Hospitals owe a duty of care to their patients. You are here because:
- You or a loved one were sexually assaulted or abused
- You want those who enabled the abuse to occur to be held accountable
- You are seeking information on your legal rights
You are not alone. At Abuse Guardian, our dedicated civil attorneys can help. We want your voice to be heard and protected. Contact one of our lawyers today to receive a free case evaluation.
Hospitals and other medical facilities are supposed to be centers of treatment, care and recover. Sometimes this does not happen.
"Excellent Job." I can't thank Brian enough for all he has done for me and my family.
Medical professionals are some of the most highly respected members of our society. We all trust that if we get involved in an accident or develop a serious health problem, highly qualified doctors, nurses, anesthesiologists, and other trained experts will be there to care for us.
Sexual Assault In Medical Facilities
Tragically, in recent years there have been reports of medical professionals exploiting this trust in order to sexually assault and abuse patients. And occasionally, predatory patients sexually assault other patients when hospital staff fails to supervise them properly.
If you've been sexually assaulted in a hospital, you deserve justice. We believe you, and we know your story deserves to be told. No one expects to have their trust violated by a sexual predator. When it happens, sexual assault or abuse triggers a wide range of troubling emotions, from pain and grief all the way to embarrassment and guilt. It can be overwhelming and traumatic; some survivors even experience symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, a clinical disease.
Finding Support In A Time Of Need
Sexual assault survivors often fear coming forward. Some will never disclose the abuse for their entire lives. Our society has a way of punishing those who step forward, either slut-shaming them or just disbelieving them. We can help. Our experienced sexual assault attorneys know that you have the strength inside you to overcome this terrible violation and move forward. This was not your fault. You did not deserve to be mistreated, and you did nothing to incite the abuse.
The only person who deserves blame is the medical professional who abused you. Doctor sexual assault is unacceptable, no matter the circumstances. We want them to pay for their actions, and we want other survivors to know that it's okay to come forward. You can help them by coming forward to share your story. We are here to support and help you every step of the way.
There are thousands of other victims who have gone through the same experience. Although it may feel like you'll never be the same, things can get better if you have the right support system. Our victims' rights lawyers are proud to protect victims by holding sexual offenders and their hospitals accountable when they allow a patient to suffer a traumatizing sexual assault.
No one expects their doctor, nurse, or another healthcare professional to be a sexual predator.
Hospital Sexual Assaults: A Nationwide Problem
However, the unfortunate reality is that many doctors not only sexually abuse their patients, but get away with it.
A report by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution found that physician sexual misconduct occurs in every state, with a total of 2,400 violations against patients reported between 1999-2016. The report also found that these crimes are routinely dismissed or covered up, through such practices as:
- Hospitals, clinics, and other doctors not filing a report
- Medical boards giving offenders second chances
- State boards and hospitals handling cases in secret
- Hospitals quietly removing doctors without reporting them
- Doctors permitted to practice again after going to recovery centers
This same study found that in Georgia, 2/3 of the doctors who have been disciplined for sexual misconduct have been permitted to practice again.
Hospitals Protect Abusers, Study Finds
This preferential treatment towards sexual predators in the medical field must stop. Doctors may be revered as heroes in our society, but not all of them deserve this admiration and respect. We must hold predatory physicians accountable for their crimes, and demand more from the institutions which turn a blind eye.
Who Is Liable When A Patient Is Sexually Assaulted?
Hospitals are supposed to be safe environments which provide care for the people who need it most. When a heinous sexual crime occurs in a hospital or other medical facility, it's usually because of a combination of factors. It is never the victim's fault. Ever.
Examples Of Hospital Negligence
In many cases, at least one party's negligence allowed the assault or sexual abuse to happen. Hospitals can be held liable when they reasonably could have done more to protect a patient from becoming a victim. Examples of such negligence include:
- Not properly screening employees before hiring them
- Allowing an employee or doctor with a history of abuse to continue practicing
- Failing to properly supervise a psychiatric patient who assaulted another patient
As a victim, it's normal to feel confused and afraid to speak out. A physician's violation of trust is so unexpected that it may feel surreal, and many victims fear that no one will believe that a trusted doctor could be capable of such a serious crime. However, when more victims speak out, it can help others gain the courage to tell their own stories.
How Legal Action Can Help
You can take back your power and help others. Sexual abuse in the health care industry is widespread, but public awareness of the problem is relatively low. This is because the medical field fails to acknowledge the problem and instead chooses to sweep it under the rug.
We all know about the problems with sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, the Boy Scouts, and on college campuses because victims decided to speak out and take legal action. As scary as it may be, it's important for victims of medical sexual abuse to speak out as well.
Civil Lawsuits Provide Important Remedies For Survivors
A lawsuit isn't just helpful for the victim who's filing it - it's helpful for other victims and society as a whole. We all need medical care throughout our lives and anyone could become a victim of a sexually predatory physician.
Beyond financial compensation, civil litigation provides sexual assault survivors with a forum in which their voices - and only their voices - matter the most. No one can silence a strong plaintiff who shares her truth with the world. At the same time, pursuing a civil lawsuit can also be kept confidential. Since sexual assault is a deeply personal matter, some survivors are worried about coming forward and making the abuse public. Both options are open to you, whichever you are comfortable with.
More importantly, civil lawsuits are completely guided by their plaintiffs. A survivor has complete control over his or her case, the entire way through. That kind of power can be deeply empowering for survivors, especially if you feel like you've lost control. It's a way of sharing your story - and your strength - with other survivors, a way of telling your story the way you want it to be told.
Along with providing compensation for victims, lawsuits can help make institutional changes in the medical field which can prevent these predators from hurting other people.
The Difference Between Criminal & Civil Court
As a victim, it's important to trust in both the criminal and the civil court systems.
The criminal justice system fills the necessary role of prosecuting the perpetrators of these crimes, while civil attorneys represent victims' rights and help them earn the compensation they need during their recoveries. If you've recently suffered sexual abuse at the hands of a healthcare professional, we recommend contacting both the police and an experienced victims' rights attorney who will represent your best interests.