Factors in Reaching Sexual Abuse Case Settlements

When a Phoenix personal injury lawyer seeks to help a minor plaintiff gain a settlement for child sexual abuse, the nature and cause must be established. Often arriving at an accurate figure for damages can be a challenge, given the scope of the harm that may have occurred.

Determining a demand amount can be difficult, especially if the child plaintiff is very young. The nature and scope of the injuries will factor heavily. It is very important that the child victim is evaluated by a psychologist who is an expert at childhood trauma. This person’s opinion will provide a basis for negotiating with defense lawyers.

The extent of the child’s injuries is often evaluated by his or her acting out behavior. However, a child may instead retreat into its own world and be sullen. Regardless, experts generally agree that sexually abused children need psychotherapy throughout much of their lives, particularly at these stages: adolescence, first sexual experiences, marriage, childbirth, and when the victim’s own children reach the age of the abuse.

Determining cause provides challenges, as well. Factors such as poor parenting, divorce of parents, and pre-existing developmental challenges can all weigh in on a child’s behavior. The impact of the abuse may, then, be blurred by behaviors caused by other stressors.

Defense lawyers will argue that these other issues caused the child’s problems, not the actions of the abuser. However, the mere fact that a child has experienced previous trauma does negate the fact the sexual abuse has left him or her with significant emotional injuries.

If a child in your care or one you know has been sexually abused, call law enforcement. Following that, contact a lawyer who can help gain a settlement to pay for the help the child will need to heal. Contact experienced Phoenix personal injury lawyer Ronald Thomas for a free initial consultation (602) 788-1395.