On October 11, 2019, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed AB-218 into law. The purpose of this new law is to allow victims of child sexual abuse the ability to pursue compensation for their damages by extending the statute of limitations. The law also enacts several provisions to ensure all survivors have another opportunity for recovery against their attackers and the institutions that harbored them.
California’s Previous Statute of Limitations for Sex Abuse
Before AB-218 was signed into law, the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse survivors was:
- 8 years after the victim turned 18 years old, or
- Within 3 years of the date of discovery of the sexual abuse or the date the victim discovered the cause of the psychological symptoms that occurred after the age of majority was sexual abuse
California has the delayed discovery rule, which means that the statute of limitations starts to run when a victim is officially diagnosed with a psychological injury or illness as a direct result of past abuse. It is also important to note that this rule only applies in civil cases where the victim is seeking money damages. There is no statute of limitations on pressing criminal charges against abusers.
Impact of AB-218 on California’s Statute of Limitations on Child Sex Abuse Claims
AB-218 provides all past victims of child sex abuse the opportunity to file a civil claim against their abusers and the institutions that protected them. However, this law is not as simple as it may seem. As a victim, you may have questions about what the new law specifically means for you and your case. Therefore, it is important to immediately speak with an attorney who is familiar with the details of this law.
If you or a loved one is a survivor of child sexual abuse, you need to act as soon as possible under this new law. Waiting can mean missing the extension granted under AB-218. As such, you need to contact an experienced Los Angeles child sexual abuse attorney to discuss your case.
Los Angeles Child Sex Abuse Attorney
If you or a loved one has been the victim of child sexual abuse, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. Although no amount of money will undo the harm caused, it can bring a sense of justice and closure for victims. For more information or to consult with an experienced LA child sex abuse attorney, please call The Carrillo Law Firm at 626-799-9375.