Physical & Sexual Assault

Lawyers for Victims of Assault in Seattle

Committed to Seeking Justice for Survivors of Physical & Sexual Abuse in Washington

Surviving assault is painful. Whether in the form of physical violence or threats, harassment, and verbal abuse, it is hard to walk away from an instance of assault with the same sense of security you had before. No matter who you are, you do not deserve to feel this way. 

You may tell yourself that what happened was not a big deal or your fault, but it is a big deal, and you are not responsible for any pain, confusion, and trauma you may be experiencing. You deserve to feel safe; we want to help make that possible.

While we cannot undo the harm that you have experienced, our Seattle assault victim lawyers at Carpenter & Zuckerman are prepared to fight aggressively for the justice you deserve and the compensation you need to heal—physically, mentally, and emotionally. 

You are not alone in your pursuit of justice—we are here to help. 

If you have survived an assault that affected you physically and/or emotionally, we want to help. Call us at (425) 585-4009 to schedule a free consultation today.

Criminal vs. Civil Assault Cases

The Washington Administrative Code defines assault as "[a]ssault, physical abuse, verbal abuse, threat(s), intimidation, bullying, or other conduct which harms, threatens, or is reasonably perceived as threatening the health or safety of another person or another person's property." When someone acts with the intent to harm you, physically or psychologically, you are the victim of assault. 

Assault can be filed as a criminal charge, a civil action, or both. In the case of both, the civil and criminal legal processes are separate from one another. In other words, the result of a criminal trial for assault will not affect your civil case. 

Additionally, civil cases are considered easier to win than criminal cases. In a criminal case, a prosecutor needs to prove that a defendant assaulted their client beyond a reasonable doubt. In civil cases, you can be awarded compensation if the jury determines that your claim has at least a 51% chance of being true. There is a much different burden of proof.

Can I File a Lawsuit Even If There Was No Criminal Prosecution?

If you are a victim of assault or sexual assault, you may be wondering whether you can file a lawsuit even if there was no criminal prosecution. The answer is yes. While criminal charges and civil lawsuits both address acts of misconduct, they are different proceedings. Criminal charges are brought by the government and can result in punishment such as imprisonment. On the other hand, a civil lawsuit brought by the victim is seeking compensation for losses, like pain and suffering. 

If you have been assaulted, it is important to speak with an experienced crime victim lawyer in Seattle who can help you assess your case and determine the best course of legal action. Call Carpenter & Zuckerman to discuss your rights.

Does Sexual Assault Differ from Standard Assault?

In terms of how the two types of assault are litigated, there is not much difference; however, sexual assault tends to have a more considerable impact on a person's life, psychological well-being, sense of safety, and overall stability. While all forms of assault can traumatize a person, sexual assault has proven to have uniquely severe consequences.

This is best demonstrated with statistics, such as: 

  • Around 70% of survivors of sexual abuse experience distress ranging from moderate to severe. This distress rate in survivors is higher than in any other violent offense.
  • Survivors of sexual assault are 10 times more likely to use major drugs and 6 times more likely to use cocaine.
  • 33% of women who have survived rape contemplate suicide, while 13% attempt suicide.
  • 30% of survivors of rape have symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder 9 months following the assault.
  • 38% of survivors have problems at work or school, with higher percentages when the incident involved an intimate partner or family member. 
  • 37% of survivors of sexual violence have difficulty in their relationships with friends or family, such as trust issues, feeling distant, and frequent arguments.

Trauma resulting from sexual abuse is very complicated and persistent. Its effects can creep into other areas of a person's life, making familiar routines and gestures feel like massive, intimidating, and harrowing undertakings. It can lead a person to have intense and painful emotional responses to specific words, images, situations, and even scents. 

Because of this, survivors of sexual assault often need considerable time and resources to recover. Unfortunately, trauma cannot be healed with medicine or surgery. The effort it can take to work through sexual trauma can be massive, often involving years of therapy. We work closely with medical experts in cases involving sexual abuse precisely because the healing process can be complicated and take so long. 

When determining what forms of compensation to pursue and how much, we want to ensure that you will be taken care of regardless of the treatment you need and how much it will cost. Under no circumstances should you be forced into accepting a low settlement—we will fight aggressively for the total compensation you are entitled to.

Compensation for Victims of Physical & Sexual Assault in Washington

As with other cases of personal injury, survivors of assault can pursue economic and non-economic damages. 

Economic damages include those that have an associated dollar amount or value, such as: 

  • Lost wages
  • Medical care 
  • Property damage

Non-economic damages are those that are subjective and have no clear monetary value, such as: 

  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of consortium
  • Destruction of parent-child relationship
  • Loss of society and companionship
  • Injury to reputation and humiliation

Our assault victim attorneys in Seattle will work closely with experts to determine which damages you can pursue and to what extent. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may be entitled to various forms of compensation. 

To schedule a free initial case consultation, call us at (425) 585-4009 or contact us online. We represent clients throughout Washington state, including Seattle, Tacoma, Yakima, Bellevue, Spokane, Wenatchee, and Pierce County.

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  • Do I need to be physically attacked to file a civil action?
    No. You can file a lawsuit if a person has made you reasonably fear for your safety.
  • What is the statute of limitations on assault?
    Cases of assault have varying statutes of limitations. The standard statute of limitations for assault is three years. In cases of sexual assault and rape, the statute of limitations is more complicated and varies from case to case. In some cases, there is no statute of limitations.
  • How much does it cost to hire an assault lawyer?
    We work on a contingency basis, meaning we charge a percentage of the overall compensation you are awarded. We will only charge you a fee if we successfully obtain compensation on your behalf.

The Opinions That Matter Most

    “Siempre responden rápido y se mantienen en contacto durante todo el proceso.” - Anelia D.
    “Lance was always professional and courteous to me and fought hard on my behalf.” - Tyler R.

Our Attorneys Want to Help You

Our Seattle assault victim attorneys treat cases of assault with the time and attention they deserve, endeavoring to secure maximum compensation. Depending on what you have been through, money may be the last thing on your mind. We understand that. 

However, we have represented enough survivors of assault to know that making a full recovery can be expensive, and we want to ensure you are in the best position to continue your life without fear. While we cannot change the past, we are prepared to do everything in our power to protect your future.

To schedule a free initial case consultation, call us at (425) 585-4009 or contact us online. We represent clients in all of Washington, including Seattle, Tacoma, Yakima, Tri-cities, Spokane, Wenatchee, and Pierce County.

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