Human Trafficking Victim Lawyer

Human trafficking is the act of forcing individuals into a form of slavery to exploit them for labor or sexual acts. Often referred to as “modern slavery,” trafficked humans may end up working in warehouses, factories, nail and hair salons, restaurants, or in the sex trade. According to the U.S. Department of State, human trafficking affects an estimated 24.9 million victims worldwide at a given time. Anyone is susceptible to human trafficking as this frightening practice ensnares men, women, and children. Federal and state legislatures have passed laws that make it easier for survivors of this horrific crime to seek damages from the businesses that indirectly profited from their exploitation. Did you or a loved one experience human trafficking? Reach out today to speak with the attorneys at The Lake Law Firm to learn more about how a human trafficking victim lawyer can help you.

A compassionate human trafficking victim lawyer at our firm could provide legal guidance and assistance to survivors seeking justice for their tremendous losses. Let our team of personal injury attorneys help you pursue the compensation you deserve.

What is Human Trafficking?

Human trafficking is a violation of human rights in which traffickers profit at the expense of adults and children by coercing them into sexual acts and labor. While governments and legislators have increased their efforts to crack down on human trafficking, it is very difficult to stop this powerhouse industry altogether. The International Labor Organization estimates that the business of human trafficking generates an annual profit of $150 billion globally. The United States identifies two forms of human trafficking: forced labor and sex trafficking.

Labor trafficking involves people who use force, fraud, or coercion to abuse the work services of another human being. To trap people in forced labor, people may threaten to withhold pay, cause reputational harm, and use violence, amongst other acts. Trafficking of labor can affect a variety of industries including:

  • Agricultural fields
  • Factories
  • Restaurants
  • Hotels
  • Massage parlors
  • Retail stores
  • Fishing vessels
  • Mines
  • Private homes
  • Drug trafficking operations

Sex trafficking is when people use force, fraud, or coercion to make adults or children perform commercial sex acts. The means by which traffickers force people into sex trafficking are similar to that of labor trafficking. Sex trafficking can occur in a number of places such as:

  • Private homes
  • Massage parlors
  • Hotels
  • Brothels
  • On the internet

Laws Protect Trafficking Victims

22 United States Code §§ 7101-7114 provides resources and immediate help to survivors of human trafficking. Some attorneys have used this law as the basis for lawsuits against businesses that ignored evidence of trafficking so they could continue making a profit. For example, individuals have filed lawsuits against numerous major hotel chains. These lawsuits allege the hotels knew about the trafficking in their rooms but did nothing to intervene. Survivors assert that these businesses owe them damages for sharing in the profits of illegal and abusive activity.

In 2000, President Clinton signed into law the Trafficking Victims Protection Act. This act acknowledged the prevalence of human trafficking in our modern society. It aimed to combat trafficking in the sex trade, slavery, and involuntary servitude. Over the years, congress has reauthorized the TVSA several to update it with new revisions. Also, congress passed the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015. This act extends criminal liability to those who buy services from trafficking victims and established the U.S. Advisory Council on Human Trafficking. Under these acts and councils, human trafficking survivors can advise and make recommendations for federal staff members.

Damages Available to Human Trafficking Survivors

Individuals who sue for personal injuries are entitled to receive non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering and emotional trauma, as well as economic damages, like medical expenses and lost wages. A survivor of human trafficking could claim damages to reimburse treatment for any medical conditions that arose from being exploited.

Many survivors suffer significant mental health consequences as a result of the trauma, and obtaining monetary damages could cover the cost of rehabilitative programs and treatment. Therefore, a non-economic damages award could include compensation for their mental anguish, lost educational opportunities, and other personal impacts of being trafficked.

It may be possible to seek punitive damages in some cases. In order to pursue punitive damages, there must be evidence showing that the defendant’s actions were outrageous, malicious, or unconscionable. In situations where a business knew a crime was taking place but allowed it to continue to protect its profits, a committed human trafficking victim attorney could convince a jury to award punitive damages to punish such egregious behavior and disregard for others’ safety.

Businesses That Profited Must Be Held Accountable

With the right legal team, victims can achieve justice for the horrors they survived. Businesses that turned a blind eye to or even indirectly profited from human trafficking must be held accountable for the suffering inflicted upon trafficking victims. That said, many businesses may avoid going to trial over such allegations to protect their reputation and may prefer to settle claims out of court. Whether achieved through a settlement or jury verdict, our human trafficking lawyers could allow a victim to receive sufficient funds to put their lives back together in comfort and security.

How Our Law Firm Can Help You

The Lake Law Firm was founded by Edward J. Lake, Esq., a personal injury lawyer for over 25 years. Our dedicated team of attorneys is committed to seeking justice on behalf of those who have suffered injury or death due to the negligence of others. Our experienced attorneys handle many different types of pharmaceutical drugs, medical devices, and other defective products. The lawyers in our firm have helped collect millions of dollars for their clients. The Lake Law Firm will advocate for you and your rights. Please contact us for a free confidential case evaluation at (888) 525-3529 or submit an inquiry on this page.