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Sexual Assault of Patients by Their Physicians in New York 

As a patient, you should be able to trust your doctor unreservedly, without having to worry that your vulnerability may be exploited. If you’re a victim of sexual assault by a physician, you may feel overwhelmed, isolated, and upset. However, you don’t have to face this alone. With a compassionate and dedicated attorney by your side, you can take a step forward and pursue the justice, compensation, and closure you deserve. 

The Howley Law Firm is here for you. Our New York doctor sexual assault lawyers are ready to guide you through every step of the legal process with compassion and empathy. Contact us now at (212) 601-2728 and schedule a free, no-obligation case review to determine your legal options.

How Common Is Sexual Assault of Patients by Their Physicians in New York? 

Unfortunately, sexual assaults are extremely common. Figures from the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) show that one American is sexually assaulted every 68 seconds. While most victims are female, about 10% are male. Children are also affected, particularly those aged 12 to 17.

While there are few statistics available for New York, here are some general figures addressing sexual assaults of patients by their physicians:

  • 2017 study examined instances of sexual abuse by physicians. It concluded that in all 101 cases, the physicians were male. Most were older than 39, not board certified, and practicing in nonacademic settings. Typically, they examined patients alone.
  • 2021 study by the National Institute of Health revealed almost 5% of women and 2% of men have experienced sexual misconduct by healthcare professionals.
  • According to a report surveying records from all 50 states, more than 2,400 U.S. doctors have been sanctioned for sexually abusing their patients.

These figures may only be the tip of the iceberg, as many sexual assault cases go unreported, according to the National Library of Medicine. Victims may be afraid to talk about what happened due to feelings of shame or fearing retaliation. If you or someone you know is a victim of sexual assault, reporting the crime is essential to protect your rights. The Howley Law Firm is here to empower and help you.

What Qualifies as Sexual Assault of Patients by Their Physicians?

While sexual assaults by doctors can come in many forms, the American Psychological Association (APA) says that any unwanted sexual activity involving force, threats, or taking advantage of victims unable to consent constitutes sexual assault. Here are some examples of sexual assault of patients by their physicians:

  • Inappropriate Touching: This includes any form of touching by a medical professional that is sexual in nature and not related to medical treatment. Examples may include groping, fondling, or inappropriate touching during examinations or procedures.
  • Unwanted Advances: When a medical professional makes unwelcome sexual propositions towards a patient, it constitutes sexual assault. Unwanted advances include suggestive comments, requests for sexual favors, or attempts to engage in sexual activity without the patient’s consent.
  • Sexual Comments or Innuendoes: Any form of verbal or written communication of a sexual nature by a medical professional can be considered sexual assault. Examples include sexually explicit jokes or comments, inappropriate text messages or emails, or engaging in other forms of verbal harassment.
  • Indecent Exposure: Indecent exposure involves a medical professional exposing themselves in a sexual manner to a patient. This could involve a doctor exposing their genitals or other intimate body parts during examinations or procedures.
  • Abuse of Power and Coercion: Sexual assault includes a medical professional using their position of authority or power to coerce or manipulate a patient into engaging in sexual activity. This can include threats of harm or loss of medical care if the patient does not comply with sexual demands.

If you or a loved one has experienced any form of sexual assault by a medical professional, you may be entitled to compensation for your physical, emotional, and financial damages. Contact our New York doctor sexual assault lawyers today for a confidential consultation to discuss your legal rights and options.

Injuries of Patients Sexually Assaulted by Their Physicians

Sexual assault of patients by their physicians can have severe consequences on victims’ physical and mental health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the consequences of sexual violence may even become chronic. 

Physical Injuries 

Physical injuries from sexual assault of patients by their physicians in New York can range from mild to severe and may need medical attention. Here are some examples of common sexual assault injuries:

  • Genital Trauma: Assault involving forced penetration or aggressive touching can cause tears, bruising, or lacerations to the genitals.
  • Internal Injuries: Forceful sexual intercourse may cause internal injuries to organs such as the uterus, vagina, or rectum. Such injuries can cause pain, internal bleeding, infection, and even fertility problems.
  • Contusions: Victims may exhibit bruises or contusions on various parts of the body, indicating physical struggle or restraint during the assault.
  • STDs: Sexual assault can lead to sexually transmitted diseases, such as gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis.

Psychological Injuries

While the physical injuries of sexual assaults of patients by their physicians may heal, the psychological injuries can last a lifetime.

  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): Some victims of sexual assault develop PTSD. They may experience flashbacks and nightmares that last for months or even years after the assault.
  • Depression and Anxiety: Sexual assault survivors may struggle with feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and anxiety. Depression and anxiety can have a profound impact on the ability to trust others and engage in daily activities.
  • Social Withdrawal: Victims may withdraw from social interactions, experiencing shame, guilt, and fear of judgment from others. Their personal relationships may also be negatively affected.

