What to Do If Your Child Discloses Sexual Abuse

While it can be a terrifying experience, knowing what to do if your child discloses sexual abuse can help protect your child and hold her abuser responsible. The following is a list of the first things you must do:

  • Remain calm

  • Call the police and report the abuse

  • Ensure your child’s protection from the abuser

  • Order a medical exam

  • Call a lawyer you trust

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) recommends that you remain calm if your child comes to you and discloses abuse. Your response can affect how your child deals with this trauma.

Talk to your son or daughter about the incident(s) and believe what s/he tells you. Most importantly, tell your child that you will protect him/her and ensure his/her safety. Get your child away from the abuser (e.g., change daycares or schools, get a restraining order, etc.) and call the police or the ChildHelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 800-422-4453.

Contact a doctor immediately. Order a medical exam to ensure your child did not suffer any injuries or contract any diseases. Reassure your child that you love him/her and that you will keep him/her safe.

Finally, it is imperative that you contact a sexual abuse lawyer immediately. The police and medical professionals will likely require you to make a statement. Your lawyer can protect your and your child’s legal rights and ensure that you do not say or do anything to compromise your legal rights to hold the abuser responsible for the harm s/he inflicted on your son or daughter.

What Are Your Legal Obligations and Rights if Your Child Discloses Sexual Abuse?

Sexual abuse is a crime under Florida law. The statutes also dictate that anyone who learns of abuse must alert the proper authorities. Failing to do so could result in the state removing your child from the home.

Once you alert the authorities about the abuse your child has disclosed, it is critical that you contact a child sexual abuse lawyer to protect your family’s legal rights.

Depending on the circumstances under which the abuse occurred, you may need to provide a statement or sign documents. You should never provide a statement or sign anything without consulting your attorney.

Why Should I File a Child Sexual Abuse Claim?

Obviously, no amount of money will ever change what happened to your son or daughter. However, sexual abuse can leave children with significant emotional and physical damage that requires professional attention — potentially for many years to come.

By pursuing a legal settlement from the abuser, you can take care of any necessary treatment. It will also hold the guilty party responsible, and help to ensure that no other child suffers a similar fate.

The value of your child’s sexual abuse claim depends on the specific factors of the case. Your lawyer can assemble the necessary documentation to document your case. This may involve obtaining records from or consulting with your child’s doctors, counselors, child psychologists, and other medical experts.

Your claim will include all medical expenses you have incurred to date, as well as any associated expenses. Your lawyer will also consult with sex abuse experts to determine the type and extent of care your son or daughter will need in the future.

If your child sustained any long-term or permanent damage, your lawyer will include the value of those injuries in your claim, as well as pain and suffering.

How Does Sexual Abuse Affect Children?

Although each case and each child is unique, some conditions commonly correlate with abuse. These include depression and anxiety, diminished self-esteem, feelings of guilt, fearfulness, emotional withdrawal, and failing performance in school.

Later in life, abused children may struggle to form emotional bonds with others. Dysfunctional emotional relationships are common, as are substance abuse disorders, suicide, and mental illness. In many cases, abused children become abusers themselves.

These are just a few of the reasons why it is imperative that you obtain the professional treatment your child needs.

How Can a Child Sexual Abuse Lawyer Help Your Family?

A child sexual abuse lawyer can help you get your child the treatment s/he needs, while protecting his/her legal rights and building a strong case against the abuser. If the abuse happened at any of the following places, we may be able to hold the entity liable for failing to keep your child safe:

This highly sensitive issue can cause even more stress or anxiety for your child, if s/he must provide a statement or testimony. A compassionate attorney can help you and your child through this challenging time while protecting him/her against any further emotional damage.

Your lawyer can explain your options, answer your questions, and help you make the right decision for your child’s future well-being. In Florida, the attorneys of Edwards Pottinger LLC provide caring and responsive representation for children victimized by sexual abuse.

Contact us today at 954-524-2820 to schedule a complimentary consultation and case review, or to speak to a Florida child sexual abuse lawyer.

Attorney for Victims of Home Invasion Robbery in Fort Lauderdale

A home invasion is a terrifying ordeal. If someone broke into your house and robbed you, you are entitled to damages for any injuries you might have suffered. You do not have to handle this process alone. Get help from an attorney for victims of home invasion robbery in Fort Lauderdale.

Call Edwards Pottinger LLC today: 954-524-2820.

How Can I Recover Compensation After a Home Invasion Robbery?

The Florida State’s Attorney’s office can bring criminal charges against those accused of home invasion robbery, as it is a crime in Florida. In criminal court, the prosecutor will need to prove the perpetrator’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt to convict them. However, when we bring our civil claim against the perpetrator, our burden of proof will be significantly less. We will show that the perpetrator was more likely than not to have committed the robbery.

To establish that a home invasion robbery occurred in Florida, we must establish the following elements under Florida Statute § 812.135:

The Offender Entered or Remained in Your Home Without Your Consent

First, the offender must illegally enter an occupied place of residence. The residence may be an apartment, house, hotel room, or any other property where someone temporarily or permanently resides.

