Child abuse cases are psychologically and emotionally upsetting for everyone involved. That is especially true for the plaintiff — the person or family filing the case against the defendant. Finding the right attorney in a child abuse case is critical to ensuring that these people get the care and support they need throughout the legal process.
The Federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act defines child abuse and neglect as: “Any recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caretaker, which results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse or exploitation” or “An act or failure to act which presents an imminent risk of serious harm.” In California, child abuse can be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor depending on the nature of the offense and the defendant’s criminal history.
Examples of child abuse can include (but are not limited to) physical abuse such as punching or kicking, sexual abuse, emotional/psychological abuse, and neglect. Nor is child abuse limited to individuals within the immediate family. Sadly, children are often victims of abuse by teachers, coaches, health care providers, religious leaders, and daycare workers, to name a few.
When looking for a child abuse attorney, the goal should be to find someone with experience handling child abuse cases as well as a deep understanding of how legally complex and emotionally charged cases this area of personal injury litigation can get.
Some things to keep in mind when looking for a child abuse attorney include:
Experience: Your chosen attorney should have past experience successfully representing child abuse cases. If it is a child sexual abuse case, the attorney needs experience in that specific area, as it’s often an even more delicate and complex matter.
Understanding: Child abuse cases are full of details and nuances that can quickly become overwhelming to the average person. As the California Department of Education points out, “Child abuse is more than bruises and broken bones.” Not all child abuse is obvious, but all of it is extremely harmful. Any attorney working on a case needs to know what exactly constitutes child abuse, even if the evidence is not immediately clear.
Support: As noted above, child abuse and neglect cases are full of emotions for the plaintiff and their family members involved. You will need an attorney that understands the range of emotions a family can go through when dealing with such a case. This person should be able to provide emotional support as well as legal expertise when it comes to official case-related happenings, such as a deposition.
Every child deserves to be safe no matter where they are. If you suspect a member of your family is the victim of child abuse, do not hesitate to reach out for support and assistance. Rodriguez & Associates has a long record of success when it comes to defending the safety of children. You can reach us by filling out our online form or calling (661) 777-7575.