Human trafficking is the act of forcing individuals into a form of slavery to exploit them for labor in warehouses, factories, nail and hair salons, restaurants, or the sex trade. Thousands of people are sold every year and forced into labor as sex workers to benefit their traffickers.
Human trafficking, particularly sex trafficking, could not happen without hotels, airlines, truck stops, websites, and other businesses turning a blind eye. 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.
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 from the businesses that were aware of the situation and did nothing to stop it.
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, many lawsuits have been filed against major hotel chains alleging that they knew trafficking was occurring in their hotel rooms but did nothing to intervene. Survivors assert that these businesses owe them damages for sharing in the profits of illegal and abusive activity.
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. A non-economic damages award could include compensation for their mental anguish, lost educational opportunities, and other personal impacts of being trafficked.
In certain cases, it may be possible to seek punitive damages. A request for punitive damages must be supported by 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 their own 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.
Many businesses will avoid going to trial over an allegation that they profited from human trafficking. They must protect their reputation and may also feel some sense of responsibility toward the survivor. Additionally, their insurers might be unwilling to risk a substantial jury verdict for a survivor.
With the right legal team, a settlement could provide fair compensation for the horrors that a trafficked person survived and it is much quicker than going to trial. Our human trafficking lawyers could put pressure on a company to offer the claimant sufficient funds to cover any lingering medical issues, continue their education, purchase a home, take care of their family, and put their life back together in comfort and security.
The decision to accept a settlement belongs to the survivor, and going to trial may be the best decision in some cases. A knowledgeable attorney could offer their advice based on experience with similar cases to help achieve a positive result, regardless of a survivor’s decision to settle or litigate.
Anyone who has survived human trafficking deserves any and all available resources to help them move past what they were forced to endure and begin building a new life.
A dedicated human trafficking victim lawyer with The Lake Law Firm could be the strong advocate you need to fight for financial awards from the businesses that benefitted from your oppression. Call now to speak with a compassionate attorney who is committed to obtaining justice for you.