If your child has been abused, it’s likely you’ll want to take action against the abuser and try to protect your child from further harm. However, if you accuse someone of child abuse, the claims process and steps to protect your child may be confusing.
The First Step Is to Call the Police
The first call to the police may not be easy; however, it is important. Attorney Tom Hall has stood with clients as they called the police to file child abuse reports. He has provided support and understanding during this difficult time and helped his clients take this critical first step.
Reporting the abuse to the police serves a few different purposes. First, and most importantly, it can help your child and your family heal from the abuse. You may all feel gratified by taking a stance against the abuser. Second, if there’s no official investigation, the person you accuse of abuse could bring slander charges against your family. Finally, any evidence found by the police could be important in criminal and civil cases.
Criminal Charges and a Civil Case May Both Be Brought Against the Abuser
After you discover your child has been abused, the government may pursue a criminal case, and you may pursue a civil case on behalf of your child.
The government may bring criminal charges against the alleged abuser based on the police investigation. During the process, the district attorney may not spend a lot of time with your family or communicate with you frequently. This is because the purpose of a criminal case is to protect the public and decide whether the defendant is guilty or not—it’s not to compensate the victim who was hurt. And regardless of the outcome, it will not result in damages being provided to the child who was hurt.
Whether or not a defendant is convicted or acquitted of criminal charges, the alleged abuser may still be held responsible in a civil proceeding. A civil case is designed to help the victim of abuse recover compensation. This process formally begins when a complaint is filed in court. The parties may settle the case, if possible, or go to trial. In a civil case, compensation could include past, current, and future physical and emotional medical expenses and other damages.
If you have questions about the child abuse claims process in Texas, please start a live chat with us today, and let our lawyers help your family understand the process and protect your rights.