Child Abuse and Neglect
A mother, father, or guardian of a child has a primary mission in life - to protect and provide for the best interests of the child. This primary mission is free of class, wealth, education, race, or religion. It is a universal mission that parents / guardians devote their waking hours toward achieving. Unfortunate and tragically, far too many child are subjected to abuse, neglect, and exploitation while under the supervision of very people entrusted with the safety, care, and well-being of the children.
Child abuse cases are quite complex. Namely, there are often multiple proceedings associated with the child abuse. There may be a criminal proceeding associated with the investigation and prosecuation of the Defendant accused of harming the child. There may be an administrative proceeding against a day care center, school, or other facility which may have cared for the child. There may also be a civil proceeding against the child abuser and the business, facility, or government entity employing the child abuser.
Certainly, the safety of the child and ongoing safety of the are paramount to most other concerns. Medical care and counseling are also important. It is important in many cases of child abuse and neglect to obtain timely medical care and evaluation. Forensic and medical evidence can form vital parts of the child abuse case or claim.
To a pursue a civil case on behalf of the child abuse victim, there must be a showing of four essential elements: 1. Duty; 2. Breach of Duty; 3. Causation; and 4. Damages. Unlike a criminal case which requires proof of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, the standard of proof in a civil case is only a showing by the preponderance of evidence. A civil case is subject to the more likely than not standard. Proof of child abuse may come from forensic evidence, witness statements, admissions of the Defendant, e-mail and other electronic forms of evidence, Facebook and social media, and other sources.
Assuming that the elements of a case can be established on behalf of the child abuse victim, there is still the practical issues related to liability insurance (if any), assets of the Defendant (if any). A case can be won but it is quite another issue and task to collect upon the settlement or judgment. Newspapers and the media often report on large judgments and verdicts. For instance, here is a sample headline, "Jury Awards $3 Million to Child Abuse Victim." The headline sound impressive but the true measure of success in a civil case seeking compensation is the actual collection of compensation for the child abuse victim.
David Wolf is a Florida Personal Injury and Child Injury Attorney with over 27 years of experience. He has represented clients of all ages throughout the State of Florida. He is the author of a number of books including the book titled The ABCs of Child Injury - Legal Rights of the Injured Child - What Every Parent Should Know and the book titled Florida Day Care Center Injuries - Legal Rights of the Injured Child - Building Blocks of Knowledge for Parents. In addition, David A. Wolf is the author of the book titled Broken Trust - Child, Abuse, Neglect, and Molestation - The Legal Rights of the Injured Child.