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I called Matt after several people recommended him. He was very kind and did a very good job on my son’s case. We are very thankful for the work he did. Most importantly, he was never hard to reach and answered every question we had while going through the process. Matt is the only attorney I will ever call in the future.
My husband is a cyclist that did not fair well against an SUV recently. Matt and his team took phenomenal care of us, allowing us not to stress out (too much) about the little things. Matt and his team handled everything with professionalism. We know we made the right call.
So glad I hired this firm after my rearend car accident. Matt embodies the skill set and values I was looking for. He treats every case like a mini war, and was a zealous advocate on my behalf. And he did so in the most competent and skillful manner. He listened, was empathetic and understood my legal and nonlegal problems.
My 85-year old mom was in a motor vehicle accident with an uninsured motorist. His love, thoroughness and commitment to her case helped us through this accident and her cancer treatment. She underwent successful lobectomy and chemotherapy and is doing exceptionally well. We are immensely grateful.
It was important to me to get the maximum money I could for my broken neck and arm. After getting jerked around for months by State Farm, I interviewed several firms and chose Mr. Wetherington. I’m glad I did. He forced the insurance company to pay twenty times their last offer to me.
It is an honor to share my experience with Mr. Wetherington. He was able to get answers about what happened in my son’s wreck that other attorney’s were not able to do. I am so thankful for the work that he did and he was very thorough in his explanation of why the vehicle had a “defect.”
My case did not settle. The person that hit me only had minimal policy limits. Fortunately, I had my own insurance, which should have provided more money. My insurance company, Allstate, treated me like garbage. We had to sue them and go all the way to trial, which we won.
- Jane Doe
Matt Wetherington is the attorney who is suing the booting companies. We need to do everything we can as a community to help him succeed. God bless you, Mr. Wetherington!
The best! Great people and always friendly.
Protecting the Rights of Sexual Assault and Battery Victims in Georgia
According to experts, sexual abuse is widespread in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control report that about 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 13 boys will suffer sexual abuse before they are 18. And abuse continues into adulthood.
Sexual abuse is an outrage. Fortunately, Georgia law allows victims to seek justice by filing a personal injury lawsuit against their assailant and potentially other people who let the sexual assault happen. Please contact Wetherington Law Firm, P.C. today to discuss your situation in a confidential setting.
Assault vs Battery
Both assault and battery are civil wrongs in Georgia called “torts.” They are so similar that some people use the terms interchangeably, but there are key differences:
- Assault: a person intentionally acts in a way that puts you in fear of imminent harm.
- Battery: a person purposely touches you with the intent of causing harm or offense.
As you can see, assault does not require touching the victim. Putting you in reasonable fear of immediate harm is enough.
Damage Claims in Assault and Battery Cases
Assault and battery are crimes but also torts. This difference matters legally. Although the prosecutor will decide whether to bring criminal charges against whoever hurt you, a victim can always go into civil court and file a tort action against the defendant. This civil lawsuit is independent of any criminal case.
A civil case seeks damages for:
- Medical care to treat any injuries you suffered. Many victims suffer bruising, cuts, fractures, soft-tissue injuries, and concussions during an attack.
- Mental health counseling with a trained professional to help you process what happened.
- Lost income if your assault prevented you from going into work, either because your physical injuries were too painful or because you felt too much distress.
- Pain and suffering, along with mental anguish.
You might also request punitive damages from your assailant. In Georgia, punitive damages are designed to punish a defendant. You can request them if you have clear and convincing evidence that the defendant acted with malice or wantonness, and sexual assault and battery typically qualify.
What is Child Sexual Abuse?
Children are especially vulnerable to sexual abuse. Many are too afraid to tell an adult of what is happening, and their abuser might be a trusted family friend or upstanding member of the community.
Child sexual abuse involves a victim under the age of 16, which is the age of consent in Georgia. It can take many forms, such as fondling, flashing, sexual intercourse, or enticing a child to a remote location to have sex with them.
What to Do in the Event of Sexual Abuse or Assault
Sexual assault is a shocking experience, and many victims do not want to tell anybody what happened. There are certain steps you should take to protect your ability to sue later.
- First, get to safety. If you don’t know where to go, call the National Sexual Assault hotline at 1-800-656-4673 to ask for a shelter or other safe location.
- Second, if you were sexually battered, go to the hospital to have a rape kit performed. This kit includes various swabs to collect saliva, semen, hairs, and fibers which might help identify your assailant. You should go as soon as possible. Hairs and fibers can wash off as soon as you take a shower, and DNA will degrade in a couple days.
- Third, tell someone. Many victims want to crawl into bed and not leave the house. This is perfectly understandable, but help is available.
Do I Have to Report the Crime to the Police?
Not as the victim. Certain adults are mandated reporters if they suspect child abuse, such as clergy, foster parents, doctors, and case managers.
Physical, Behavioral, Emotional, and Social Signs of Sexual Abuse
Many parents are unsure of whether their child has suffered sexual abuse. Some children are even too young to put into words what is happening. Similarly, elderly people in nursing homes face a heightened risk of sexual abuse but are often too fearful to tell anyone.
Here are some signs your loved one is suffering sexual assault:
- Bruising or bleeding around the genitals or anus
- Sexually transmitted infections or diseases
- Age regression, such as wetting the bed or sucking a thumb
- Adult-like behavior in children, such as engaging in sexual “play” with toys
- Withdrawal from friends or family
- Fear of certain people or situations, such as suddenly not wanting to go to Sunday School anymore
There may be innocent explanations for each of these behaviors as well. Nonetheless, parents and concerned family members should be on notice to investigate further.
Who Can Be Held Liable For Sexual Assault & Battery?
The purpose of a civil sexual assault claim is to seek compensation for your injuries. One reason to meet with a lawyer is to identify all the people or institutions that might be liable. Individuals and entities are liable when they intentionally hurt you or are negligent in allowing it to happen.
We might sue the following for sexual assault and battery:
- Your Assailant. The person who assaulted or battered you is legally liable for an intentional tort. They should have to pay compensation. Unfortunately, many of them have no resources to do so.
- Businesses for negligent security. If you were assaulted in a hotel, motel, bar, shopping mall, or other business, you might sue for negligent security. Businesses must use reasonable security measures to protect their guests.
- Schools and universities. Educational facilities must protect their students from sexual assault and battery. They also have duties to investigate the crime and can’t sweep it under the rug.
- Churches. Sexual abuse in the Catholic Church has made headlines recently, but abuse could happen in any house of worship.
- Organizations like the Boy Scouts. Many organizations hear complaints about sexual abuse but take no action. They are legally liable if they turn a blind eye to rumors or complaints.
Penalties for Offenders
There is an important reason to come forward—to protect others from future abuse. Sexual abuse or assault is rarely a one-time event. Offenders move on to new victims, but you can stop an offender by contacting the police.
A defendant convicted of sexual battery for the first time could face 1-5 years in prison if their victim is under 16. If they penetrated the victims’ sex organs or anus with a foreign object, they could face a minimum of 25 years in prison.
Contact Us For Help from an Atlanta Sexual Assault Lawyer
The Atlanta sexual assault victim lawyers at Wetherington Law Firm can explain your legal rights in a consultation and help you know the best path to take to hold your assailant accountable. Call (404) 888-4444 today.