To prove that someone illegally entered your home, we may present the following evidence:

  • Surveillance video showing the defendant entering your house without your consent
  • Photos of broken windows, cut door or window screens, and other points of break-in
  • Police report completed by an officer at the scene

The Offender Entered the House with the Intent of Committing a Robbery.

Proving intent can be difficult in both criminal and civil court. It is rare that the perpetrator will admit intent, but it happens occasionally. If the perpetrator does not admit intent, there are other ways for us to establish intent. Generally, we may be able to infer intent by looking at the behaviors of the perpetrator.

For example, we may argue that the perpetrator’s intent is inferable because he had an empty backpack and tools for picking locks. We may also be able to infer intent if the perpetrator successfully completed the robbery.

The Offender Committed a Robbery.

We must establish that the defendant took your property from you by force, violence, or threat of force or violence. To do so, we will prove:

  • You have lost property by presenting a list of missing property and purchase receipts, if possible.
  • The perpetrator threatened you by showing surveillance video and asking you to testify as to what happened.
  • The perpetrator intended to deprive you of property.

Who Can I Sue?

Robbery victims automatically assume that the only party they can sue is the person who committed the robbery. However, there are other parties that may be liable for the incident. For example, a property owner or hotel management company may be liable for failing to provide sufficient security in the apartment complex or hotel where the robbery occurred.

Our attorneys will make sure to name all potentially liable parties as defendants in your claim for damages.

Is Home Invasion Robbery the Only Claim I Can File?

A home invasion robbery case is usually litigated as an assault and battery case, as the threat or use of force qualifies as an assault or battery. You can file an assault and battery claim against the robber; however, that is not the only option.

You can also file a negligent security claim against a property owner, apartment complex, security company, or hotel if the home invasion stemmed from a lack of adequate security. In this case, we will look into the property’s maintenance records and history of incidents to determine whether this type of crime was preventable.

Recover Damages for Your Home Invasion Robbery

Families can lose a lot more than just property in a robbery. You and your family may feel afraid to fall asleep at night, worrying that it may happen again. In addition to the emotional trauma, you may also worry about replacing the property the robber stole from you. Some families lose one of a kind items or inherited pieces that are irreplaceable.


No amount of money will be enough to make you forget what happened. However, the damages you recover can be used towards replacement goods, medical care, and psychological counseling.

At Edwards Pottinger LLC, we want to make your road to recovery as easy as possible. We can collect as much evidence as possible and prepare you, your witnesses, and qualified experts to testify. We will present your case in the most effective way possible and do our best to help you recover the compensation you deserve.

Home invasion robberies are serious crimes with serious consequences. If you are a home invasion robbery victim, call 954-524-2820 to discuss your legal options with a qualified civil litigation attorney today.

Attorney for Victims of Sexual Violence

Sexual violence of any kind can be extremely traumatic and leave victims feeling like they have nowhere to turn. If you are a victim of rape, sexual assault, or other unwanted sexual behavior, you may file suit against your attacker and recover damages in civil court. An attorney for victims of sexual violence at Edwards Pottinger LLC will be your advocate and fight for justice.

Proving sexual violence is never easy, but with the right evidence, you may be able to hold your attacker liable for his actions. Discuss your case with us today: 954-524-2820.

What Is “Sexual Violence?”

Any unwanted sexual act or violence used to force someone into a sexual act can be sexual violence. Sexual violence may occur between spouses, dating partners, strangers, acquaintances, or family members. Some of the most common forms of sexual violence include:

  • Sexual assault or battery (e.g., forcing victim to perform sexual acts with others, unwanted sexual touching, rape)

  • Sexual abuse of people with disabilities, children, and others who cannot legally consent

  • Drug-assisted sexual assault

  • Unwanted sexual experiences not involving contact (e.g., forcing victim to view pornography)

While these forms of sexual violence are all very different, they all have one thing in common: lack of consent. Sexual violence occurs when a victim does not consent (or cannot legally consent) to a sexual activity.

Filing a Civil Suit Against Your Perpetrator

Forcing someone to engage in sexual activity against her will is illegal and will likely result in criminal charges. Once the state has tried and convicted the perpetrator, it often leaves victims to recover on their own.

Edwards Pottinger LLC will not. We will stand by you and help you get justice for the violence you suffered at the hands of your abuser. We can name the assailant and any third parties (e.g., landlords, schools, businesses) that played a role in the incident. For example, we might hold a business liable for providing negligent security.

Filing a civil suit is different than a criminal suit in that we will have to prove by a “preponderance of the evidence” that the defendant committed the act of violence against you. A preponderance of the evidence basically means that we must prove that it is more likely than not that the defendant attacked and injured you. The burden of the “beyond a reasonable doubt standard” used in criminal law is much tougher to meet.

In most civil cases stemming from sexual violence, the victims will file suit based on an intentional tort such as assault, battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, or false imprisonment. Each tort requires you prove certain elements. For example, a large number of lawsuits resulting from sexual violence list battery as a cause of action. Fla. Stat. 794.011 defines sexual battery as “oral, anal, or vaginal penetration by, or union with, the sexual organ of another.” Based on this definition, proving sexual battery requires we show:

  • The defendant intended to commit the act;

  • The defendant touched you sexually against your will; and

  • The defendant caused you actual harm or injury (not necessarily physical)

Aggravated sexual battery would require aggravating circumstances such as threatening the victim with a weapon.

