Frequently Asked Questions
- If I engage Hach & Rose, LLP will it cost me anything out of my pocket?
- Previously, I was told that my claim could not be brought because of the Statute of Limitations. What’s changed?
- If I decide to file my claim, it will be very hard for me. How will I be supported?
- Is my consultation confidential?
- What is the difference between a criminal and civil case?
- What do I do if I was abused a long time ago?
- What do I do if my abuser is dead?
- If my abuser was not criminally prosecuted, do I still have a case?
- If I bring a claim, who will I have to tell what happened to me?
- Will I have to testify?
- Who will know I contacted a lawyer?
- If I know other victims, can they join my lawsuit?
- If I file a lawsuit, will it be public?
- I think I have a case, what should I do?
If I engage Hach & Rose, LLP will it cost me anything out of my pocket?
No. Our initial consultation is free. If you choose to hire our firm to fight for your voice, we will handle every aspect of your case on contingency. This means you pay us nothing unless we win financial compensation for you.
Previously, I was told that my claim could not be brought because of the Statute of Limitations. What’s changed?
Many victims of sexual abuse have been unable to understand the connections from the sexual abuse to the emotional and psychological problems they have experienced as adults. This had previously posed an obstacle to these survivors of sexual abuse to be able to obtain the justice they deserved. BUT NOW THINGS HAVE CHANGED throughout most states in our country. In particular, New York (and soon New Jersey) have enacted laws to extend the Statute of Limitations in sexual abuse to minor’s law suits. New York has passed the New York Child Victims Act which allows a person until 55 years old to bring a civil action. In addition at the present, all victims of childhood sexual abuse no matter how old have one year to file a civil action.
If I decide to file my claim, it will be very hard for me. How will I be supported?
From the very first phone call, you will only interact with attorneys who understand how difficult, traumatic, and brave you are for reaching out to reestablish your voice. Our goal is to empower you, educate you, and fight for you to right the injustices and suffering you’ve experienced. We understand that you have been victimized, but it is our goal to help you on your journey of surviving. You will work with a small team of dedicated lawyers. Your phone calls and emails will never be passed along to someone who is unfamiliar with your case. You’re already braver than you believe, and our reputation of being trustworthy and fierce in the courtroom will help you believe it too.
Is my consultation confidential?
Information disclosed before an attorney is hired is confidential, and will remain confidential even if the attorney is not hired. At Hach and Rose, we pride ourselves on being trustworthy and litigating with integrity. We would never betray your trust by revealing information about you to anyone. This is your chance to freely share the details of the abuse you survived. In other words, if you contact us, you will find an empathetic, respectful ear ready to listen.
What is the difference between a criminal and civil case?
The only way an offender can go to jail is if a criminal case is initiated by a state or federal prosecutor. Civil cases assist survivors in receiving financial compensation which can be used to help ease the burden of the many medical bills often associated with a survivor’s healing.
What do I do if I was abused a long time ago?
The first step to holding your abuser accountable is to pick-up the phone. Often, until the emotional and psychological difficulties experienced in adulthood is linked to the abuse suffered as a child, healing cannot begin. The decision to pick-up the phone will result in you reaching a caring, professional, and patient attorney who can discuss whether or not you have a claim and whether you are ready to pursue a legal claim against your abuser, and/or the institution that protected your abuser.
What do I do if my abuser is dead?
Simply because your abuser has died does not mean your claim expired as well. The lawyers at Hach and Rose are fully versed in litigating against estates. Moreover, depending on the specific circumstances surrounding your claim, your abuser’s employer may be liable and legally responsible for the acts of its employees. The law firm of Hach and Rose LLP offers free, initial consultations. Call us to ask more fact specific questions.
If my abuser was not criminally prosecuted, do I still have a case?
Yes. Many survivors of sexual abuse do not initially disclose what they have experienced and as a result, too many perpetrators have never even been charged. However, civil lawsuits do not require criminal convictions to be successful. Call us to speak to a lawyer and discuss the specifics of your claims. The law firm of Hach and Rose LLP offers free, initial consultations.
If I bring a claim, who will I have to tell what happened to me?
You will have to tell your lawyer what happened to you. Our lawyers are compassionate and empathetic and are ready to listen to your story. Because you are always in the driver’s seat of your case, you will decide how you want to pursue your claim and when you’re ready to move forward. If a lawsuit is not filed, you may never have to tell anyone but the lawyer. If a lawsuit is filed, you may also have to testify in a deposition or at a trial. However, you will never be alone. Our lawyers will prepare you and comfort you and sit by your side every time you need to tell your story. Moreover, our lawyers are committed to fulfilling your mission and empowering you. You are in the driver’s seat and our team will make sure you never forget that.
Will I have to testify?
There are many phases in a lawsuit; specifically, there is a pretrial phase, a discovery phase, a motion phase, and a trial phase. Some sexual abuse claims are resolved before a lawsuit is filed. As your attorney negotiates with the potential defendant, a settlement offer could be presented. If you chose to accept the settlement, then a lawsuit is never filed.
If a settlement cannot be reached, then the lawsuit must started. The Complaint is the document detailing your allegations regarding how you were abused and the extent of your damages. After the Complaint is filed, the Defendant will have a chance to Answer and admit or deny your allegations. Discovery then begins. During this phase, each party is allowed to gather testimony. You will have to testify in a deposition. This does not take place in a courtroom. You will be accompanied by your lawyer and there will be a court reporter recording the testimony. If the lawsuit cannot be resolved and a trial is necessary, then you will be called to testify in court.
Who will know I contacted a lawyer?
No one. When you contact Hach and Rose, you will speak with an attorney and never a paralegal. Your consultation is 100% free and confidential.
If I know other victims, can they join my lawsuit?
Yes. Call our attorneys to discuss the ways in which survivors can unite in their fight for justice.
If I file a lawsuit, will it be public?
No two cases are ever exactly alike. There are ways in which claims can be pursued out of the public eye. There are also ways which claims can be resolved without filing a lawsuit.
However, when utilizing the court system, the simple answer is: it depends what type of proceeding is filed and where the proceeding is filed. Some proceedings are not publicly accessible and some proceedings can be sealed by the judge. There are mechanisms in place where a lawsuit can be filed anonymously. Courts across the country are aware that there is an interest in protecting the plaintiff’s interest in anonymity. In order to ensure fairness in the litigation process, the Court use a balancing test.
For more information, contact our lawyers for a free, initial consultation. The lawyers at Hach and Rose are versed in the factors considered by the Court and can explain how you can maintain your privacy through litigation.
I think I have a case, what should I do?
It is important to contact a law firm that is experienced in the litigation of sexual abuse claims. Litigation is a complicated matter. It is essential to obtain representation by attorneys with substantial experience. The law firm of Hach & Rose, LLP offers free, initial consultations. Our office can advise you of your legal rights.