Child Abuse Lawyers - Sexual Abuse, Molestations, Emotional & Physical Abuse, Neglect, etc.

Physical and mental abuse of a child can have a lasting impact, creating life-long emotional scars. If your child has been injured as a result of someone’s carelessness or possibly even an intentional action, you have every right to seek compensation for both present and future pain and suffering.

More than three million cases of child abuse are reported every year in the U.S., and most cases go unreported. By keeping thorough documentation of the events, injuries, and doctor visits, including detailed photographs of injuries, will likely help immensely when presenting a case.
Parent and guardians should also obtain an estimate of potential future medical expenses from qualified experts.

 Child abuse cases can be very difficult, which is why it is important to get the help of an experienced child abuse attorney. Have our White Plains team guide you through the process; providing you and your child the best possible service to get the compensation your family rightfully deserves. Call our White Plains office for your free case consultation today at (914) 336-5995 or 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  • Overly compliant, passive or withdrawn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
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.


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

Schools are supposed to be safe and nurturing environments for children but sadly, every year, numerous parents receive phone calls informing them their children have been harmed at school. Sudden accidents can be caused by a range of situations involving defective toys, organized sports injuries, unsafe playgrounds, and even dangerous property conditions. Martin, Harding & Mazzotti’s team of school injury lawyers wants to help defend your family, so your family can receive the compensation it deserves.

Many factors must be considered when negotiating a settlement with the defense because it can be an extremely delicate situation.

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

Protect your child’s rights, call us immediately if your child has been injured at school. If you wait too long to file your claim, you could be barred from pursuing it in the future under New York’s Statute of Limitations law. Depending on the type of claim or claims you have, the amount of time you have to file can vary. You should seek the advice of an attorney to be sure not to miss any important deadlines.

 To protect your right to make a claim for injuries that occurred at school, call the White Plains school injury lawyers at Martin, Harding & Mazzotti, LLP® at (914) 336-5995 or 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

Pool Time Safety

Head and Brain Injuries: Safety Tips to Help Keep Your Kids Safe

5 Interview Questions for Childcare Providers

Playground Safety Part 1

Playground Safety Part 2