What can I do if I Have Been Harmed or Know a Child That has Been Harmed?
You can do several things including call the cops to protect your safety, call medical professionals to protect your health, and call attorneys to protect your rights.
Childhood injuries are more common than our society appreciates. Therefore, if it happens to you or someone that you love, you might not know what to do or when to do it. Here are some things to think about if it ever emerges in your life.
Should I Call The Cops?
Yes. If you know or think that a child is at risk of being harmed, you should call the police. They can come in and protect the child as well as preserve any evidence that may exist
Many people might hesitate to bring the authorities into the situation soon after they discover that a child has been injured, institutional or otherwise. (To understand institutional abuse, click here). They might fear that it will embarrass someone involved, needlessly escalate the situation, or something entirely different. Alternatively, they might think it's not their place if they are not the parent. We still advise people to contact the police as soon as possible, and we tell advise them to contact the police regardless of whom the offender is. Why do we do this? The victim could still be at risk. Also, it is critically important for the authorities to collect evidence-evidence that could soon disappear. These are some of the most important reasons to get the cops involved but there are others. Also, do not speak about this with the possible offender or the institution that the offender is affiliated with.
How Should I Speak to The Victim?
You should avoid speaking to children immediately following their incident. Discussing what happened with the child can tamper with their memory of the event and negatively affect their situation. Instead, bring in appropriate professionals like the police and health care providers.
It is perfectly natural to want to comfort victims of an accident, intentional harm, or other misconduct especially if they are children. You might want to ask them how they are feeling, what happened, and a million other things. However, this is not what you should do, as hard as that is to understand. Instead, only a qualified professional should question the child about the nature and circumstances of the event. Also, while this might sound counterintuitive, you should also not change or wash a child because this could lose evidence that is still on the kid. Preferably, the police will take what they need from the victim and then instruct on when the child should clean up.
When Should I Call a Lawyer?
Contact an attorney as soon as you think a child has been harmed.
People wonder at what point they should seek legal representation. In a criminal case, the state will handle the prosecution. However, if you chose to sue the perpetrator in civil court, you will need an attorney that is qualified and experienced in seeking personal injury compensation on your behalf. In these circumstances, it is essential to find a lawyer as soon as possible, but after the police have been contacted and begin criminal prosecution. A lawyer will need to investigate and gather essential evidence necessary to a civil case. Resolving a civil case takes time -- sometimes up to a year or two -- so the sooner you start, the sooner you can finish. To read more about what a competent attorney can and should be doing for your child, read our article here.
Should I Avoid Talking To Anyone?
Besides the victim, you should also avoid speaking with the possible offender as well as his or her representatives or employers. Communications with them can harm the child's security and recovery chances.
While it is vital that you contact and meet with certain professionals following an incident of child abuse, it is equally essential for you to avoid contact with specific individuals. First, do not speak with the offender. Talking to the accused could endanger you and put your case at risk. Second, do not speak with the offender's lawyers. Your attorney should be the only one speaking with opposing counsel. If they initiate contact with you, inform your attorney. Third, do not talk with the offender's insurance company. Any discussion with the insurer could also jeopardize your potential suit and rights of recovery. This incomplete list highlights some parties in the case to avoid. Your lawyer will provide you a more comprehensive list of other defendants and witnesses to avoid.
Contact Our Team of Seasoned Child Injury Attorneys Now!
We maintain a team of personal injury attorneys that are skilled and interested in working with children who have been victimized. We care about their injuries. We care about bringing offenders to justice and keep ourselves readily available in case you need us. You can call us 24/7 at (888) 424-5757 or reach us through our site. It is vital that you don't delay in speaking with a qualified attorney because waiting could risk your future recovery. Give us a call and hear about what other issues lie ahead in a child abuse case.
For additional information see the following pages:
- How Are Children Injured?
- What Can a Child Obtain in a Personal Injury Case?
- What Are Child Injury Laws?
- What Is Institutional Child Abuse?
- What Are Child Injury Cases Worth?
- What Resources Are There For Injured Children?
- How Can a Lawyer Fight For Your Injured Child?
- What Medical Injuries do Children Suffer?
- What Are Typical Childhood Injuries?
- Are Children Injured More Frequently Than Adults?
- Do Children Get Hurt More Than Adults in Hospitals?
- Can I Spank My Child?
- Can I Get in Trouble For Falsely Reporting Child Injuries?
- Do Children's Injury Cases Normally Settle or Go To Trial?