Physical Abuse Injury Lawyers in Dallas
In the United States, a report of child abuse is made every 10 seconds- physical abuse is one such form of child abuse. Child physical abuse is "non-accidental trauma or physical injury" typically caused by a parent, grandparent, other relative or caregiver (babysitter, day care employee, etc.). In 2007, there were roughly 149,000 cases of physical abuse across the United States. According to the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, "Actual rates of child physical abuse are probably higher, since not every case is reported."
Physical abuse is the second highest most common form of child abuse, right behind neglect, composing approximately 18% of abuse cases. In one study of 8,613 adults, 26.4% reported they were grabbed, pushed, slapped, had something thrown at them or were hit so hard that they had marks or bruises at some point during their childhood.
Signs of Physical Abuse
Physical abuse can happen to any child- no matter what his/her background or gender. The most common demographic for abuse is 4-7 year olds and 12-15 year olds. How can you know if your child is being physically abused? Common signs of physical abuse include:
- Awkward movements or difficulty walking
- Habitual absence or lateness to school
- Long-sleeved clothing on hot days
- Conflicting explanations of accidents
- Injuries that do not make sense, given the age of the child
- Frequent physical injuries
Physical injuries to look for could include: swollen areas, human bite marks, cigarette burns, broken bones, puncture marks or missing hair. Typically physical abuse injuries are localized in unusual areas of the body- head, face, back, genital area, chest, buttocks or thighs. The most common forms of physical abuse are the following:
What to Do if You Believe Physical Abuse is Occurring
Physical abuse can happen when a parent takes physical discipline too far, when a parent is repeatedly on drugs or alcohol, when a parent has a past of physical abuse, or if the parent deals with parental depression, stress or societal isolation. If you think your child is being physically abused, important information you should be able to elaborate on after you make your report includes: your child's medical history, your family history (does your family have a history of bone disorders, bleeding, metabolic or genetic diseases?), patterns of discipline, child temperament, history of past abuse in your family, developmental history of the child, substance abuse by caregivers or residents of the child's home, financial and social factors, and violent interactions among other family member. Getting a physician to examine your child and give his/her professional opinion is also a good step to take.
Is the abuse at the hand of someone you know?
Keep in mind that more often than not, an abuser is not a stranger but someone you know- your spouse, close relative, your child's coach or your next door neighbor. Child physical abuse can also frequently happen at school. A personal injury lawsuit can be filed against a teacher if a student was injured by physical abuse or was given inadequate supervision by a teacher. It is a good idea for parents to stay informed about a teacher's disciplinary procedures. Has this teacher received any negative reports about disciplinary procedures in the past? If any doubts are clouding your mind, you can request an investigation.
If your child has been physically abused at the hand of another, while that person is being brought to criminal justice, you can file a civil lawsuit as well in order to fight for damages. If your case is successful, compensation for hospital and medical bills, emotional counseling and pain and suffering can help your child and family recover faster and put the tragic incidents of the past behind you. With over 10 years of experience, Zinda Law Group is a firm you can trust that would love to help you fight for the damages you deserve and a Dallas Personal Injury Attorney can assist you in putting the past behind you.