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Can a Civil Case Be Pursued Concurrent with a Criminal Case? (Child Abuse at a Day Care Center)

By David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

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Day care centers should be safe havens for children. They should be a place where children are taught, supervised, and nurtured in a supportive environment. Unfortunately for some children, day care centers are anything but a safe haven for children. Some children are even the victims of criminal actions of the very people charged with caring for the children. When the conduct of a day care center worker rises to the level of maliciousness or recklessness, criminal charges may be brought against the day care center worker for crimes as defined by the State laws and, in some cases, the applicable Federal laws.

When there is a criminal case pending, can a civil case or claim be brought concurrently (at the same time) as the criminal case? The simple answer is “Yes” in most States. The parents or guardians of the injured child may retain the services of a Child Injury Lawyer to investigate and pursue a civil case or claim on behalf of the injured child. It should be pointed out the elements of the crime and the elements of the civil case may differ. Furthermore, the standard of proof typically differs as well. In a criminal case, the elements of the crime must be proved by the presentation of evidence beyond a reasonable doubt. In a civil case, the standard of proof is less stringent. Many States adopt a preponderance of evidence standard which is a greater weight of the evidence standard.

When a child is injured, it is important to retain the services of a Child Injury Lawyer for consultation, advice, and when applicable legal representation. The book titled – The ABCs of Child Injury – Legal Rights of the Injured Child – What Every Parent Should Know – has chapters on Child Abuse and Neglect, Day Care Center Injuries, School Injuries, Sports Related Injuries, Playground Injuries, and other topics. You can get this book for free at The ABCs of Child Injury.