Statute of Limitations for Childhood Sexual Abuse in Washington - Washington Law Center

What is the Statute of Limitations for Childhood Sexual Abuse in Washington?

January 6th, 2020 Posted by Abuse, Personal Injury, Sexual Abuse 0 comments on “What is the Statute of Limitations for Childhood Sexual Abuse in Washington?”

The statute of limitations for childhood sexual abuse in Washington is much broader than one would expect. The Washington legislature in RCW 4.16.340 increased the time for a victim to bring a cause of action. Legal action by the victim in a childhood sexual abuse case is to be executed “within three years of the time that the act caused the injury for which the claim is brought.” So, you could be victimized as a child and not experience a traumatic response for many years. This essentially means that there is no definable time limitation when it comes to childhood sexual abuse cases. Often times, it takes a forensic evaluation from a psychologist to determine whether a victim is aware of the harm that was caused by early childhood trauma from sexual abuse. 

Delayed Synonyms of Trauma in Childhood Sexual Abuse in Washington

Washington Courts have consistently ruled in favor of victims and against those that have committed childhood sexual abuse or were in a position to stop the abuse. The Supreme Court has noted that the Legislature’s purpose in enacting RCW 4.16.340 was to provide a broad avenue of redress for victims of childhood sexual abuse. C.J.C. v. Corporation of the Catholic Bishop of Yakima, 138 Wn.2d 699, 712-13, 985 P.2d 262 (1999). “The three year statute of limitations on a claim arising from an act of childhood abuse does not begin to run at least until the victim discovers ‘that the act caused the injury for which the claim is brought.’” Miller v. Campbell, 137 Wn. App. 762, 767, 155 P.3d 154 (2007) (citing RCW 4.16.340(1)(c)). “Legislative findings supporting this statutory discovery rule state the Legislature’s intent ‘that the earlier discovery of less serious injuries should not affect the statute of limitations for injuries that are discovered later.’” Id. “The special statute of limitations, RCW 4.16.340, indicates that it is not inconsistent for a victim to be aware for many years that he has been abused, yet not have knowledge of the potential tort claim against his abuser.” Id. at 773. “Indeed, as our Legislature has found, childhood sexual abuse, by its very nature, may render the victim unable to understand or make the connection between the childhood abuse and the full extent of the resulting emotional harm until many years later.” Cloud v. Summers, 98 Wn. App. 724, 735, 991 P.2d 1169 (1999).  

Statute of Limitations for Childhood Sexual Abuse in Washington

More recently, the Court of Appeals in Washington has stated that the special statute of limitations that tolls civil claims based on intentional childhood sexual abuse is unique in that it does not begin running when a victim discovers an injury. Instead, it specifically focuses on when a victim of sexual abuse discovers a causal link between abuse and injury for which the suit is brought. The legislature specifically anticipated that victims may know they are suffering emotional harm or damage but not be able to understand the connection between those symptoms and the abuse. B.R. v. Horsley, 186 Wash.App. 294 (2015).

Recovering for Childhood Sexual Abuse Decades Later

Most victims of childhood sexual abuse are well aware that they were abused as children but have not connected all of their physical and emotional injuries to the perpetuated acts. Victims of childhood sexual abuse often do not realize how their work, family, intimacy and personal life have been impacted. Individuals who have been abused as children have known difficulties with addiction and the inability to have sustaining relationships into adulthood. The Washington legislature has recognized these harms and allow victims to recover even decades later. 

What Steps Can You Take?

Do not let the fear of the statute of limitations with regard to childhood sexual abuse prevent you from contacting an attorney to discuss your case. If you were sexually abused in Washington or by a resident of Washington, you very likely have a legitimate claim that entitles you to compensation. Contact the experienced attorneys of Washington Law Center today.

We have helped people who have been impacted by sexual abuse and sexual assault at every stage of life. Our legal team feels strongly that people who have been wronged in this manner should be given all the assistance they need to have a healthy life moving forward.

Deferred Recoupment Agreement - Washington Department of Labor and Industries - Washington Law Center

What is a Deferred Recoupment Agreement in Washington L&I?

January 2nd, 2020 Posted by Labor & Industries 0 comments on “What is a Deferred Recoupment Agreement in Washington L&I?”

What is a Deferred Recoupment Agreement?

A Deferred Recoupment Agreement is a contract between the Washington Department of Labor and Industries and an injured worker agreeing that the injured worker does not need to repay an overpayment of L&I benefits unless or until the injured worker seeks new monetary benefits in either their current or a future workers’ compensation claim.  

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Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE) in Washington L&I

What Should You Know About Functional Capacity Evaluation in Washington L&I?

December 30th, 2019 Posted by Labor & Industries 0 comments on “What Should You Know About Functional Capacity Evaluation in Washington L&I?”

The following are consensus opinions regarding functional capacity evaluations, also known as functional capacity exams and performance-based functional capacity exams.  Any such exam may also be referred to as an “FCE” or “PBFCE,” but these are all just differing names given to the same type of physical examination report used to make claim-related decisions in a Title 51, RCW, Labor & Industries (Washington workers’ compensation) matter.

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Dental Implants on Washington Labor and Industries L&I

Are Washington’s Injured Workers Entitled to Dental Implants?

December 9th, 2019 Posted by Labor & Industries 0 comments on “Are Washington’s Injured Workers Entitled to Dental Implants?”

Attorneys Spencer D. Parr and Aaron VanderPol of Washington Law Center recently co-litigated and won an important victory on behalf of all Washington’s injured workers.  The case of Robert B. Jones emphatically now answers the question of whether dental implants may be authorized as proper and necessary medical care under Washington’s Industrial Insurance Act.  The answer to that question is clearly “yes,” as long as the dental implants are the appropriate standard of care for the individual whose case is under consideration. You may read the resulting, unanimous, Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals decision here, in context with the following analysis:

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Jail Deaths Have Become A Pandemic in The United States

November 12th, 2019 Posted by negligence, Personal Injury, Wrongful Death 0 comments on “Jail Deaths Have Become A Pandemic in The United States”

It’s a sobering fact that statically you are nearly three times more likely to die while in jail than you are to die from a stroke. That’s tragic, and for purposes of clarification, jail is defined as a sentence or confinement of less than one year.  The Federal Bureau of Prison cites that the rate of jail deaths for incarcerated individuals is approximately 128 deaths per 100,000 inmates.

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