Frequently asked questions

Victims of negligence

What is Negligence?

Negligence is a failure to do what an ordinary person would do in a particular situation.

Can I make my insurance company pay?

In Oklahoma, your own insurance company owes you a prompt and fair evaluation of your claim. If they don’t, you may sue them.

When can doctors or other healthcare providers be held responsible?

Doctors and other healthcare providers can be held liable if they do not act within accepted medical standards and, as a result, a patient is seriously injured.

My family member was killed due to someone else’s actions. Can I do anything?

Oklahoma law provides that children, parents, spouses and siblings have certain rights when this happens.

Can’t I handle a car or truck wreck myself?

Sure, in some situations. But these kinds of cases can get complicated quickly. And the other person’s insurance never has your best interests in mind. DIY can backfire — so you’re better off at least consulting a lawyer.

Civil representation for victims of crime

What types of abuse can an abuse survivor sue for in civil court?

Sexual, physical and emotional abuse can all give rise to a civil lawsuit

Do abusers have to be arrested and convicted of a sexual abuse crime before a survivor can recover damages in civil court?

No. The criminal justice system deals with arrests, criminal charges, convictions and punishment.” Leave the other two sentences after that as they are.

What are the differences between criminal and civil abuse cases?

In the criminal case, the abuse survivor is a witness but not a party. So the abuse survivor does not get to make decisions about what happens in the criminal case. In the civil case, the survivor is a party to the action with a right to make decisions about the case. A criminal case may result in jail time for the perpetrator. A civil case may result in a money judgment for the survivor.

Who can abuse survivors sue in a civil case?

The survivor can sue anyone who was involved in injuring them. This could include the perpetrator but may also include other people or entities that had an opportunity to stop the abuse but did not. For instance, in the situation of priest abuse cases, the priest is the perpetrator but survivors also sued the church because leaders often knew about the abuse but did not do anything to stop it. This has happened in churches, schools, daycares, and many other places.

What can I expect to happen once I decide to hire Koller Trial Law?

Before we file a lawsuit on your behalf, we will do a thorough investigation to collect all the evidence that is available and talk to possible witnesses. We will spend time with you to fully understand what has happened. Together, we will decide whether to file a lawsuit and how to pursue it.

How long is the legal process?

There is no one answer to this question. Some cases settle fairly quickly, others require a trial. An Oklahoma state court trial can take up to two years to resolve from the time of filing.

Will my work find out about this?

There are ways to file very sensitive cases anonymously. We can discuss whether this process is in your best interest and how to pursue it.

Can you put the abuser in jail?

No. Only the criminal system can put a perpetrator in jail.

Are there any benefits besides money damages to suing?

Yes. In some cases we can negotiate non-economic terms to a settlement such as requiring changes in background checks or changes in other policies & procedures.

Victims of sexual assault and abuse -children

(within institutions such as schools / clubs)

My child has been sexually molested. What should I do?

Call Koller Trial Law and we can help you through the reporting and investigation process. We can also help you access resources to get help for your child. Reporting any type of child abuse includes notifying DHS and law enforcement.

Should I take my very young child to counseling if he or she is not talking about the abuse?

There are different types of therapy for younger children that will help them process what has happened. This includes art therapy, play therapy, and other techniques. It is not necessary that your child “talk” about it, but is helpful that your child work with a safe, competent therapist to help reduce the harm from the abuse.

Do I need a civil lawyer after discovering my child has been abused?

You should consult with a civil lawyer so that you understand what all your legal options are for dealing with what has happened.

Victims of sexual assault and abuse - adults

(massage therapist, medical, nursing homes)

If I was sexually abused many years ago, can I still bring a civil lawsuit for damages?

This usually depends on what state you lived in at the time of the abuse and what state you were in when the abuse occurred. Some states have longer periods of time to bring a civil lawsuit than others. Koller Trial Law can help you figure out how much time you have to file a civil case.

What is institutional sexual abuse?

Institutional sexual abuse refers to abuse that occurs in specific settings. Perpetrators of sexual abuse often seek environments where they can find people who are vulnerable. This may include nursing homes, group homes, colleges, or other group settings. Because of this, institutions may have a duty to screen employees and supervise them in a way to minimize the risk of abuse.

What is not considered institutional sexual abuse?

Where a perpetrator has acted alone or the abuse arises out of a domestic situation at home this is not usually considered institutional sexual abuse.

What damages can victims suffer as a result of sexual abuse?

Research on the harm from sexual abuse is ongoing. Science has already shown that sexual abuse can cause changes in an individual’s DNA, create ongoing health problems, and shorten an individual’s life span. Sexual abuse typically also causes psychological harm. The extent of the harm depends on the individual, their age at the time of the abuse, and the response of the individual and their family or community to the abuse.

What are the benefits of filing suit against the institution and predator involved in my abuse?

One benefit of filing suit in this type of case is to help reduce the chance that the perpetrator harms other people. A lawsuit may also change institutional practices that allowed the abuse to occur. Lawsuits may also result in money judgments for victims and survivors.

Call us to schedule our first meeting.

Alternatively, you can contact us confidentially online. Every employee of Koller Trial Law is trauma-informed and understands the need for extreme confidentiality.

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