How Much Money Can You Get From a Massage Abuse Lawsuit in California?
While no amount of money can take away the lasting psychological damage of massage abuse, it is only natural to wonder how much your lawsuit might be worth. Even though a settlement might not take away the traumatic memories, it could help you achieve a sense of closure and justice. In many cases, your ability to move on with your life depends on how much money you receive in a settlement.
If you receive too little, you might not have the “breathing space” to take time off work, address your mental health concerns, and pay for any treatment you might need. Being left with financial burdens after suffering such abuse is, unfortunately, something that numerous victims experience. So, how much money might you receive in your massage abuse settlement? And perhaps more importantly, how can you ensure you receive enough funds to cover your damages?
How Damages Work in California
All settlements in California are calculated based on your damages. In other words, your settlement is not just an arbitrary sum of cash; it is calculated based on the specific losses you have suffered due to your abuse. When dealing with something like a car accident, calculating these losses is easy. You might have a clear record of medical expenses incurred due to broken bones or head injuries. You might also have a clear record of missed wages due to these injuries.
In contrast, the main damages in a massage abuse lawsuit are non-economic in nature. This means that your “losses” are not represented by dollar amounts but rather by psychological and emotional issues. Make no mistake – these issues are just as serious as physical injuries – and in many cases, they take longer to heal. Some trauma never fully goes away. The court is aware of this, and they take massage abuse very seriously.
In order to prove your damages are legitimate, you might have to get assessed by a mental health professional. These professionals may be able to detect disorders like PTSD, anxiety, or depression that have been caused by massage abuse.
What Damages Might You Suffer as a Result of Your Massage Abuse?
Damages suffered in a massage abuse incident can vary. Some damages may indeed be physical in nature. For example, nonconsensual sexual acts can spread diseases and cause a range of physical injuries that may require medical treatment. The cost of this medical treatment can form the basis of your abuse settlement.
Of course, massage abuse can also leave invisible marks and injuries on victims. For example, inappropriate fondling or touching may cause emotional distress, but in such a way that the body is not harmed. The same goes for massage therapists who expose themselves inappropriately.
These incidents can cause psychological disorders such as PTSD. The good news is that the cost of your mental health treatment should be covered by a settlement – allowing you to heal in the most efficient way possible.
For the most part, however, non-economic damages are simply referred to as “emotional distress” or “pain and suffering.” If you can prove that the massage abuse occurred, the court will assume that you have suffered significant psychological trauma that deserves compensation.
How are Non-Economic Damages Calculated?
The real question is how much this psychological compensation might be worth in a dollar amount. There is no easy way to answer this question, as each case is slightly different. Particularly egregious incidents may result in higher settlements than others. Ultimately, it is up to your attorney to negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf – either with the massage business itself or the insurance company that represents them. These negligent entities often choose to settle out of court instead of facing a trial.
Past Massage Abuse Settlements
You can get a sense of how much your massage abuse lawsuit might be worth by assessing similar lawsuits in the past. In 2020, it was reported that a victim who was sexually assaulted at a massage parlor in Austin was awarded $19.1 million. This incident was particularly serious because he received oral sex without consenting. In 2022, it was reported that a woman who was sexually assaulted during her massage in North Carolina was awarded $1.5 million. In 2021, it was reported that a woman who was sexually assaulted during a massage in British Columbia, Canada, was awarded $373,000 after filing a lawsuit.
Settling Out of Court vs. a Jury Trial
If you settle out of court with the insurance company that represents the negligent massage company, you can expect a fairly predictable settlement amount. Usually, victims attempt to get the maximum payout based on the company’s insurance policy. However, sometimes negotiating with an insurance company proves impossible. For example, the insurance company might simply ignore your attorney’s attempts to negotiate.
In this situation, you might need to file a lawsuit and take the negligent parties to court. This results in a slightly less predictable level of compensation, as a panel of jurors will be responsible for determining how much your damages are worth. On the other hand, it is possible to receive a much higher award in court compared to a settlement with an insurance company.
Enlist the Help of a Qualified Massage Abuse Lawyer in California
Massage abuse is all too common in the state of California. Even worse, victims are reluctant to come forward and hold negligent parties accountable. If you find yourself in this situation, you might be wondering whether it is even worth it to take legal action. If you book a consultation with Mary Alexander & Associates, you can learn how much your settlement might be worth. From there, you can decide for yourself whether taking legal action is worth it. As you have seen, victims can receive lucrative settlements from these lawsuits. With help from our experienced, qualified team of attorneys, you can give yourself the best chance of achieving a fair settlement and a sense of justice. Reach out today to get started with an effective action plan.