Child Advocacy Lawyers Attorneys

If your child has been injured as a result of someone’s carelessness or possibly even an intentional act, you have every right to seek compensation for both current and future pain and suffering. There are thousands of young children injured every day from supervisor’s negligence, companies’ oversight, etc. Contact the Buffalo child injury attorneys at Martin, Harding & Mazzotti, LLP for a free consultation and to better understand your child’s rights.

There are several sets of guidelines and daycare regulations established by New York’s government for schools, daycares, summer camps and other forms of child care services. Our child injury lawyers feel it is our duty to provide assistance to the families of suffering children who have been harmed due to someone’s negligence.

If your child has suffered a serious injury, keeping thorough documentation of the events, injuries and doctor visits will likely help immensely when presenting a case. In addition, detailed photographs of the injured areas and scarring should be taken soon after the event due to the fact that they will heal and fade with time. Another important piece of information that parents or guardians should obtain is an estimate of potential future medical expenses from qualified experts. In order for your child to recover quickly and properly, he or she may require physical therapy, special education, extensive medical treatment, adaptive treatment or more. While these may be necessary for your child to recover properly, they will certainly draw up the medical bills. That being said, our experienced New York child injury lawyers stress the importance of never settling a case too early. Doing so may limit the family to collecting a less-than-fair amount of compensation, and unable to pay for necessary medical expenses.

An injured child deserves the proper representation from a highly qualified and experienced child injury lawyer. We here at Martin, Harding and Mazzotti, LLP in Buffalo understand it is a very difficult time for you and your family. Let us offer aggressive representation against all liable parties that may be responsible for your injured child.

Our Buffalo child injury attorneys are dedicated to providing you and your child the best possible service to get your family the compensation they rightfully deserve. Call our Buffalo office for your free case consultation today at (716) 304-1145. We are also available toll-free, 24/7 at 1800LAW1010 (1.800.529.1010).

Disturbing Facts About Child Abuse & Neglect

Below is a list of disturbing facts relating to child abuse, neglect and injuries:
  • Over 68,000 children were abused or neglected in 2012 (16 out of every 1,000 children)
  • About 1 in 10 children will be sexually abused before they turn 18
  • NYS had, on average, almost 24,000 children in foster care in 2012

Signs That Signal the Potential Presence of Abuse or Neglect

All of the following could be strong signals a child is experiencing abuse or neglect from a parent or legal guardian:
  • Sudden changes in behavior and/or school performance
  • Did not receive proper attention for physical or medical problems that were brought to the parents’ (or guardians) attention
  • Learning problems or difficulty concentrating that may not be attributed to physical or psychological causes
  • Seems to always be preparing for something bad to happen, always watchful
  • Lacks adult supervision
  • Overly compliant, passive or withdrawn
  • Arrives early and wishes to stay later at school or other activities instead of going home
  • Reluctance to be around a certain person
  • Reports maltreatment
Possible signs that abuse and neglect are occurring outside the home:
  • Wary of contact from any adult other than his or her own parents or legal guardians
  • Extremely uneasy when other children cry
  • Overly hesitant to meet new adults
  • Unusual fearfulness, inhibited play
  • Comes home with unexplained
  • marks, bruises and/or cuts – abrasions, burns, broken arms, black eyes, scratches, bite marks, to name a few
  • Demonstrates sexual knowledge, curiosity or behavior beyond their age
  • Increasing secretive and wanting to be alone much of the time
Signs a caregiver or person with authority over a child may possibly be subjecting them to abuse or neglect:
  • Gives conflicting, unconvincing or no explanation for bruising or injuries
  • Describes child in a very negative way
  • Belittles child
  • Seems indifferent to your child
  • Apathetic, depressed or abuses alcohol/drugs
  • Behaves irrational
  • Secretive or isolated; acts jealous/controlling when child is with family members
  • Harsher than usual punishments (excessive or inappropriate discipline)
  • Uncomfortable with you dropping by at any time (only wants scheduled/planned visits)

Has a Child Told You About Being Abused?

Here are a few tips on what you should do:
  • Remain calm, do not express disbelief, shock or panic
  • Talk in a private place
  • You are a listener, not an investigator- let the child talk in his or her own words/language, ask enough questions to act protectively but do not conduct any form of interview
  • Let them know they have done the right thing by telling you
  • Be sure to relay to them that what has happened is not their fault. “You’re not in trouble” and “If I look or sound upset it is only because adults want children to feel safe” are reassuring things to say to make them feel better

Definitions of Child Abuse & Neglect

Federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA)

The Federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), (42 U.S.C.A. §5106g), as amended and reauthorized by the CAPTA Reauthorization Act of 2010, defines child abuse and neglect as, at minimum:

“Any recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caretaker which results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse or exploitation; or an act or failure to act which presents an imminent risk of serious harm.”