Once our attorneys have determined which causes of action to base your claim on, we will start putting your case together.

What Evidence Do I Need to Prove Sexual Violence?

Proving sexual violence is a challenge. People accused of sexual violence are unlikely to admit to their wrongdoings. So, it is our job to prove it. If you went to the doctor immediately after the incident, that medical report will be essential to proving your case. The doctor should have done a thorough exam and written down details about your injuries.

Photo evidence of these injuries can also be extremely helpful. Witness testimony and further medical records can also establish that the violence did in fact occur and that you suffered harm because of it.

Expert testimony from physicians and mental health professionals can establish harm occurred and discuss the plaintiff’s injuries, treatment validity and future prognosis. An independent psychiatrist can discuss the effects of a sexual trauma in a person’s everyday life and the need for long-term care.

Our attorneys have years of experience collecting evidence, talking to witnesses, questioning experts, and presenting sexual violence cases in court. We will use our legal knowledge and experience to propel your case forward and give you the best chance at recovering damages. The damages you recover will be based on medical expenses incurred, lost wages, emotional trauma experienced, and various other factors.

Call Today for Assistance with Your Sexual Violence Claim

Victims of sexual violence have a long road of recovery ahead of them. Counseling sessions, support from friends and family, and medical treatment can all be beneficial during the recovery process. However, some of these things can be expensive. The last thing a survivor of sexual violence should be worrying about is how to pay medical bills.

The attorneys at Edwards Pottinger LLC are here to help you get the support you need during this difficult time. We have handled numerous sexual assault, harassment, and abuse cases and have recovered thousands of dollars in compensation for our clients. For more information on how we can help support you, call 954-524-2820.

I Was Molested By My Coach, What Can I Do?

If you were molested by your coach, you may be able to sue your coach and recover damages.

Adults can come forward with claims of child sexual abuse years after the fact. In Florida, you may bring a claim in civil court against your coach within:

  • Four years from when you discovered the injury or causation of the injury;
  • Seven years of your 18th birthday
  • Four years from when you left the dependency of your attacker

What Can I Do to Help My Case?

What you can do depends on whether the abuse recently happened or if you are now an adult facing what happened to you as a minor.

As an adult, giving us a list of anyone who might have witnessed the abuse will play a big part in your case. Contacting witnesses, former coaches and teachers, former teammates, and anyone else who may be able to verify that the abuse occurred will be a critical part of our case.

We will also review your past medical records and note any evidence of physical injury. Experts can also testify regarding the affects of the abuse on your overall health as an adult. Lastly, we may ask you to take the stand and talk about your horrific experience. This may be difficult for you to do, but it will give the judge and jury a real picture of what happened.

We recommend that, if you have not done so already, you seek counseling to help deal with what happened to you as a child. While therapy can be expensive, we will be sure to include the costs in your settlement demand.

What Should I Do If a Coach Abused My Child?

If your child’s coach molested him, he is likely suffering from physical and emotional injuries that require immediate attention. Consider taking the following steps to give them the best chance at recovery:

Seek Medical Attention

Time is of the essence when it comes to physical health. It is important that you schedule a doctor’s visit as soon as possible after the incident to make sure your child receives the medical care he needs.

 

Many victims want to shower or change clothes before going in for a check-up. However, it is beneficial for your doctor to see him immediately after the abuse, if possible. If your child submits to a rape kit, it will be much easier to collect DNA samples (i.e., bodily fluids, hair, and skin cells from the assailant) if he has not washed away all the evidence.

Our attorneys will use the doctor’s report, as well as the rape kit/DNA results, to establish that your child was the victim of sexual abuse.

Contact the Police

If you believe your child is in grave danger, call 9-1-1. If your child is safe with you and away from the abuser, file a report at your nearby police station. The police will conduct an investigation and document their findings. We can use the police report, as well as testimony, as evidence of the circumstances surrounding the incident.

Seek Attorney Advice

Once you have police and medical records documenting the coach’s abuse, you will need one of our sexual abuse attorneys to review your case. Keep in mind that even if the coach faces criminal charges, you can still sue for damages in civil court. The outcome of your civil case has nothing to do with whether the coach is convicted in criminal court

During our initial consult, we will discuss the details of what happened. We understand that it may be incredibly painful for you or your child to relive the traumatic experience, but we will do our best to make you or your child as comfortable as possible. We may require the answers to the following questions:

 

  • Did anyone witness the incident?
  • Are there videos or photos of the incident?
  • Did the coach abuse others on the team?
  • How many times did the abuse take place?
  • What was the nature of the abuse?
  • What were your injuries?

Once we have a general idea of what took place, we will conduct our own investigation. This will require us to contact potential witnesses, review police and medical records, find out as much as possible about the abusive coach and contact potential medical experts to testify on your behalf.

Where Can I Get Help with My Abuse Claim?

