Child Abuse Lawyer in Philadelphia, PA
Child abuse, neglect, and sexual assault can occur in the home, at school, daycare, foster care, or a variety of other places. The abuser may be a parent, foster parent, teacher, mentor, a co-worker, neighbor, or a total stranger. Child maltreatment has a devastating and life-long effect on the victims of this heinous crime. Often, abuse victims will need physical or even emotional care throughout adulthood. The law provides for criminal prosecution of the abuser, but what about the emotional and, often times, physically debilitating injuries that a survivor has sustained? If you or someone you know has been involved in a child abuse claim, contact our firm for an experienced child abuse lawyer in the Philadelphia area.
The law provides recourse for victims of child maltreatment. The abuser can be held financially responsible for the personal injury and economic losses caused by their criminal acts. Additionally, in some cases, victims can justifiably hold third parties responsible, such as schools, apartment managers, employers, daycares and foster care companies, whose negligence created or facilitated the conditions that enabled the abuser to commit the crime.
At Rizio, Hamilton & Kane, P.C., we are well versed in child abuse cases, as well as in medical malpractice, wrongful death, and personal injury. We are skilled child abuse lawyers, and we know how to advocate for abuse victims in the Philadelphia and New Jersey region. We know how frustrating and lengthy the criminal aspect of child abuse cases can be. We have even advocated for victims in the Philadelphia and New Jersey area to help facilitate the criminal prosecution of the abuser. If your child or loved one is the victim of child maltreatment, and you are searching for a child abuse lawyer or child injury lawyer, call us today for your FREE consultation. We are skilled child abuse lawyers and have been fighting for the rights of abuse victims for over 40 years in the New Jersey and Philadelphia communities.
We represent child abuse victims from the surrounding area, such as Bridesburg, Fishtown, Darby, Port Richmond, Upper Darby, the Northeast, Bucks County, and even New Jersey. We will walk you through the legal process, step by step, and we will fight to get you the compensation you DESERVE. We are passionate about our child abuse cases, and we work hard to help abused children feel whole again. We believe that you can depend on our firm for high-quality legal representation that goes above and beyond.
Statistics on Child Abuse in the United States
- According to Child Maltreatment 2017, an estimate of 1,720 children died due to neglect or abuse in the Federal Fiscal Year of 2017. This national estimate was calculated based on data from state child welfare information systems, as well as other data sources that are available to the states. (Source: https://www.childwelfare.gov/aboutus/faq/can/)
- The 2017 Child Maltreatment report data indicates that 3 out of 4 victims (74.9%) are neglected, 18.3% are physically abused, and 8.6% are sexually abused. Such victims may suffer a single type of maltreatment or a combination of two or more forms of maltreatment. (Source: https://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/cb/cm2017.pdf)
Facts & Questions
What is child abuse?
Federal legislation offers guidance to states by identifying a minimum set of behaviors or acts that define child neglect and abuse. The Federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), later amended by the CAPTA Reauthorization Act of 2010, defines child abuse and neglect as, at a minimum:
- Any recent act or failure to act on behalf of a parent or caretaker that results in death, exploitation, serious physical or emotional harm, or sexual abuse or exploitation; or
- An act or failure to act that presents an imminent risk of serious harm.
Such a definition of child abuse and neglect refers specifically to parents and other guardians or caregivers. A “child” by this definition generally refers to a person who is younger than age 18 and/or who is not an emancipated minor.
What are the different types of child abuse?
Child abuse is typically divided into four different types or categories, namely:
- Physical abuse. This is defined as physical injury inflicted upon a child with cruel or malicious intent, and can be the result of beating, punching, kicking, burning, shaking, or otherwise physically harming a child.
- Psychological abuse. The most common form of child abuse, psychological abuse can often occur together with sexual and physical abuse. Psychological abuse includes acts of omission, as well as acts of commission such as humiliation, rejection, unreasonable expectations, insults, or restricting opportunities for the child to socialize or learn.
- Sexual abuse. This is a form of child abuse in which an adult uses a child for sexual stimulation. Types of sexual abuse include engaging in sexual activities with a child, indecent exposure, child grooming, sexual exploitation, or using a child to produce child pornography.
- Neglect. Neglect is generally defined as a deficit in meeting a child’s basic needs, such as a failure to provide adequate supervision, healthcare, nutrition, clothing, and housing as well as their emotional, physical, educational, social, and safety needs.
Who brings a claim on behalf of children who are hurt?
Every state requires designated groups of individuals to report any incidents of known or suspected child neglect or abuse. Some states require all citizens to report suspected abuse or neglect. Other state mandatory reporting statutes often include social workers, substance abuse treatment staff (particularly staff comprised of state-licensed therapists), and nurses. If a professional’s failure to report known or suspected abuse results in harm to the child, he or she may face criminal charges or a civil suit for damages, as well as suspension or revocation of his or her professional license.
Those who are mandated reporters by state law may be immune from liability for any reports made in good faith that are later discovered to be erroneous or unsubstantiated. In some states, any agency or person who employs individuals who are mandated reporters must provide all of their employees with written information that outlines the reporting requirements.
What are the differences between criminal and civil abuse cases?
Victims of child sexual abuse may pursue justice via both the civil and criminal justice systems. The significant differences between the two court systems are the remedy and the victim’s role in each process.
- In a criminal case, the victim’s remedy is the punishment of the abuser(s)/defendant(s).
- In a civil case, the victim’s remedy is the monetary compensation that the abuser(s)/defendant(s) pay to the victim to make the victim whole again.
Essentially, in the criminal justice system, the process is meant to determine the guilt or innocence of the accused offender, while in the civil justice system, the goal is to determine whether an offender or a 3rd party is liable for injuries sustained due to the crime.
Do abusers have to be arrested and convicted of a sexual abuse crime before a survivor can recover damages in civil court?
In short, no. A victim can sue the perpetrator in civil court regardless of whether the perpetrator has been prosecuted or convicted in a criminal prosecution. It is possible to find the defendant liable in a civil court even though a verdict of “not guilty” was rendered in a criminal case. However, a criminal prosecution is helpful in the outcome of the civil case.
What is negligence in childcare?
Negligence in childcare is a situation where a child was hurt due to the inattention of a caregiver. Individuals and organizations that can be held responsible for failing to supervise children properly include parents, daycare providers, teachers, babysitters, and counselors.
Can I sue if my child gets hurt at school?
Depending on a few different factors, a school may or may not be “immune” from a personal injury lawsuit. Whether a child or the parents of a child injured on the school grounds can sue the school for damages depends on various factors. Consult your attorney for guidance.
Contact a Child Abuse Lawyer Today
If you or someone you care about has been affected by child abuse or neglect, don’t wait one moment to get the representation you need. You deserve to win justice and restitution for your family.
Are you looking for experienced and proven lawyers to take on your case? If so, you need not look any further than our firm. Get in touch with Rizio, Hamilton & Kane, P.C. by calling our Legal Eagles and receive a 100% free consultation today and secure the justice you need.
This content of this website is NOT legal advice. Every case and situation is unique. Please call our attorneys for a free consultation if you seek legal advice.