practice. Whether someone is the victim of a drunk driver, a sexual assault, or their child or elderly parent was abused by a trusted caregiver, it is important for them to consult with an attorney who is versed in the both the criminal and civil systems. Many attorneys file a civil lawsuit without regard to the outcome of the criminal case.
Since the criminal case can make or break the civil case, it is essential that your attorney is experienced and can properly advise you during the course of both. I often consult with the prosecutor to ensure the actions we take during the course of the civil lawsuit will not jeopardize the prosecution of the wrongdoer.
I also work with the prosecution to ensure the criminal case resolves in a manner that is beneficial to the civil lawsuit. This can include making sure a defendant take responsibility with a guilty plea instead of no contest plea and where there are multiple victims in the indictment, charges that include my client are not all dismissed in a plea bargain.
As a crime victim, you have a constitutional right to meaningfully participate in the prosecution of your offender. If the prosecutor fails to adequately involve you in the decision making process or even keep you informed of what is taking place in the case you may want to have an attorney represent your interests. Even if you are not interested in pursuing a civil remedy, I am available to help enforce your rights under the Oregon Constitution during the criminal prosecution.
Even if your case was never criminally prosecuted, it may still be a viable civil case. Very often victims do not involve authorities at the time of the abuse and only summon the courage to come forward years later. This does not mean that you are unable to file a civil lawsuit against your abuser. Even if the case was rejected for prosecution by the District Attorney, the standard of proof in a civil case is much lower than in criminal court, therefore a civil lawsuit may still be a viable option for you. Additionally, in January of 2010 the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit involving child abuse was extended, allowing victims even greater access to justice.
I represent victims of physical and sexual abuse at the hands of day care providers, foster parents, professionals, neighbors, school employees, relatives, friends, nursing homes, and Oregon state agencies. I also represent victims of drunk drivers, assault, physical abuse and neglect. In wrongful death cases I represent the estate of the deceased victim so the family of the deceased can be compensated for the loss of companionship of their loved one.
If you are a crime victim or if someone you know was assaulted, sexually abused or fatally injured by another, it is imperative that you contact The Law Office of Josh Lamborn, P.C. to protect your rights.
Call 503-546-0461 or email Josh at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a free consultation regarding your case.
Common crimes that include a civil remedy: Homicide, Aggravated Murder, Murder, Manslaughter, Criminally Negligent Homicide, Rape, Sodomy, Sexual Abuse, Unlawful Sexual Penetration, Assault, and Kidnapping.
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