How Does My Sexual Harassment Attorney Get Paid?
We charge our clients on a contingency basis, which means we only get paid if we win the sexual harassment case. We have to successfully convince the other side to settle for a fair amount, or else convince 12 jurors to judge in our favor at trial. Once we win a case, we will take a percentage of the recovery.
How Much Can I Get for My Sexual Harassment Lawsuit?
Determining the amount you can receive for a sexual harassment lawsuit in California is challenging. The compensation you can potentially receive depends on various factors, including the:
- Severity and impact of the harassment;
- Strength of your evidence;
- Specific circumstances surrounding your case.
In cases of sexual harassment in California, individuals can seek compensation for economic damages and non-economic damages. Economic damages encompass measurable losses, including medical costs, lost income, and any other financial burdens caused by the harassment. Non-economic damages provide compensation for intangible harm, such as emotional distress, pain and suffering, and the negative impact on one’s overall well-being and quality of life.
Some sexual harassment lawsuits have resulted in settlements or jury verdicts ranging from a few thousand to several million dollars. High-profile cases or those involving severe and prolonged harassment tend to attract larger compensation awards.
To get a more accurate estimate of the potential value of your sexual harassment lawsuit, it is crucial to consult with a sexual harassment lawyer who can evaluate the specifics of your case, consider precedent cases, and provide personalized guidance.
Compensatory And Punitive Damages For Sexual Harassment In California
In California, victims of sexual harassment may be entitled to compensatory and punitive damages as part of their legal redress. Compensatory damages aim to provide financial compensation for the losses and harm suffered by the victim due to the sexual harassment. Damages in these cases extend beyond the financial losses of medical costs, lost income, and potential future earnings. Non-economic damages also apply and account for intangible things such as emotional distress, pain, and suffering.
The amount of compensatory damages awarded depends on various factors, including the:
- Severity and duration of the harassment
- Impact it had on the victim’s life and well-being
- Any demonstrable financial losses incurred.
An experienced sexual harassment lawyer can help assess the specific circumstances of your case and determine an appropriate value for compensatory damages.
Punitive damages serve a distinct purpose compared to compensatory damages. They are designed to punish wrongdoers and discourage similar actions in the future. In California, punitive damages may be granted in situations where the harasser’s behavior is considered particularly severe, intentional, or malicious. Punitive damages in California are subject to statutory limits. The exact cap on punitive damages varies depending on the employer’s size. For larger employers, the maximum punitive damages limit is generally higher than for smaller employers.
I Am Looking To Hire Your Firm For My Sexual Harassment Claim. Do I Have To Pay Anything Now?
No. If you are looking to hire our firm to handle your sexual harassment claim, you will not have to pay anything until your case is resolved. We advance all case costs up front, and only ask you to pay us back out of the recovery later on. No legitimate attorney ever charges a client for this type work up front.
Settlement For Sexual Harassment In California
The odds are that your sexual harassment case will likely settle. However, going into a case attempting to settle is a sure sign of weakness. There are plenty of less capable attorneys who try to settle early, but those attorneys are afraid to work up the case and get the real value. Only inexperienced, weak attorneys first try to settle a case without getting the work done to see what the true value really is. We are always willing to talk settlement, but we simply cannot intelligently discuss settlement until we have had a chance to uncover information that the employer has about what really happened. It may be that there were other victims that the employer knew about, and covered up or tried to downplay or bury. If we learn of that during our investigation and case workup, then the case value goes up because it makes the employer look like they are indifferent to sexual harassment or worse, trying to lie and cover it up. Case value comes into focus eventually, after all the underlying facts come out. When we know what really happened, then the case value can be discussed at a settlement conference or mediation. Many cases get settled that way, for a value that is fair and reasonable. Only an experienced trial lawyer, with many recent verdicts can properly determine case value. If the lawyer you choose has little to no trial experience on sexual harassment cases, then that lawyer can never properly value a case and is likely to sell you out for a very low number. You should avoid such attorney at all costs. Ask your lawyer how many sexual harassment cases they have tried recently. If your lawyer cannot tell you story after story about recent case victories, then you better run not walk to a real lawyer, like me, that can actually get you full value for your case.
And that is where we excel. Only a trial lawyer who has tried many sexual harassment cases knows how much a jury is likely to put on the verdict form for a similar case. It is that past experience that is so valuable in many aspects. I’ve won almost all of the sexual harassment cases that I’ve taken to trial. These trial victories are on the internet, easily found on Google search. There are also trade publications that do extensive write-ups about all the trials in the region. The defense attorneys all read these summaries, and they know who is taking cases to trial, and who is settling cases without going to trial.
If the other side knows the attorney has a track record of past success in winning recent, sexual harassment trials, then this knowledge operates to increase the case value dramatically. See, the defense attorneys all know that if they turn down a reasonable settlement demand, and end up going to trial and losing, then they may never get hired again to represent that client. It may be a big client, too, and the defense attorney is more afraid of losing the client than paying a more than they want to settle a case. But, the defense attorney knows who has the courage and skills to go to trial and win, and the defense attorney also knows who are the timid, fearful lawyers who shy away from trial and take a lesser amount for their clients because they are afraid of doing the work necessary for trial, or don’t have the skills or tenacity it takes to go the distance and win in front of a jury. Those timid, fearful lawyers who never try sexual harassment cases never get good value for their cases, because the defense attorneys know the case will never end up at trial due to the fear of the timid, weak lawyer who is afraid to try the case.
We never back down and will try any case that needs to be tried. But, because of that attitude, the defense lawyers know to be fair and reasonable to us or else they will be on the losing side of a trial that could end up being far worse to the defense than a fair settlement made before trial. It is for that reason, that we always take on every case with the understanding that we will be taking the case to trial and unless the defense offers up fair value, then we will try the case.
As we do our work and build our case for trial, the other side sees that we know what we are doing and are prepared to go to trial, they will be more inclined to settle and they often do.
How Long Will My Sexual Harassment Case Take?
On average, a sexual harassment case will last about 18 months, depending on the circumstances.
Can I Get Justice Or Money Without Filing A Sexual Harassment Lawsuit?
You can absolutely get justice or money without filing a sexual harassment lawsuit, but like everything in life, it comes with a tradeoff. If you want to get paid early, then you are going to get a lot less. There are plenty of lawyers who will claim that they are the greatest lawyers on earth and are more than willing to take your case. In reality, as soon as you retain them as your lawyer, they will write a settlement demand letter and settle your case for pennies on the dollar. This is because they know that writing the letter and engaging a quick settlement is going to make them a ton of money, and that is what they care about. We, on the other hand, do not write settlement demand letters because we have found them to be a waste of time in these types of cases. Writing a settlement demand letter would reveal our facts and our plan to the defense ahead of time, which gives them an advantage by allowing them to develop a counter response. Instead, we will evaluate a case at the very beginning, identify potential facts we need to uncover, then create and implement a comprehensive plan to get those facts brought to light to reveal the truth of what really happened, how bad the harassment was, and what actions the company took to deter or prevent the harassment from happening in the first place. We file the lawsuit and that is our demand letter. Only with a lawsuit can we force the employer to turn over documents, and get witnesses to testify under oath about what really happened. Many times, we have taken testimony from critical upper management and Human Resources personnel that has dramatically increased the case value. Without this information, which is not obtainable absent a lawsuit, the employer would never think to offer fair value to settle the case. But, with this information, sometimes settlement is the only way out for the employer, who has to pay even more than we first thought the case was worth due to our extensive investigation and efforts.