If you’ve been sexually abused during your involvement with the Boy Scouts of America, it’s understandable if you’re feeling isolated and alone in your pain. It’s important to note, however, that you’re not alone, especially as thousands have come forward to file lawsuits against the organization, which has since filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
The statute of limitations has been lifted for the organization’s settlement fund, meaning that victims are now able to file a sexual abuse claim until November 16. With the date approaching quickly, it’s crucial to be aware of the claims process and hire an attorney with experience so your claim can be filed in a timely manner.
You may be eligible to file a claim if you have:
- Filed lawsuits or claims against the Boy Scouts
- Never filed a lawsuit or reported abuse
- Called the Scouts First Hotline or reported abuse
- Received settlement agreements but believe you have additional claims
- Experienced abuse
All victims are asked to fill out what is known as a Sexual Abuse Survivor Proof of Claim Form. While many lawsuits have been filed by former scouts against scoutmasters, it’s important to know that abuse isn’t limited to these experiences alone. Sexual abuse can occur between two scouts or be committed by camp directors, volunteers, assistant scoutmasters, and more.
How Long Does the Claims Process Take & How Much Can I Recover?
Bankruptcy processes can take anywhere from several months to years to close. The amount you can recover is determined based on the BSA’s total assets, though in bankruptcy cases, people are typically paid less than what they are owed.
Claims are kept confidential unless the victim chooses to disclose the information.
What is Considered Sexual Abuse?
If you experienced sexual abuse years ago, this is common, as many children aren’t aware of how wrong the abuser’s actions were until they’ve aged, and many repress these traumatic memories until they’re older, too.
Sexual abuse can include:
- Exposure of genitals
- Inappropriate photos of you
- Any activity that sexually arouses the adult
- Physical touching that is sexual in nature
- Penetration or oral sex
- Being shown pornographic materials
- Sexually inappropriate conversations or messages
- Abuse that occurred outside of Scout activities
When you work with an attorney, they will want to treat you with compassion and gentleness, though they will also be obligated to ask you questions about your experiences of abuse and your time in the Boy Scouts to file your claim successfully. You may be asked for the name of your group, the name of your abuser, where the abuse took place, and whether you reported the abuse when it happened. Don’t worry if you didn’t report your abuse, as it won’t hurt your case. The sooner you get started, the sooner you can file your claim by the deadline and have a chance at holding abusers accountable.
Helping Clients on the Road to Recovery
Call Bertram & Graf, L.L.C. today if you’ve been injured by a negligent party. Our personal injury attorneys are dedicated to achieving justice on behalf of our clients in need. Individuals or entities who are guilty of causing harm to others must be held responsible for their actions. We’ve successfully recovered damages for clients that include medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering. The legal system and claims process can be daunting and confusing, but we’re happy to stand by your side and guide you step by step.
Call us today at (888) 398-2277, or contact us online if you or a loved one has been injured. Our personal injury attorneys have years of experience helping individuals as well as groups in mass tort claims.