Sexual abuse can be rape, fondling, unwanted touching or kissing or other forced acts. Sexual abuse often occurs when a person has some type of status or power over the victim. Nearly all of us are aware of the high-profile sexual abuse scandals involving the clergy with their parishioners and teachers with their students. But another relationship between abuser and victim is that of doctor and patient.

We are raised to respect and trust doctors. They have the education and expertise about health and our bodies. We assume they will do no harm. We assume that they have our best interests at heart. We assume that whatever they ask us to do during an exam is a necessary part of our health care. Sadly, this is not always the case. Sometimes doctors sexually assault their patients.

This abuse is often physical touching that isn’t consented to, but what seems like consensual sex can also be sexual abuse. That occurs when someone like a psychologist convinces a patient to engage in a sexual relationship. Generally speaking, it’s never appropriate for a doctor to sleep with a patient.

The emotional after-effects of the sexual abuse can last for many years or even a lifetime. Victims may want to repress what they experienced and never acknowledge or speak of it. They worry that their word may not be believed against the word of the doctor. However, if they choose to pursue legal action against their abuser, the process of seeking justice may be incredibly healing for them. In addition to the emotional benefits of getting justice and peace, a financial settlement can pay for therapy and other treatments and compensate you for the harm suffered.

Illinois used to have a 20-year statute of limitations for bringing these lawsuits. Now there is no time limit for claims after 2013. However, time is of the essence to bring these cases as you want to bring the lawsuit while evidence is fresh and more reliable. A sexual abuse lawsuit may be filed against the doctor, the abuser. In many cases though, the practice or hospital behind the doctor may be liable as well.

Sexual assault cases are very sensitive and emotional. You can speak with us confidentially and we can point you in the right direction. The attorneys we work with on these cases have a track record of success and are only paid if they are successful for you.