Do You Need to Pursue a Doctor Sexual Abuse Lawsuit?
Our Compassionate Team Can Guide You Through the Process
Nothing is more disappointing than being let down by someone you trust. When the individual in question is a medical professional, like a doctor or therapist, and the violation of your trust is sexual harassment, you are likely beyond disappointed. This type of experience can leave you traumatized.
Doctors and therapists are trained professionals who, theoretically, have committed themselves to heal their patients. They diagnose, educate and counsel those they treat. As a society, we provide these individuals with the utmost respect, confiding our deepest thoughts and concerns in them. We allow ourselves to be vulnerable in their presence because we trust that they have our best interests at heart.
Sadly, this is not always true. Believing that an entire group of people are beyond reproach — even those who have committed to helping us — can be a mistake.
Just because someone is a therapist or a physician does not guarantee that they will behave honorably.
Some will abuse your trust and behave inappropriately. Many have been accused of sexual harassment.
If you have suffered from sexual harassment or abuse by a trusted doctor or therapist, you can take action. Contact the sexual harassment lawyer at Gilleon Law Firm at (800) 408-2857.
What Happens When a Doctor Is Accused of Sexual Assault?
Physician Sexual Abuse in California
Accusations of sexual harassment, misconduct, and abuse by physicians are not isolated incidents and can severely impact professional careers and patients’ lives. The number of reported incidents is growing, and victims are sharing their experiences more often than in the past. Many believe that the #MeToo movement has helped women realize they are not alone, and that sharing their stories and embarking on a quest for justice is possible. In recent years, the case against Dr. Larry Nassar, the physician for the United States Gymnastics team and Doctor and Professor at Michigan State University, gained much notoriety. Dr. Nassar leveraged his power as a doctor and abused his patients (mostly girls and young women) time and time again.
Sadly, this is not an isolated incident, and today many suffer silently at the hands of these reputable professionals. You may wonder, “What next?” What happens when a doctor is accused of sexual assault? We can help. Our team of sexual assault attorneys handles cases of sexual assault and sexual abuse involving doctors, therapists and medical professionals. Get the help you need now to find out if you can pursue a lawsuit. We’ll guide you every step of the way. Call (800) 408-2857 today to get started.
Sexual Harassment by a Doctor Is Confusing
Sexual harassment by a doctor can be difficult to understand. While victims may be uncomfortable, many don’t realize that, according to the law, they have truly been abused. In California, sexual harassment by medical professionals is taken very seriously. The Medical Board of California (MBC) investigates a variety of complaints against physicians, including those alleging sexual misconduct.
The MBC enforces the laws of California which are clearly designed to protect patients from sexual harassment and abuse. Under California’s Article 10.5. Unprofessional Conduct [725 – 733], “The commission of any act of sexual abuse, misconduct, or relations with a patient, client, or customer constitutes unprofessional conduct and grounds for disciplinary action for any person licensed under this division or under any initiative act referred to in this division.”
Sometimes, however, patients don’t really believe that harassment or abuse by their doctor has occurred. Because of the reverence given to these professionals, patients automatically accept their behavior as appropriate, sometimes believing that questioning it would be disrespectful. If you are uncomfortable and believe that your physician has behaved inappropriately, contact the attorneys at The Gilleon Law Firm for advice and counsel on your options.
What Is Sexual Harassment by a Doctor?
Many who have been harassed or abused by a doctor question the validity of their feelings. They may wonder if they are overreacting or even misconstruing their doctor’s behavior. The American Medical Association defines sexual harassment in their Code of Medical Ethics: “Sexual harassment can be defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.” Examples of this include:
- Inappropriate touching and/or groping
- Performing certain medical exams without gloves
- Jokes or derogatory comments related to gender or sexual orientation
- Requests for dates.
If you have experienced anything like this, you should file a complaint regarding the behavior with the California Medical Board and contact a sexual harassment attorney.
Frequently Asked Questions: Doctor’s Sexual Abuse Lawsuit
Our Sexual Harassment Attorney Provides Answers
I am uncomfortable with my doctor’s actions; what should I do?
Wondering what to do if you are sexually abused by a doctor is a very real concern. First, if your physician is part of a practice or system, you should report the behavior. In California, SB 425 was signed into law on January 1, 2020. It requires healthcare facilities to “report allegations of sexual abuse and sexual misconduct made by a patient against a licensed health care practitioner to that practitioner’s licensing board within 15 days.” Additionally, you should contact a sexual harassment attorney to discuss your legal options and how to move forward.
What is the difference between sexual assault, sexual abuse, and sexual harassment?
It is important to understand that sexual assault, abuse, and harassment are inappropriate, and all may have legal consequences. Sexual assault occurs when an individual uses force (or threatens to use force) to perform a sexual act or inappropriate touching. Sexual abuse is when inappropriate behaviors occur repeatedly. Finally, sexual harassment includes unwanted attention (like repeated requests for a date or hugging), sexual coercion, or even inappropriate and offensive remarks (like jokes or comments regarding gender).
Has anyone been raped under anesthesia?
Sadly, the answer to this question is yes; individuals have been sexually assaulted and raped while under anesthesia. One example of this occurred in California where a physician was convicted of both sexual abuse and rape of multiple patients who were under anesthesia. Any type of sexual behavior is inappropriate with a sedated patient.
How long do I have to file a case against my doctor?