The team at Edwards Pottinger LLC wants to be your path to justice®. We will ensure the protection of your rights or those of your child throughout this entire process. We know how difficult this time can be for an abused child or parent.

We will do everything in our power to hold the coach and any other parties liable (e.g., a school if the coach was an employee, a property manager if negligent security made the abuse possible). If we successfully prove that your coach molested you or your child, you will likely recover damages for medical expenses, emotional trauma, and lost wages.

Call us today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case: 954-524-2820.

Can A Husband Rape His Wife?

Yes. While many people mistakenly believe rape cannot occur between married parties, a husband can rape his wife. Unwanted sexual contact of any kind is sexual assault, even if the attacker is your husband.

Edwards Pottinger LLC understands the unique challenges that come with filing a sexual assault claim against your spouse. We will do our best to make sure that the court takes your case just as seriously as other rape cases.

How Can a Husband Rape His Wife?

Rape is sexual intercourse or sexual penetration without consent. The relationship between the two parties is irrelevant. A marital relationship does not mean that the wife must have sex whenever her husband wants.

What Are the Different Forms of Marital Rape?

When most people think of rape, they think of the attacker using physical force. However, there are other forms of rape that may not seem as violent, but are equally violating. Some of the most common forms of rape include:

  • Forced Sex: When a husband forces his wife to engage in sexual activity with physical violence (e.g., pushing, hitting, holding her down).

  • Sex with the Threat of Force: When the husband threatens to hurt the wife or the people she cares about, using intimidation.

  • Sex Without Consent: When the husband takes advantage of the wife while she is asleep, unconscious, impaired by drugs or alcohol, or otherwise unable to consent to sexual activity.

Filing Suit Against Your Husband for Rape

In 1993, marital rape became an enforceable crime in all 50 states. Your husband may face rape and other sexual assault charges in criminal court. However, this does nothing to compensate you for the injustice and pain you suffered. Rape victims can file civil suit against their rapists for damages. The civil suit filed will be separate from the criminal trial.

Generally, a civil lawsuit for rape will involve an intentional tort claim. The main intentional tort claims we allege in your marital rape case will likely be one or more of the following:

  • Assault: Your husband makes a legitimate threat (can be physical or verbal) to commit a violent act against you.

  • Battery: Your husband intentionally touches you without consent and causes you harm.

  • Intentional infliction of emotional distress: Your husband commits an extreme or outrageous act that causes severe emotional distress.

  • False imprisonment: Your husband (forcibly, by threat, or secretly) restrains or imprisons you against your will.

Proving Marital Rape

Marital rape can be difficult to prove in civil court. Many cases end up being a “he said, she said” between the husband and the wife. However, our attorneys will investigate your claim thoroughly and gather as much evidence as possible to show what happened to you.

We will talk to your family and friends to find out more about your relationship and any past instances of abuse. We will speak to experts regarding rape trauma syndrome and get them to testify about the devastating physical and psychological effects of marital rape.

We may also prepare your treating doctors and counselors to provide a post-rape health assessment detailing your ability to function in society and your relationships. Our attorneys may ask you to testify as to what happened and how you have been coping afterwards.

Your attorney will also be well prepared for your husband’s defense, which may rest on the issue of consent. Some people mistakenly believe that sexual contact is a requirement of marriage and that a husband is entitled to sex whenever he wants it.

Married couples must adhere to the same consent laws as everyone else. Without explicit approval, no one can, by law, touch you in a sexual manner. However, your husband may argue that you consented to the sexual activity and therefore were not raped. Our team will be ready to refute his claims with evidence and testimony.

What Are the Effects of Marital Rape?

While all forms of rape can be physically and psychologically damaging, marital rape has especially devastating effects. On a physical level, marital rape victims have likely been raped numerous times; these rapes take a toll on their bodies. These women may be subject to sexually transmitted diseases, gynecological consequences, and other physical ailments.

Severe emotional damage is also prevalent among marital rape victims. It is likely that if the victim married her attacker, she trusted and loved him, at least at some point in time. Having someone you cared for so deeply violate you in that way is extremely painful. As a result, many marital rape victims also have long-term psychological issues such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and anxiety.

We can help you recover compensation for these and other issues.

If You Have Been Raped by Your Husband, We Can Help

Under Florida law, all victims of sexual assault may recover economic and noneconomic damages. These damages will pay for your psychological treatment, medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and mental anguish.

Being raped by your husband can upend your entire life. The attorneys at Edwards Pottinger LLC are here to support you through this difficult time. You deserve justice and we can help you get it. Our staff has handled cases for countless Florida rape victims and will fight for your compensation. Contact us to find out more: 954-524-2820.

Attorney for Victims of Carjacking in Fort Lauderdale

If you are the victim of a carjacking, you are likely feeling as though you have no options. However, with our help, you may be able to hold your carjacker or another involved party civilly liable. To discuss your case with an attorney for victims of carjacking in Fort Lauderdale, call Edwards Pottinger LLC: 954-524-2820.

Can I Sue for Damages If I Was Carjacked?

Yes. If officers caught the person or persons responsible, you can hold them liable for your damages. However, there are certain things we must do to recover compensation for any damages you suffered.

