Can I sue my father for years of abuse if I’m now an adult?

My father has physically, verbally and emotionally abused me my whole life (starting at the age of 8, and I am 32 now). The physical abuse has stopped since I don’t live with him anymore, but the emotional damage he has done to me has been devastating. Yes, at my age, I am still trying to recover from the abuse. I have depression, anxiety (which I am on medication for) and have been diagnosed with BPD (it’s like Bi-polar disorder, but fundamentally different). It’s like he has destroyed my life. I have been in therapy for years, and have undergone many hardships. What can I do legally?

Asked on June 10, 2012 under Personal Injury, North Carolina


Robert Slim / Robert C. Slim - Attorney at Law

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You would probably have difficulty maintaining such an action since the statute of limitations has expired.  A minor child may sue for injuries sustained during his/her childhood upon reaching the age of eighteen.  At that point, the statute of limitations begins to run against those claims.  In Texas, the case you describe is governed by a two-year limitations period.  Likewise, the effective period to assert such a claim would have expired on your twentieth birthday.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.