Whenever a false accusation of child abuse arises, a parent wants the nightmare to be over quickly and for normal life to resume. At Kronzek & Cronkright, PLLC, we understand how stressful the investigation process can be. You might be wondering if criminal charges may be brought against you. We can provide you the peace of mind that only an aggressive defense on your behalf can give.
Expert Unexplained Injury Defense
An unexplained injury is one where there is no explanation or one that is not consistent with the injury. Whenever a pattern of unexplained injuries arises with children, authorities may start to look at parents or legal guardians to provide some answers about how this occurred. This a scary and complex process. CPS looks for an absence of a reasonable explanation as an indicator of danger. For more information on CPS investigations, please check our CPS investigations page.
How Did the Accident Happen?
Investigators will ask the obvious questions about the circumstances around an injury. However, there are other things investigators look for as well. For instance, if a parent states a child fell out of a kitchen chair and bruised his or her bottom and there were bruises on another area of the body, this is a red flag. Any discrepancies between an injury and its reported cause raises more questions. In addition, multiple injuries of different types in various stages of healing are signs of ongoing abuse. Another option that might come to the mind of an investigator is Shaken Baby Syndrome, which is another form of abuse.
Injuries to a child's upper arms, face, eyes, ears, neck, stomach, genitals, and buttocks tend to be suspected as non-accidental ones. Injuries to lower arms, forehead, legs, hands, chin, and elbows tend to point to accidents.
Bruises are blood that has leaked into damaged tissue. With infants, bruises that occur on faces or bottoms tend to be considered non-accidental until proven otherwise. The age and color of bruising can indicate if more than one injury is present. The color of bruises change as they age and heal. Red is the youngest, followed by blue, purple, green, yellow, and brown as the oldest. The pattern and shape of a bruise or injury can indicate if a weapon was used. Belts and paddles leave a distinctive type of bruising.
There is another specialized case of unexplained injuries. With Munchausen by Proxy, a parent might try to convince others that his or her child is sick with a mystery disease when one does not exist. To accomplish this, the adult might injure the child in various ways, including poisoning with laxatives, salt, trace metals, alcohol or drugs, and more, in order to create the desired effect.
A child might have a disease that could make an injury appear intentional when it is a natural occurrence. For example, hemophilia can cause dramatic and repetitive bruising. In addition, osteogenesis imperfecta, also called "brittle bone disease" can result in easily-caused, multiple bone fractures on a regular basis. Rickets, leukemia, and vitamin D and C deficiencies can also cause the appearance of easy bruising or injuries. It is critical to talk with a lawyer right away if you suspect a medical cause for abuse allegations.
The location and shape of a burn can also paint a picture of abuse. For instance, bruises shaped like an object are suspicious, like an iron or a cigarette burn. More severe burns also indicate possibly being inflicted by another person. Immersion burns where a child was dunked in scalding water are red flags as well. You can read our page on burns here.
Serious head injuries can result in seizures, comas, or death. Unexplained head injuries are a high priority for child investigators. Subdural hematomas caused by child abuse most commonly happen in children less than two years old.
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is a sudden and unexplained death of a baby. Even after a complete case investigation and autopsy, a cause of death may never be found in these cases.
What Can I Do?
At Kronzek & Cronkright, PLLC, our team of attorneys thoroughly understands the investigation process and how to defend these cases. While a child injury is tragic, it should not be compounded by an additional tragedy of a parent going to jail as well. We offer a free and confidential initial consultation.