How Can We Establish a Carjacking in Court?

According to Florida Statute § 812.133, proving a carjacking requires we establish:

  • Theft: First, we must show that the alleged carjacker committed a theft by taking a vehicle from your custody without your consent.
  • Intent: Next, we must show that the perpetrator intended to deprive you of the vehicle on a temporary or permanent basis.
  • Threat or Violence: Lastly, we must establish that the perpetrator threatened force, used actual violence, or put you in fear of actual violence during the theft.

Proving these elements will require as much quality evidence as possible. This evidence might include:

  • Photos and surveillance video of the incident
  • Expert testimony (e.g., video analysis, determining whether the person in surveillance video is the defendant)
  • Medical records and medical expert testimony to evaluate the nature and extent of the victim’s injuries, as well as causation
  • Police reports, officer testimony, and witness testimony to provide details about what happened
  • Physical evidence including weapons used during the carjacking
  • DNA testing results to prove the defendant was in the vehicle

Why Do I Need to Sue If the State Files Charges Against My Carjacker?

A state prosecutor will bring criminal charges against a carjacker in criminal court. The prosecutor will attempt to prove the defendant’s guilt and stop the defendant from committing similar crimes in the future. Carjacking victims may be asked to testify against their attacker to help the prosecution’s case, and may recover a small amount in restitution.

However, if injuries occurred or if the victim needed to attend therapy for anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder, the only way to recover the compensation necessary is to bring a claim in civil court. You may bring a civil claim and recover civil damages, even if the state does not find your carjacker guilty in criminal court.

In both criminal and civil cases, there are certain elements of carjacking that we will need to prove for the court to find the defendant responsible for your injuries and damages.

However, the burden of proof in criminal court is much higher than in civil court. In criminal court, prosecutors must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the defendant committed the carjacking. To win in civil court, our attorneys will present convincing and accurate evidence that shows that the defendant was “more likely than not” the carjacker who stole your vehicle with force or violence.

Is Carjacking the Same as Theft?

No. While both carjacking and theft require the perpetrator to unlawfully take another person’s car, carjacking has the added element of force and/or violence. To carjack you, the perpetrator must use some form of threat or violence to steal the car from you. Auto theft, on the other hand, only requires the perpetrator to steal the vehicle.

Can I Sue for Anything Other Than Carjacking Itself?

In many carjacking cases, the perpetrator may do more than just threaten violence and take the vehicle away. Many attackers physically injure their victims or steal additional property from them. In such cases, we may be able to bring additional claims against the defendant including:

  • Assault
  • Battery
  • Larceny/theft

Talk to our attorneys to determine whether it is in your best interest to file additional claims against the defendant.

Can I Sue Other Parties?

Carjackers may not be the only ones liable for your damages and injuries. Property owners, business owners, and security companies may be liable for your attack if they failed to provide adequate security or lighting in the parking lot or garage where the carjacking took place.

Consider the following: you were leaving the mall at night. There were no working street lights around your car. There were also no security guards patrolling the area. This allowed the perpetrator to hide, attack you, and steal your car. We may be able to file a claim against the property owner for inadequate lighting and negligent security.

What Can Carjacking Victims Recover Civilly?

Carjacking victims may experience a great deal of pain and suffering physically, mentally, and financially. They may recover:

  • Medical expenses if they suffered injuries because of the carjacking
  • Damages for emotional distress and mental anguish to deal with the trauma they experienced
  • Lost wages if they missed work because of their mental or physical injuries (or their lack of transportation)
  • Property expenses to replace their vehicle if it was not recoverable or to fix the vehicle if it sustained damage

Carjacking victims in Fort Lauderdale not only lose one of their most valuable pieces of property, but also their ability to feel safe and secure as they go about their everyday lives. The attorneys at Edwards Pottinger LLC understand how a carjacking can impact the lives of victims and their families for years to come. We hold carjackers liable for what they do to innocent people.

Call 954-524-2820 to file your claim for compensation today.

Can I Sue the Person Who Stabbed Me?

A stabbing can cause severe internal and external injuries and require long-term rehabilitation and medical care. Fortunately, you can sue the person who stabbed you and recover compensation for your physical and emotional injuries.

For help, call the team at Edwards Pottinger LLC: 954-524-2820.

Why Do I Need to Sue My Attacker?

Many people mistakenly believe that criminal courts handle all aspects of a crime — including getting the victim compensation for injuries that resulted.

The truth is that criminal courts are mainly focused on putting violent offenders in jail and keeping them away from potential future victims. Criminal prosecutors are generally unconcerned with helping the victim. Stabbing victims may take the stand during a criminal trial to help convict their attacker of criminal charges, but this does not compensate you for the things your attacker took from you.

To recover tangible, financial damages to help you with your medical bills, you will have to file suit in civil court. The defendant’s guilt or innocence in criminal court has nothing to do with your civil suit.

Suing for Assault and Battery Damages in Civil Court

If you have been stabbed, you are likely the victim of two intentional torts: battery and assault. Either or both of these can be the basis of your intentional tort suit.