The statute of limitations determines the timeframe for filing a suit. Depending upon your personal experience, the time constraints vary. For example, victims of sexual assault typically have longer than those who were harassed. And the timeframe for children who have been victimized is even longer. Your sexual harassment attorney can review your case, explain the timeframes within which you must file, and help ensure that you meet all legal deadlines. That said, obtaining legal advice as soon as possible is critical so you can leverage the time you have appropriately.
Who can file sexual assault cases against a medical professional?
Depending upon the situation and its circumstances, a number of people may be able to file a doctor sexual assault lawsuit. Included among these individuals are:
- Witnesses (if they suffered emotionally from what they saw)
- Family members/heirs (should the victim die).
It is also important to realize that other medical professionals, in addition to doctors, can be held liable for sexual harassment and assault, including dentists, nurses, and psychotherapists.
What can I do if I’m sexually abused by a therapist?
It is unconscionable that mental health professionals would take advantage of their patients. Their specialty is based on building trust and providing guidance. However, incidents of inappropriate behavior by these professionals are considerable, and the question of what to do if you are sexually abused by a therapist is one raised quite frequently. An experienced attorney can provide you counsel and direction.
Once I file a lawsuit, how long will the process take to conclude??
Unfortunately, there is not one single answer to this question. Each situation is unique; depending upon the specific issues surrounding your experience, the time it takes to resolve it can vary greatly. Your sexual harassment lawyer can provide you a more accurate timeline once you share your story.
If you have additional questions regarding a sexual abuse lawsuit involving a doctor or therapist, contact our sexual harassment attorney at Gilleon Law today at (800) 408-2857.
What To Do If You Are Sexually Abused by A Doctor
Filing a Doctor Sexual Assault Lawsuit
Were you sexually harassed or abused by your doctor? If so, you may be entitled to monetary damages. The State of California has stringent sexual harassment and abuse laws and is committed to protecting its citizens.
At Gilleon Law Firm, the attorneys are well-versed in prosecuting cases like this and have specific experience in those involving medical professionals. They strongly believe that doctors have an ethical responsibility to their patients and that sexually harassing behavior can be incredibly damaging.
As a patient, you have the right to respectful, professional care. You should not be subjected to embarrassing and inappropriate behaviors or comments.
Your doctor should not abuse your trust and respect. If they do, you should take action.
Reporting sexual harassment or abuse can be difficult, especially when the abuser is a respected medical professional. When you contact Gilleon Law Firm, you will be provided the opportunity to tell us about your experience. The firm is well-known for the respectful manner in which it interacts with its clients. The attorneys listen actively and empathically, yet they are zealous in strongly asserting the client’s rights when they help file sexual harassment lawsuits.
Sexual harassment, assault, and abuse can be incredibly damaging. When the perpetrator is a trusted doctor, the emotional damage can run deep. Professionals who abuse their authority must be held accountable.
A Sexual Abuse Lawsuit Can Begin as a Personal Injury Claim
When you file suit against your physician or therapist for sexual harassment, assault, or abuse, you are filing a personal injury claim. This may be filed in addition to criminal charges brought by the authorities. While the criminal case may result in jail time (depending upon the severity of the incident), a personal injury claim is filed to obtain compensation for the damages which you, as a victim, have suffered. These can include but are not limited to reimbursement for:
- Medical bills (for physical as well as emotional/psychological injuries)
- Lost wages (if you were unable to work as a result of the incident)
- Loss of consortium
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress.
Your attorney can help determine the appropriate monetary figure to which you may be entitled. They will leverage their past experience in quantifying your damages. Additionally, depending upon the facts of your case, the judge or jury may also award punitive damages to punish the doctor or his employer for the behavior. The Gilleon Law Firm is focused on proving your case and getting you the compensation you deserve.
Organizations that Help Survivors of Sexual Assault or Abuse by a Doctor
Aside from obtaining monetary compensation, taking care of yourself and your mental and emotional health is critical. Sexual harassment, assault, and abuse are life-altering events, especially when the actions came at the hands of a trusted medical professional.
Across the country, there are a number of organizations that can provide valuable assistance. Two which are well-known are:
- RAINN: This organization provides a 24/7 hotline, among a host of other services, to help victims of sexual abuse and assault. They understand the complexities associated with issues involving the medical profession.
- Advocate Web: This organization defines itself as dedicated to “providing information and resources to promote awareness and understanding of the issues involved in the exploitation of persons by trusted helping professionals.”
Consider reaching out to one of these organizations or a well-regarded professional for advice and counsel in moving forward. You have experienced a significant trauma, and reaching out for help is a sign of strength.
Ask Gilleon Law Firm about a Sexual Abuse by a Doctor Lawsuit
As the victim of sexual harassment or abuse by a respected medical professional, you are likely experiencing a range of emotions, including anger, disappointment, and even fear. The fact that you experienced this is nothing short of appalling. How will you ever trust a medical provider again?
In California, sexual harassment can be hard to prove. That’s why help from an experienced attorney is so important. Gilleon Law Firm’s sexual harassment attorneys are well-versed in California law and experienced in cases involving doctors and therapists. They know that medical professionals are not always ethical, and the firm is committed to supporting their clients in a quest for restitution.
As you begin to move forward after the horror you faced, our attorneys will focus on pursuing justice and helping you obtain the settlement you deserve and need.
If you have been the victim of harassment or abuse by a trusted physician or therapist, contact us today at (800) 408-2857.