4 Factors That Can Lead Medical Practitioners To Suspect Child Abuse

28 October 2015
 Categories: , Blog


Depending on the state where you live, various workers are required by law to report suspicions of child abuse if they have evidence to support those suspicions. Doctors and nurses are examples. Even in other states, these practitioners may feel compelled to report a parent to social services if they believe child abuse is occurring.

Although this is worrisome to parents who bring a child to an emergency room or urgent care clinic after an injury occurs, the system is intended to protect young persons from harm.

If a medical practitioner reported you to a child protective services agency and you were later cleared of the allegations, you may have a legal case against this individual for slander and defamation of character. However, you must prove that the practitioner was being unreasonable. Understand the types of factors that are considered reasonable evidence by a court of law. 

The Child Had Injuries Typical of Abuse

Health care practitioners recognize possible signs of intentional injury that someone is claiming to be accidental injury. Severe bruises in unusual places and broken bones that aren't common to accidents are noteworthy examples.  

The Child Has Experienced Repeated Injuries of a Similar Type

A medical practitioner may have treated your child for an injury like this before or may have learned about previous injuries through the sharing of electronic medical records from other facilities. The doctor or nurse may also have discovered evidence of previous injuries through diagnostic imaging. The occurrence of repeated similar injuries is a warning sign to medical personnel and may be considered reasonable evidence. 

The Parent Delayed in Seeking Medical Treatment

It's possible for a youngster to have a fractured bone and for the parents not to realize it. A mild fracture may only have symptoms of swelling and tenderness, which the parent may assume will dissipate in a few days. If the symptoms linger or worsen, the parent may bring the child in for medical care at that point. Unfortunately, the delay can be a red flag to health care practitioners. 

The Parent Was Intoxicated

If you took your child to an emergency room or urgent care clinic and it was obvious you had been drinking, a practitioner may suspect you were responsible for the injury. That's especially the case if any of the other factors were present. 

Contact a personal injury attorney for a free consultation and explain your situation. After hearing your explanation of what occurred and the evidence used against you, the lawyer can determine whether or not you have a good case for slander and defamation of character.