Assault

To prove that you were assaulted (i.e., the other party threatened you with immediate harm), we will have to present evidence to prove the following elements:

  • The defendant committed an act that would cause a reasonable person to fear for their lives. Words alone are likely not enough, but words combined with other actions or an apparent ability to harm you would likely be sufficient.

  • The defendant had an intent to cause this apprehension.

  • You did not consent to the defendant’s actions.

Unlike with battery, we will not have to prove the defendant’s intent for actual contact. We will only need to show that you experienced a fear of imminent contact and that the perpetrator purposely caused that fear.

Battery

To prove battery (i.e., requires actual physical contact), we will have to establish that:

  • The defendant actually touched you in a harmful or offensive way.

  • You did not consent to the touching.

  • The defendant intended to commit the act of touching.

  • The defendant caused you harm or injury.

Proving battery in criminal court is different in that it requires the prosecutor to show that the attacker intended to create harmful contact. In civil court, all that is necessary is the intent to touch the victim without their consent.

Aggravated Assault and Battery

Because the attacker used a knife or other sharp object in the attack, the charge will likely be aggravated assault or battery. If the stabbing occurred with the intent to commit a serious crime (e.g. rape, murder) or cause serious bodily harm, this may also warrant aggravated charges. This might lead to higher damages in your case.

What If My Stabbing Was Accidental?

You may still sue the person who stabbed you after an accidental stabbing. In such cases, you will likely file your suit based on negligence rather than an intentional tort.

Negligence requires we prove the person who stabbed you breached a duty owed to you and that this breach caused your injuries. For example, if someone stabbed you while running around with a knife, he likely acted negligently. He owed you a duty to act responsibly with the knife; his behavior was a breach of that duty as it was not in line with how a reasonable adult would behave in those circumstances. As a result, he would owe you damages for your injuries.

How Can I Prove My Claim?

Our attorneys will work closely alongside you to gather as much evidence as possible to support your claim. We will first look to the police report for the facts regarding the case and talk to witnesses at the scene of the incident. We may also seek experts to testify with regards to the causation and impact of your injuries. We will also collect your medical records to gather information about your injuries, prescriptions, treatments, and long-term outlook.

Once we have gathered all our information, we will work to come up with a strategy to prove your assailant’s guilt. In civil court, we will have to prove that the assailant was “more likely than not” responsible for the stabbing. This is referred to as the “preponderance of the evidence” standard.

What Will My Damages Cover?

If we successfully prove that your assailant stabbed you and caused your injury, you will likely recover damages. These damages support you as you recover from your injuries and help compensate you for your pain and suffering. These damages may include:

  • Payment for your medical bills, hospital stays, rehabilitation, and other medical costs

  • Lost wages if you were unable to work during recovery

  • Pain and suffering

  • Mental anguish

  • Development of any mental disorders (e.g., anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder)

  • Household services

  • Loss of future earning capacity

The physical pain and psychological trauma of a stabbing can stay with you for a long time after the incident, whether it was intentional or accidental. The attorneys at Edwards Pottinger LLC know how hard it is to recover from such a traumatic life event. We are here to handle your civil claim so you can focus on getting back on your feet.

For more information, call us at 954-524-2820.

Attorney for Victims of Child Molestation

If you or your child is a victim of child molestation, you can hold the abuser liable. We understand that these cases are emotional and complicated. For this reason, we will take this burden off your shoulders and handle your case from start to finish.

The attorneys at Edwards Pottinger LLC have spent years fighting for the rights of child molestation victims and will do whatever possible to hold your or your child’s abuser accountable.

To schedule a free consultation with an attorney for victims of child molestation, call 954-524-2820.

Building a Case Against Your Child’s Attacker

While all sexual abuse claims are challenging, ones involving children are particularly difficult due to the young age of the victim. Many victims are too young to process what happened and are unable to describe the events that took place.

Some abusers groom victims for many months prior to the abuse to create an emotional attachment. These victims may be reluctant to “get them in trouble” for what happened. Our lawyers will tread carefully when dealing with such sensitive matters and protect your child throughout the process.

If you choose to file a lawsuit against the person that molested your child or other parties that may have played a role in what happened (e.g., property owners for negligent security, day cares for negligent hiring), be aware of the statute of limitations for sexual assault cases in your state. While some states do not have a statute of limitations for molestation cases, some states require you to file your suit within a few years after the incident or soon after the child turns 18 or 21.

The first step to proving child molestation is collecting as much evidence as possible. According to 28 C.F.R. 549.93, child molestation is defined as any unlawful sexual conduct or sexual exploitation of someone under 18. This conduct may include, but is not limited to the following acts:

  • Exposing one’s genitalia to a child
  • Forcing a child to engage in sexual activity with the molester or other children
  • Fondling
  • Rape (penetration of any kind)
  • Taking pornographic photos of a child

Children may be molested by strangers, but they are more likely to face abuse from someone they know, like a family friend or family member. Sexual abuse of a child can occur anywhere including:

  • Boy Scouts (by troop leaders or fellow scouts)
  • Church (by pastors, ushers, or other church officials)
  • Foster care (by foster parents, foster siblings, or supervisors)
  • Daycare (by owners, supervisors, or day care providers)
  • School (by teachers, principals, assistants, coaches, counselors, or older children)

What evidence will we need to prove molestation?

