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I was repeatedly molested by my father until age 18. I'm 27 and am seeking treatment for PTSD. Can I sue him now?

Greenville, SC |

I've been constantly treated for anxiety and depression since I was able to get myself away from my Father. I was recently diagnosed with Complex PTSD from childhood trauma of molestation and abuse. I'm going to be in therapy for a while to treat my PTSD. My last time of abuse was a week before I left his house. I've been dealing with this for 9 years and being ashamed. I was forced to drop out of college when he refused to provide assistance anymore because I wouldn't let him touch me. I've been married to my husband a year now and I want to heal and put this behind me.

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Attorney answers 5


In your state, SOL is 6 years after victim reaches age of 21 or 3 years from discovery of injury.


Speak with a personal injury lawyer. I think your statute of limitations has passed.

The information provided is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. I am only licensed in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and I am not providing you with specific legal advice. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Being general in nature, the information provided may not apply to any specific factual and/or legal set of circumstances and/or the jurisdiction where you reside. No attorney-client relationship is formed nor should any such relationship be implied. The information provided is of a general nature is not intended to substitute for the advice of an attorney, especially an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction. Your question, although you may believe is simple, it is not simple. You require legal advice, please consult with a competent attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction.


Get with a lawyer ASAP. Limitations has likely passed, but there are some unusual circumstances that can extend the time period. It's fact-specific, so sit down with a lawyer to discuss.


You have a statute of limitations issue in your case. Call a personal injury attorney right away.

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You could still file a claim under certain scenarios outlined below. It would all depend on when you were aware of the causal relationship between injuries and the molestation. It does appear you were only "recently" diagnosed, and so there could be an argument that you have three years from the diagnosis date to move forward. See below.

This is a complicated situation in that a sexual molestation case has its own unique statute of limitations. A statute of limitations sets a timeframe upon which a legal claim must be brought or if will be lost. Typically, this is three years on most civil causes of action (shorter for some, defamation, for instance). That clock doesn't start to run until such time as a reasonable person of common knowledge and experience would be on notice that a claim might exist. The fancy legal word is tolling.

This is the statute:

SECTION 15-3-555. Statute of limitations for action based on sexual abuse or incest. [SC ST SEC 15-3-555]

(A) An action to recover damages for injury to a person arising out of an act of sexual abuse or incest must be commenced *within six years after the person becomes twenty-one years of age* or within *three years from the time of discovery* by the person of the *injury* and the *causal relationship* between the injury and the sexual abuse or incest, whichever occurs later.

This information is provided for informative purposes only and does not create an attorney-client relationship. I am providing only a general reference opinion.

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