 

Physical Abuse
Citation: Social Service Law § 371

‘Abused child’ means a child younger than age 18 whose parent or other person legally responsible for his or her care:

  • Inflicts or allows to be inflicted upon such child physical injury by other than accidental means that causes or creates a substantial risk of death, serious or protracted disfigurement, protracted impairment of physical or emotional health, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily organ
  • Creates or allows to be created a substantial risk of physical injury to such child by other than accidental means that would be likely to cause death, serious or protracted disfigurement, protracted impairment of physical or emotional health, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily organ
Neglect
Citation: Soc. Serv. Law § 371

‘Neglected child’ means a child younger than age 18 whose physical, mental, or emotional condition has been impaired or is in imminent danger of becoming impaired as a result of the failure of his or her parent or other person legally responsible for his or her care to exercise a minimum degree of care:

  • In supplying the child with adequate food, clothing, shelter, education, or medical or surgical care, although financially able to do so or offered financial or other reasonable means to do so
  • In providing the child with proper supervision or guardianship
  • By unreasonably inflicting or allowing harm to be inflicted, or a substantial risk thereof, including the infliction of excessive corporal punishment
  • By misusing drugs or alcoholic beverages to the extent that he or she loses self-control of his or her actions
  • By any other acts of a similarly serious nature requiring the aid of the court
Sexual Abuse/Exploitation
Citation: Soc. Serv. Law § 371

The term ‘abused child’ includes a child younger than age 18 whose parent or other person legally responsible for his or her care commits, or allows to be committed, an act of sexual abuse against such child, as defined in title H, article 130, of the penal law.

Emotional Abuse
Citation: Family Court Act § 1012

‘Impairment of emotional health’ and ‘impairment of mental or emotional condition’ includes a state of substantially diminished psychological or intellectual functioning in relation to, but not limited to, such factors as failure to thrive, control of aggressive or self-destructive impulses, ability to think and reason, acting out, or misbehavior, including incorrigibility, ungovernability, or habitual truancy; provided, however, that such impairment must be clearly attributable to the unwillingness or inability of the respondent to exercise a minimum degree of care toward the child.

What Can You Do to Protect Children in Your Community?

Be part of the solution, not the problem.

Talk about it! Speak with others about child abuse and neglect, your family, friends, church, community, workplace or anywhere else you may find yourself- it’s everyone’s responsibility to help protect our children. Change can be created by engaging in conversation that encourages dialogue and efforts to build safe environments.

Resources

Are you a young person living in a home with domestic violence? Please read this opening letter about young people growing up with domestic violence by Brian F. Martin, author of INVINCIBLE.

Are you dating someone you feel is being (or potentially could be) physically or verbally abusive? For information on dating abuse, please visit Break the Cycle.

Let Martin, Harding & Mazzotti, LLP Help Protect You or Your Loved One

In order to prevent the abuse and neglect of children, our community needs widespread support from each and every member. Remember, you could be the reason someone decides to do something nice for children.

If you believe you, a friend, a family member or anyone under the age of 18 has been abused (either physically or mentally) or neglected, saying nothing will not help your/their situation; speak up and say something. Our child abuse lawyers at Martin, Harding & Mazzotti, LLP® are dedicated to helping members of the community with their legal rights. Contact us today for a free consultation and find out what we can do to assist you. Call us toll-free, 24/7 at 1.800.LAW.1010® (1-800-529-1010).


 

Injuries at School

Injuries at School & Child Supervision Lawyers Attorneys

 

All children should be able to learn, grow and explore their environment, carefree. But what happens when a child suffers an injury as a result of a supervisors’ or company’s carelessness? Sudden accidents can be caused by a variety of situations involving defective toys, organized sports injuries, unsafe playgrounds, and even dangerous property conditions. Our school injury lawyers want to help defend your family, so your child can receive the compensation they deserve. Call our Buffalo office today for your free consultation.

It can be an extremely delicate situation if your child has been injured as the result of a supervisors’ or company’s negligence; many factors must be considered when negotiating a settlement with the defense. A few of these factors include, but aren’t limited to,

  • Current and future medical bills
  • Potential psychological counseling
  • Any related costs associated with the incident
  • Physical rehabilitation
  • Financial support

Nationwide, believe it or not, there are a number of daycare centers and private schools that operate without a valid license, meaning they lack oversight by any government entity of their facilities. While not all of these unlicensed centers have poor supervision or are unsafe for children, you may be putting your child at a greater risk by attending one of these facilities. That being said, when deciding upon which daycare center or school to send your child to, please do extensive research on their licenses, staff, safety procedures, cleanliness of play area, etc.

 Contact our Buffalo school injury attorneys for your free case consultation. For more information, Martin, Harding & Mazzotti, LLP can be reached at our local Buffalo office at (716) 304-1145. We are also available toll-free, 24/7 at 1800LAW1010 (1.800.529.1010)

Blog Posts Relating to Injuries at School or Under A Supervisor’s Care:

Asbestos Exposure in Schools

Don’t Forget to Tell the Babysitter

Back to School: Focus on Bus Safety

Back to School: Stay Safe Walking

Swimming Pool & Water Safety

Playground Safety Part 1

Playground Safety Part 2