Proving molestation will require us to collect as much of the following types of evidence as possible:

Admissions from the perpetrator: Some abusers confess their crimes to the victim, friends, witnesses, and other parties. We will attempt to obtain text messages or recordings documenting these admissions. If none are available, we will talk to people who have heard these statements and ask them to testify to that.

Any documentation establishing the relationship or abuse: Many perpetrators spend months grooming their victims and building a relationship before beginning the abuse. We may be able to find documentation of this relationship through messages, social media, and emails.

Some perpetrators may purchase gifts for their victims, take them on trips, or give them money. Evidence of this spending may serve as circumstantial evidence showing that the molester was trying to buy the child’s affection or keep him/her from telling anyone. In some cases, perpetrators may keep track of the abuse with graphic photographs and videos. This information can be greatly useful in court to prove that the abuse occurred.

Medical records: Children who have been molested should seek treatment from a medical professional as soon as possible after the incident. In addition to taking care of any potential health issues, the medical records from the post-molestation exam can be a critical part of our case.

DNA evidence: Any DNA evidence linking the molester to the child is extremely useful in court. Doctors should collect and test any bodily fluids, blood, or skin cells found on the child.

What Damages Can My Child Recover?

Courts tend to award significant amounts of damages for molestation cases due to the severe physical and psychological trauma that goes along with the abuse. Molested children often require multiple medical visits and years of therapy to deal with the anxiety, depression, and other issues that stem from sexual abuse.

The damages awarded will cover medical expenses, therapy costs, pain and suffering, and other economic and noneconomic costs.

Get Help Today

Child molestation is a horrific crime with serious legal ramifications. Jail time and criminal penalties are often not enough. You can, and should, hold those guilty of child molestation financially responsible for their crimes.

The attorneys at Edwards Pottinger LLC understand how painful these situations are for victims and their families. We will manage your case, and remain patient and compassionate throughout the legal process. While we are managing the lawsuit itself, you can focus on taking care of the victim and making sure that s/he is getting the support s/he needs from medical professionals, counselors, and family members.

Call us today at 954-524-2820.

Attorney for Victims of Assault and Battery in Fort Lauderdale

If someone threatened or attacked you, your life may never be the same again. You might be recovering from severe physical injuries and experiencing anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other mental issues. But you are not alone. An attorney for victims of assault and battery in Fort Lauderdale at Edwards Pottinger LLC is here to help you hold your attacker liable for your injuries.

Give us a call today to discuss your attack: 954-524-2820.

I Thought the Court Was Already Holding My Attacker Liable. Why Do I Need to Do Anything?

Because assault and battery are both forms of criminal activity, it is likely that your assailant will face criminal charges and stand trial in criminal court. If the state convicts him, he could face years in prison.

However, while you will likely sleep better at night knowing that your attacker is behind bars; criminal convictions usually do not provide financial support to the victim. This means that you might be stuck paying your injury costs out of pocket.

You can take matters into your own hands by filing a lawsuit against your attacker and demanding compensation for your losses.

Who Can I Sue?

The most obvious party to file suit against is the person who attacked you. However, you may also be able to sue a property or business owner for negligent security if the assault occurred on his property. If an attack occurs at work, you may be able to sue your employer for negligent hiring. Talk to one of our attorneys to make sure that you have named all the appropriate defendants in your lawsuit.

Filing a Battery Claim in Civil Court

To prove battery in civil court, our attorneys must establish the following elements by a preponderance of the evidence, as stated in Florida Statute § 784.03:

Harmful or Offensive Contact

We can establish this type of intentional contact without consent by proving that the defendant used force directly or indirectly. For example, if the assailant threw something at your head and hit you, that may still constitute battery even though the assailant did not touch you directly. Our attorneys will use photo or video evidence of the attack, as well as witness and expert testimony to establish this contact.

Intent to Touch

Intent to touch does not mean intent to harm. We simply must prove intent to touch you without your consent. If the assailant did not mean to injure you, but intended to cause you imminent apprehension with his actions, he can be liable if he ended up harming you.

Victim’s Harm

A common misconception is that an assailant needs to cause physical injury to be liable for battery. Proving harm is easiest when there is actual evidence of physical injury. However, actual injury is not a requirement for a battery claim.

For example, spitting on the victim may not cause physical injury but is still offensive contact and can be battery.

Our attorneys will evaluate your case and determine whether your damages are enough to justify going forward with your legal claim.

Proving Assault in Civil Court

Many people are unaware that assault and battery are two separate offenses made up of different elements. To prove assault, our attorneys will have to establish:

Threat or Attempt to Injure

According to Florida Statute § 784.011, an assault occurs when the assailant intentionally verbally or physically threatens the victim with violence. Actual injury is not a requirement. We may use photographic and video evidence, social media posts, text messages, witness testimony, and other evidence to show that an assault occurred.

Intent to Cause Apprehension

We will also have to show that the assailant intended to act in a manner which would cause you reasonable apprehension of harm. In some cases, this is obvious. For example, if the attacker holds a gun to your head, courts can infer the attacker’s intent to cause apprehension.

