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Possible Defenses Raised in a Child Abuse Lawsuit

When the most innocent among us have been harmed, parents will do everything they can to fight for justice and to pursue healing through a child abuse lawsuit. However, what parents are typically not prepared for is the fight the other side will bring to the table. Whether the other side is the Boy Scouts, school, church, or other organization—they have insurance companies ready to fight for them.

It is important for parents to keep in mind that insurance companies want to keep as much money on their side of the table as they can, even when something this horrific occurs. Remember: they are companies looking at the bottom line and not at how this tragic event has altered your child’s life.

Because they fear bad press or others coming forward with similar complaints, they will do everything they can to weaken your claim. Beware: the insurance company might try to diminish your child abuse claim by using strategies and raising defenses that could create doubt with your case. Some of the defenses they might try and raise include:

  • Deny the abuse took place – Organizations may stoop low and deny that the abuse ever took place. The other side may indicate that a child has a good imagination and may have made the entire incident up in his or her mind.
  • Implanted memory defense – When a child doesn’t see a qualified therapist immediately after the trauma, the other side might raise the “implanted memory defense” and say that you asked your child the same question over and over and your child learned what response he or she thought you wanted to hear.  This is why having your child see a qualified therapist immediately, and not having a delay in therapy is critical to your case.
  • If you can’t see it, how bad can it be? Because a judge and jury typically cannot see the physical effects of abuse on a child, the other side will downplay the effects of the abuse. However, we know that child abuse victims have lifelong devastating effects that a therapist and attorney can explain.

Even if the other side attacks your child’s character, denies that the abuse took place, or says you planted ideas in your child’s head, your lawyer will know how to challenge those defenses and support your claim. It is best to be prepared for anything that can come your way and to make sure you have an attorney on your side who is familiar with these defenses and knows how to combat them.

To learn more about child abuse lawsuits and what to expect, we invite you to call us at 888-409-3805 to request a free copy of our book When the Unthinkable Happens: Your Guide to Florida Child Abuse Claims.