Visitor Question

Can I sue for mental illness caused by child abuse?

Submitted By: Jordan (Gulf Shores, Alabama, USA)

I was abused repeatedly as a child. I was grabbed by my hair and lifted up and repeatedly spun around. I also repeatedly had my head slammed into the wall. This was just one scenario of many I faced as a child. I was also whipped with extension chords. I am 27 now and have been in and out of the mental hospital.

I want to sue for the mental side effects I’m still experiencing from my child abuse. Is this possible? I don’t think there’s a statute of limitations on prosecuting child abusers, is there? Can I sue for my pain and suffering? Thank you for any information you can give about this.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Jordan,

Under the

Alabama law, Section Ala. Code § 6-2-38(l), there is a two (2) year statute of limitations, or time limitation after the incident takes place, for filing a sexual abuse claim. The statute of limitations period can be “tolled” until two years after a victim turns nineteen years of age.

To toll means the two year time period doesn’t begin until two years after a sexual abuse victim turns nineteen years of age.

In your case, there is no evidence of sexual abuse. From the facts you present, the abuse was assaultive, but not sexually assaultive.

As a result, your abuse would have been subject to the two (2) year assault statute of limitations.

That period could have been tolled for two years after you turned eighteen. At age twenty seven, the statute of limitations has long since passed. As a result, it would appear you are barred from pursuing a successful assault case.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: November 23, 2014

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