In its most recent data, Oregon received more than 80,000 reports of child abuse or neglect—more than 16,000 in Multnomah County alone—during fiscal year 2017. Authorities investigated almost 44,000 of those reports, and opened about 7,000 cases involving roughly 11,000 victims.
When you leave your children in the care of another, whether at school or daycare, with a family member or a babysitter, you expect them to tend to your children in loving and responsible ways. Finding out that someone you trust has abused or neglected your child brings with it feelings of rage and vengeance for many parents.
If your child was abused or neglected, or you were abused as a child, Oregon law may entitle you to compensation. Child abuse and neglect may physically and emotionally scar a person for life, but holding those who caused those scars accountable may help you take a step toward healing. It can also protect others from the abuse or neglect that you or your child endured. Email the skilled attorneys at Rizk Law in Portland today or call us at (503) 245-5677 to schedule a free consultation and see if we may help.
Rizk Law’s Results in Child Abuse and Neglect Cases
The Richard Rizk Law Office has extensive experience settling and litigating personal injury cases, including those that include child abuse and neglect. The law firm’s founder, Richard Rizk, spent the 1990s working as counsel for a large insurance company. Clients of the Richard Rizk Law Office benefit by having an attorney who knows both sides of a legal argument, giving him the opportunity to predict the potential strategies that the defense may use.
This has helped the Richard Rizk Law Office recover millions of dollars in damages for our clients. This does not guarantee success in any particular case, but you can rest assured that the attorneys at Rizk Law work hard to make sure their clients achieve the best possible outcome.
What Is Child Abuse and Neglect?
Oregon Revised Statute (ORS) 419B.005 provides a lengthy definition of the actions that Oregon law considers child abuse. They include:
- Any physical injury that is not accidental
- Any mental injury where the damage is observable through the child’s ability to function
- Rape, sodomy, unlawful sexual penetration, and incest
- Sexual abuse/molestation
- Sexual exploitation, including child pornography, child prostitution, and anything else that contributes to the sexual delinquency of a minor.
- Neglect, including failure to feed, clothe, shelter, or tend to the medical needs of a child
- Threatening harm to a child
- Child trafficking
- Manufacturing methamphetamines in the presence of a minor
- Exposing a minor to controlled substances
The Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS) reports that parents are most often the perpetrators of child abuse, but several other parties might abuse your child:
- Live-in companions and stepparents
- Other relatives such as aunts, uncles, cousins, siblings
- Family friends
- Childcare providers, including babysitters and daycare centers
- Foster parents
What Damages Can Victims Recover in Child Abuse Cases?
No amount of money will undo the damage that someone did to you or your child through abuse or neglect, but recovering some damages may help provide a measure of justice and accountability, and ease the financial burden that the wrongful act has inflicted on your family.
Common damages in child abuse and neglect cases include:
- Medical expenses related to the physical abuse or neglect, including but not limited to ambulance services, hospitalizations, radiology, and prescription medication
- Lost wages for missing work due to care for an injured child
- Compensation for pain and suffering
- Compensation for emotional and psychological injuries, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, addiction to controlled substances, and other conditions common with victims of child abuse
How Victims Fight Neglect and Abuse Claims
Defendants in personal injury lawsuits commonly try to avoid liability. When the victims is a child, defendants fear—rightly so—that a potential damage award could prove large. Oftentimes, the responsible party will try to shift the blame by suggesting that a parent or third party bears responsibility for the abuse, or even that the abuse and neglect never happened. They may also attribute different causes to your child’s injury.
For example, in the case of malnutrition, a caregiver may claim that your child refused to eat, or in the presence of evident physical injuries, the caregiver may claim that your child fell by accident. When the defense cannot shift blame, it may try to downplay your child’s injuries to reduce the amount of damages. Insurance companies will also offer lowball settlements to keep the case from going to trial.
A skilled child abuse and neglect attorney will anticipate the defense’s strategy, and fight to make sure that you and your child recover the compensation that you deserve.
Portland, Oregon, Child Abuse and Neglect Lawyers
Rizk Law offers a free consultation for you to discuss the details of a potential child abuse and neglect case. In appropriate cases, we may also agree to represent a client on a contingent fee basis, in which we get paid only out of a settlement or judgment we recover on your and your child’s behalf.
If you are an adult who experienced child abuse or your child was a victim of abuse or neglect, Oregon law may entitle you to significant compensation. Seek legal advice right away—under Oregon law, you must file a claim by age 40 or within five years after discovery of the injury or abuse.
During a difficult time for you and your family, an experienced child abuse attorney can become one of your or your child’s most critical advocates. If you or your family are confronting an incident of child abuse or neglect, contact the compassionate, knowledgeable child abuse and neglect attorneys at the Richard Rizk Law Office online or by phone at (503) 245-5677 today to schedule a free consultation and discuss how we might help.