We expect that when we trust someone to watch over our children that they are going to do just that. When a caregiver, whether it is a parent, teacher, or guardian, is negligent in their supervision of our children, it can cause serious injury, and sometimes, death.What is Child Negligence?
Child negligence is defined under California law as negligent treatment of a child which threatens the child's health or welfare. It is a broad law covering various types of negligent activities like:
- General Neglect, which is the failure of a parent, guardian, or caretaker to provide adequate food, clothing, shelter, or supervision where no physical injury has occurred.
- Severe Neglect, a scenario in which there is a substantial endangerment to the child's health. An example would be severe malnutrition.
This is a question that you will want to ask one of our experienced child negligence attorneys. Generally, the type of behavior that rises to the level of child negligence includes:
- A caretaker observing a minor's dangerous behavior that was the cause of the child's injury;
- A caretaker having an ability and duty to control the conduct of a child and failing to do so; and
- A caretaker failing to exercise reasonable care to prevent the child's dangerous behavior.
Our experienced and dedicated team of attorneys knows how to protect your rights when your child has been injured as the result of a caretaker's, parent's, or guardian's negligence.Is Child Neglect Civil or Criminal Law?
There are both criminal and civil provisions for child negligence. If you have a child who has been injured by the negligence of a caretaker, depending on the circumstances of the case, actions can be brought against the defendant for the same activity in both civil and criminal court. The criminal action is going to be focused on the act itself, while the civil case will assign liability and focus more on the accompanying injury that the child suffered.What Are the Signs of Child Neglect?
Since there are many forms of child neglect, it is important that you know how to identify the various signs of each type of child negligence.
Signs of emotional neglect in a child include:
- withdrawn, fearful behavior;
- exhibiting extremes in behavior without notice; and
- advanced adult-like behavior in a small child.
Signs of physical neglect of a child include:
- frequent and unexplained bruises, cuts, or welts;
- shying away from touch, or a propensity to flinch at sudden movements; and
- wearing clothing not appropriate for the weather; for example, wearing long-sleeve shirts on hot days.
Signs of general neglect of a child include:
- consistent bad hygiene;
- untreated illnesses or diseases; and
- ill-fitting clothes on a child (either too large or too small).
If you notice any of these signs in a loved one, it is important that you speak up. At Corsiglia McMahon & Allard, L.L.P., our lawyers know how to pursue a negligent party when they have caused a child to be injured. We take our time, listen to your story, and map out the best strategy moving forward. Do not try to address this situation on your own. The law in California is complicated, and defendants never want to accept responsibility. Contact us at (408) 289-1417 and schedule your consultation today.