The Long-Term Consequences of Sexual Assault of Patients by Their Doctor

Physically, the long-term consequences of sexual assault can include chronic pain, infertility, sexual dysfunction, and pain during intercourse. Victims may turn to substances such as alcohol or drugs to deal with the trauma and emotional pain of sexual assault, which could potentially derail their lives. 

If you experienced sexual assault at the hands of a doctor or medical professional, help and support are available. You don’t have to go struggle alone. The perpetrator should be held accountable, and you deserve to be “made whole” again. The Howley Law Firm can help you get the justice and compensation you need to get your life back on track.

How a New York Doctor Sexual Assault Lawyer at The Howley Law Firm Can Help

When a medical professional sexually assaults you, you need a strong advocate by your side who can pursue the justice and compensation you deserve. Here’s how we can help:

  • Investigation: Our attorneys specialize in sexual assault cases. We know how to conduct thorough investigations and gather compelling evidence to support your claim. We can obtain and organize the necessary medical records, witness statements, and other documentation necessary to build a strong case against the perpetrator.
  • Proving Your Case Against a Doctor: Sexual assault by a doctor typically involves an abuse of power and trust. A skilled lawyer knows how to argue your case and can shine a light on the doctor’s breach of professional ethics and violation of the doctor-patient relationship. 
  • Challenging Medical Institutions: If your assault occurred in a medical institution, we can investigate reporting procedures and potential disciplinary actions against the perpetrator. Our attorneys will fight to hold a hospital or other medical institution accountable for its failures. 
  • Representing You in Legal Proceedings: A sexual assault lawyer can represent the victim in all legal proceedings, including negotiations with the doctor’s legal team, mediation sessions, and court hearings. 
  • Seeking Maximum Compensation: We don’t settle for less. Our skilled attorneys pursue maximum compensation for victims’ medical bills, wage losses, pain and suffering, and other damages.  

If you or a loved one experienced sexual assault, our New York doctor sexual assault lawyers can walk you through your options and help you navigate the legal process. 

The Howley Law Firm Fights for Sexual Assault Victims 

Don’t let a perpetrator of sexual assault get away scot-free. You deserve justice and compensation for your ordeal. By holding the medical professional accountable, you can help prevent future sexual assaults.  And if you have a strong case, we will represent you on a contingency fee basis, which means that you will not owe us any attorneys’ fees unless you win.

Let us help you get justice and put this challenging time behind you. Contact The Howley Law Firm now at (212) 601-2728 for a free and confidential consultation.

FAQs – Ask a New York Doctor Sexual Abuse Lawyer

What should I do if I was sexually assaulted by my doctor in New York?

If you suffered sexual abuse by a physician, take these steps to protect your rights: 

  • Contact Law Enforcement: Contacting law enforcement is crucial after experiencing sexual assault, as it establishes a record of the offense. The Police officers can also help you find support from organizations that help sexual assault survivors. 
  • Get a Medical Assessment: After a sexual assault, getting a medical check-up will be crucial to safeguard your health. A doctor can examine your injuries, treat them, and test for sexually transmitted diseases. A medical report can be essential for a lawsuit or insurance claim. 
  • Contact a Sexual Assault Attorney: Contacting a sexual assault lawyer can be important to protect your legal rights. The Howley Law Firm can assess your options and the next best steps for recovering compensation from the perpetrator or medical institution responsible. 

How can I report sexual assault by a physician? 

There are several ways to report sexual assault of patients by their physicians in New York:  

  1. Call 911 to report sexual assault to the police
  2. Contact the hospital, medical facility, or doctor’s office where the abuse occurred.
  3. Report the abuse to New York State’s Medical Licensing Board.

What damages can I recover after a doctor sexually assaulted me?

You could recover various damages from the physician or a responsible third party, such as a hospital. Awards may include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Counseling
  • Lost income 
  • Emotional distress
  • Physical pain

You could also recover punitive damages. Punitive damages may be ordered by a court when a defendant acts particularly egregiously.

Do I need a New York doctor sexual assault lawyer to file a lawsuit?

Theoretically, you can file a sexual assault lawsuit without an attorney. However, to have the best chance of recovering compensation and seeing justice served, you’ll need to work with an experienced and tenacious attorney. 

The defendant’s attorneys may take advantage of your self-representation and prevent you from effectively advocating for yourself. Having an attorney on your side can level the playing field when you’re having to stand up to a powerful hospital with vast resources and a team of lawyers on retainer. 

Our attorneys know the impact and potential long-term consequences of sexual assault and can argue your case strongly, aiming for maximum compensation.  Call us today at (212) 601-2728 to schedule a free and confidential consultation with an experienced and compassionate sexual assault attorney.