Causes Reasonable Apprehension of Harm

Next, we will have to prove that the attacker caused you to have reasonable apprehension of the harm. We can establish this by showing that a reasonable person would also be apprehensive in similar circumstances.

Has Apparent Ability

Unkind words are not enough to constitute an assault. Our attorneys must show that the person who committed the assault had an imminent, apparent ability to follow through with the threat. We will use photo evidence, witness testimony, expert testimony, and other forms of evidence to prove this.

What Kind of Damages Can I Recover?

If another party attacked or threatened you, you deserve compensation for what you have gone through. If your civil claim is successful, you may receive compensation for:

  • Medical expenses you incurred as a result of the attack

  • Future medical expenses for anticipated surgeries, rehabilitation, and other treatments

  • Lost wages for the days of work you missed because of the incident

  • Pain and suffering

  • Mental anguish

Get Help Today

Assault and battery victims in Fort Lauderdale have experienced something that no one should ever have to go through. While we cannot change the past, we can help change your future. Our attorneys have represented victims of various forms of physical assault including people that have been mugged, raped, and beaten.

For more information on how the attorneys at Edwards Pottinger LLC can assist you with your civil assault or battery claim, call 954-524-2820.

Attorney for Victims of Robbery in Fort Lauderdale

If a robber took away your property or your peace of mind, we can help you recover compensation to get it back. To discuss your case with an attorney for victims of robbery in Fort Lauderdale, call Edwards Pottinger LLC today: 954-524-2820.

Can I Recover Damages for My Robbery Related Injuries?

If someone robbed you, you are entitled to receive compensation for any of the expenses you incurred. This compensation may cover:

  • Medical expenses for surgeries, treatments, hospital stays, ambulance trips, psychological counseling, and rehabilitation
  • Lost wages for robbery victims who are unable to work after the incident
  • Property damage or loss of property
  • Pain and suffering, mental anguish, and other noneconomic damages
  • Loss of services for family members who lost a loved one

Do I Need to File a Claim if My Robber Is Facing Criminal Charges?

Yes. Many robbery victims mistakenly believe that if there is a criminal case against the robber, the court will award damages to the victims as well. The reality is you may not recover damages even if the court convicts your attacker for robbery.

While some criminal judges may award robbery victims restitution in criminal court, it is likely not enough to cover all the victim’s robbery-related costs. Prosecutors are focused on getting the bad guys off the streets. This means that the needs of the victims might fall by the wayside. Once the victim has testified and the judge locks the guilty party in prison, the courts may leave the victim alone to deal with her devastation.

We encourage robbery victims to file a civil case against the parties liable for their damages, even if there is a criminal case in place. That way, you get to present your case in court on your own terms. This will allow you to face your attacker and get the justice you have been seeking.

How Do I Bring a Robbery Claim in Civil Court?

To prove our case in civil court, we will first need to decide who to name as defendants. In addition to naming the robber, we may also decide to bring negligence claims against a property or business owner, particularly if the robbery occurred in a store, bank, or other public property. We may allege the property owner did not provide adequate security and that the robbery occurred because of its negligence.


For example, if you were robbed while walking to your car in a mall parking lot, we may argue that it would not have occurred had there been adequate lighting or security personnel patrolling the area.

In order to bring a robbery claim against the robber in your case, we will present witness and expert testimony, medical reports, photo and surveillance video, police reports, and other evidence to establish the following:

  • The perpetrator took property from your person or from the premises around you: We will need to show that the perpetrator took property that belonged to you and that the perpetrator’s goal was to keep it away from you, either temporarily or permanently.
  • The perpetrator took your property by using violence, intimidation, or the threat of force: We will show the robber used violence, force, or threats (e.g., hit you, threatened to hit you, knocked you down, coerced you, etc.) to take the item from you. Even a small amount of force may be enough to qualify as a robbery.
  • You suffered injuries: If you suffered physical or emotional injuries, we will call experts to the stand to testify as to how the incident could have caused your injuries and how these injuries will affect you in the future. We may also call property experts to the stand to testify regarding the value of the stolen property if it is unrecoverable.

In addition to presenting our case, we will need to prepare for the defenses the defendants may use to protect themselves. The most common defense will be that he did not commit the robbery at all. The defendant may present an alibi to show he was not at the scene of the robbery when it occurred. We will have to present as much evidence as possible to show that the named defendant committed the robbery and that you suffered injuries because of it.

Get Help with Your Robbery Civil Claim. Call Our Team Today.

Being a victim of robbery can affect you for the rest of your life on many levels. In addition to losing valuable property, robbery victims in Fort Lauderdale may also experience severe injuries and emotional trauma. You might be dealing with anxiety or even post-traumatic stress disorder from the event. Do not let your attacker get away with such a horrible crime.

Call the attorneys at Edwards Pottinger LLC to handle your claim. With years of personal injury experience, we are knowledgeable and intimately familiar with civil litigation and will do whatever we can to help you recover the compensation you deserve.

Contact us today: 954-524-2820.