Child Abuse

Pennsylvania Attorneys Assisting Families in Seeking Justice

Many parents regularly entrust the care of their children to other adults, with the assumption that their children will be treated appropriately. Unfortunately, however, some adults who are trusted to care for children commit egregious acts of abuse that irreparably harm the children whom they are meant to protect. If your child was a victim of physical or sexual abuse, it is essential to speak to an attorney about your options for seeking compensation for the damages that your child sustained. At Lenahan & Dempsey, P.C., our Scranton child abuse lawyers will aggressively pursue any damages that your child may be owed from the parties responsible for your child’s harm.

Claims Arising Out of Child Physical and Sexual Abuse

Generally, children suffer abuse at the hands of someone in a position of trust. For example, a child may be abused by the leader of a youth group or religious group, a coach or teacher, or a caregiver in a daycare or after school facility. Signs of abuse include withdrawn or aggressive behavior, sudden outbursts, a change in mood, and bruising and lacerations. In most instances, a child who is abused will suffer not only physical harm but also psychological harm.

In most civil lawsuits, the injured person must show that the defendant caused his or her harm to recover damages. In cases involving child abuse, the child and potentially the child’s parents may be able to recover damages from the person who abused the child and, if the abuser was employed by an institution at the time of the abuse, from the institution as well. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the harm, a plaintiff and a child abuse attorney in the Scranton area may be able to pursue claims of vicarious liability or claims of negligent hiring or supervision. If the harm occurred at a public school, a plaintiff may be able to pursue a civil rights claim.

Damages Recoverable in Child Abuse Cases

Generally, the damages awarded in civil lawsuits arising out of child abuse seek to compensate the child for the harm caused by the abuse. In some instances, the child’s parents will be compensated for the cost of any medical treatment that the child needed to undergo as a minor. Additionally, the child may be compensated for any medical treatment, including therapy, that he or she is reasonably certain to need as an adult. Victims of abuse are typically awarded damages for the emotional pain and suffering and mental distress caused by their abuse as well. In some cases, the victim may be awarded punitive damages, which are meant to punish those responsible for the victim’s abuse. Our Scranton child abuse attorneys will pursue all the damages that may be available in your case.

Statutes of Limitations in Civil Cases Arising Out of Child Physical and Sexual Abuse

While the statute of limitations in most personal injury cases begins to run on the date that the harm occurred, in cases involving minors, the statute typically does not begin to run until the child reaches the age of 18. Additionally, in Pennsylvania, if a child is sexually abused, the statute of limitations does not expire until 12 years after the child reaches the age of 18. Thus, child victims of sexual abuse generally can pursue damages from the perpetrators of their harm until they reach the age of 30.

Consult a Trusted Scranton Attorney

Abuse suffered by a child can cause lifelong trauma. If your child suffered physical or sexual abuse, it is important to consult an attorney to discuss your potential claims. The trusted attorneys of Lenahan & Dempsey, P.C. are mindful of the devastating impact that physical or sexual abuse of a child can have on a family. We will help you gain closure and move forward with your lives. We represent people throughout Lackawanna, Luzerne, Monroe, Lycoming, Columbia, and Montour Counties. We can be reached at 570.346.2097 or through the form online to set up a confidential and free meeting with a child abuse lawyer at our Scranton firm to discuss how we can assist you.


Call 888.536.2426 for a free consultation.

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