As a medical malpractice attorney, I’ve gotten very good at saying no. I wrote a whole blog about some of the reasons why we have to turn down so many of the potential medical malpractice cases we receive calls about.
It’s never easy to tell someone who is in pain or who has lost a loved one that we cannot help them. I continue to push back against those reasons and fight against the laws that make it that way. I’m used to it. I understand what the reasons are even if I might not agree with them, and am good at explaining them.
But as I transition my practice towards more sexual harassment and assault cases, I’m finding it more difficult to say no. Because these cases come with their own legal hurdles.
A person who is repeatedly bullied and harassed at work, but not for a sexual or other discriminatory reason—does not have a claim against their employer.
A person who is sexually assaulted by an individual can bring a claim against that person—but usually there is nothing to collect. If the person has assets, you can pursue those, but they are extremely difficult to collect. If they have homeowners insurance, that may cover their actions—but “intentional torts”—known bad acts—are generally excluded from homeowners policies.
It’s very hard to look someone in the eye who you know has had something terrible happen to them and tell them we can’t help them. There’s not a lot of gray area in “she repeatedly insulted me and made my life miserable at work” or “he was a guest in my home and he came into my room and sexually assaulted me”—but, depending on the circumstances, it may not be something the law was designed to assist you with.
If you were sexually harassed at work or assaulted at a business, parking lot, or apartment complex, those are things we likely can help you with. Just because of the weird ways the laws are written. If you have any question about whether you may have a case, contact us immediately. We’d be glad to walk you through what your options are. The people we can bring claims for more than make up for those we have to say no to. And we believe that everyone deserves to be heard and have their questions answered—even if there’s not a claim to be made.