ORANGE COUNTY CHILD ABUSE LAWYER
Child abuse occurs with frightening regularity. It consists of physical and mental ways of hurting a child. Perpetrators include adults in positions of responsibility, such as parents, teachers, coaches, and other leaders. The effects on victims are profound, including horrific physical injuries and emotional and psychological scars.
Nordean Law represents the victims of child abuse in civil court. Our experienced attorneys at Orange County understand what evidence is needed to prove a claim and how to obtain large settlements and verdicts for our clients. No one should suffer the harm of child abuse, and we fight for the justice they deserve.
What Is Considered Child Abuse & Neglect?
Child abuse violates criminal- and civil laws. In this respect, a personal injury case based on child abuse differs from a car accident and other cases based on non-criminal negligence. Child abuse and neglect are intentional acts. To prove them in court, prosecutors and personal injury lawyers must have evidence of intent.
For example, no proof of intent is necessary for a car accident claim. Most of the time, a driver makes a common misjudgment, and an accident occurs. No intent to cause harm existed. The harm resulted from a mistake.
Child abusers intend to harm the victim physically, emotionally, or through sexual exploitation. Neglect in this context is also an intentional act. The abuser intentionally hurts the child by withholding essentials.
For example, child neglect includes:
- Starving a child.
- Leaving it to suffer without needed medical care.
- Refusing to provide age-appropriate supervision.
These are choices made with malicious intent, not lapses in judgment, legitimate punishments, or mistakes.
California law broadly defines child abuse and neglect as any cruelty inflicted on a child, including mental abuse, physical abuse, sexual assault or exploitation, and neglect. Criminal charges for physical abuse often include assault, battery, and sex crimes against a minor. These crimes can also cause a civil suit against the perpetrator or responsible organization for physical harm, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, and other damages.
What Are Some Signs of Child Abuse
Abused and neglected children find it difficult to reach out for help. They may not understand that they are suffering mistreatment, think adults won’t believe them, and fear retaliation from the abuser. As a result, many cases go unreported.
Without witnessing the abuse, it can be difficult for responsible adults to know that a child is suffering from abuse and neglect. However, specific behavioral patterns and changes in a child’s behavior may be signs of abuse, wounds, and injuries.
According to the Mayo Clinic, child abuse victims often display behavioral and emotional symptoms that include the following:
- Social withdrawal
- Aggression, anger, hostility, or hyperactivity
- A decline in academic performance
- Depression and anxiety
- Low self-esteem
- Sleep difficulties
- Frequent school absences
- Rebellious or defiant behavior
- Suicidal ideation or attempts
Physical Abuse Signs and Symptoms may include:
- Unexplained injuries, including bruises, broken bones (fractures), or burns
- Suspicious explanations of how injuries occurred
- Injuries the child could not have sustained on their own
Sexual Abuse Signs and Symptoms may include:
- Age inappropriate sexual behavior or knowledge
- Sexually transmitted infections
- Genital or anal pain
- Inappropriate sexual behavior with other children
Neglect Signs and Symptoms May Include:
- Poor growth
- Poor personal hygiene
- Lack of clothing or supplies
- Hoarding or stealing food
- Poor school attendance
- Lack of appropriate medical or dental care
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What Are The Most Common Types of Child Abuse?
The Centers for Disease Control identifies four primary types of child abuse:
- Physical abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Emotional abuse
Physical abuse is the intentional use of force to hurt a child, sometimes leading to serious injuries and death. Common examples include shaking an infant or punching a child. The damage of physical abuse remains after the bruises heal, often leaving victims with feelings of anger, mistrust of people, guilt, and lowered self-esteem.
Sexual abusers may touch their victims inappropriately and pressure or force a child to engage in sex acts. These abusers often threaten or otherwise manipulate the child into keeping silent. The psychological scars of sexual abuse can last a lifetime.
Not all child abuse involves violence or sex crimes. Some abusers inflict harm through words. Belittling, degrading, humiliating, and harassing children profoundly impacts their development. The result is damaged self-worth and diminished emotional well-being.
Neglect is the intentional withholding of essentials like food and medical care, and age-appropriate supervision. For instance, punishing children by starving them or leaving a baby unattended in a hot vehicle constitutes neglect.
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What To Do After Child Abuse In Orange County?
If you have witnessed child abuse, reporting it to authorities could save the victim from long-lasting trauma and even life. Orange County has a 24-hour hotline to report child abuse and a different number to report elder- or dependent adult abuse:
- Child Abuse Reporting – Call 714-940-1000 or 800-207-4464 (24-hour hotline)
- Elder and Dependent Adult Abuse Reporting – Call 800-451-5155 (24-hour hotline)
Contact a Top-Rated Orange County Child Abuse Lawyer Today
Nordean Law’s child abuse lawyers in Orange County are ready to listen to your story and help you receive justice. The sooner you give us a call, the sooner we can get to work on getting you the justice and compensation you deserve. Contact the experienced team at Nordean Law firm today for a free consultation.
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Orange County Child Abuse Lawyer
CHILD ABUSE LAWYER NEAR ORANGE COUNTY, CA
Hiring the right Child Abuse Attorney will make a huge difference in this unfortunate and difficult part. You can spend countless hours at the Orange County Courthouse trying to piece together what you need to do next on your own. By not hiring an attorney, you are throwing countless hours out the window; you will also get on average 40% less when the settlement finally comes around, which will happen much faster with professional help.
It’s free to talk with us; please reach out if you have any questions or would like an estimate of what you could be owed. If you wish to take this court journey alone, Orange County Courthouse is located at 700 W Civic Center Dr, Santa Ana, CA 92701.
If you want to take professional help, our child abuse lawyer in Orange County will be more than happy to help you.
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Orange County Child Abuse FAQs
How Much Is Child Abuse Case Worth / Compensation for Victims?
Child abuse cases are unique, and victims have different levels of damage and trauma. Some of the most egregious cases, such as children molested by a teacher or Boy Scout leader, can be worth well into the seven figures. Elder abuse cases can also be worth a substantial amount. For instance, a nursing home resident who suffered neglect and painful injuries may have a seven-figure claim.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Child Abuse in California?
The statute of limitations for elder abuse in California is two years. However, the law provides exceptions where incapacity makes it impossible to bring the case within the standard timeframe.
Is There a Time Limit to File My Case?
California law recently changed to give childhood sexual abuse victims more time to file a civil lawsuit. Now victims have until the age of 40 to bring a case against their abusers and responsible institutions. Previously, the limit was 26 years.
How Much Does an Orange County Child Abuse Attorney Cost?
Lawyers take some child abuse cases on contingency. Contingency fee agreements require no retainer or other out-of-pocket costs. The legal fee is paid only upon collecting an award or settlement.