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I was a private caregiver for 3 years. Do to an altercation with the client's son, I am now in a predicament. Does anyone know where I can seek legal advise or a way to protect myself?

Margaret, you're in Australia, right?   I think your offer of advice is kind, but you might want to consider whether or not you'd be jeopardizing yourself by offering advice in a jurisdiction in which you're not admitted to practice.   Don't put yourself in jeopardy.

Deeanna, your advice is good, especially as to the effect and possible ramifications in health care fields.
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MargaretMcKen Oct 1, 2019
Thanks for your advice. Yes I have considered it, and there is nothing in it so long as I don't charge.
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Margaret, I understand what you are saying.  The "altercation" and "predicament" might have just been a simple misunderstanding between the OP and the client's son with only words exchanged.  But if the OP acted in an unprofessional manner towards the son, that changes even a "simple" statement into a serious problem for the OP who is a "professional caregiver".

Because the OP stated on her profile that she is a “professional caregiver with about 20 years experience”, I am directly my comments towards what can happen to a professional caregiver, (ie. CNA, Med Aide, LPN, LVN, or RN). In professional caregiving/nursing, even simple "defamatory statements" (that do not involve the police or allegations of criminal assault) have resulted in the caregiver/nursing regulatory Board of Nursing or Department of Health & Human Services deciding to put a certified or professional caregiver's certification or license on probation, limit the caregiver's ability to work or dictate where the caregiver can or can not work, or even demand that the caregiver surrender their certification or professional license.

There is a HUGE difference between being a caregiver, such as a family member or friend taking care of a person, and a professional caregiver taking care of a client or patient; and the consequences of their actions.
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I’m a bit surprised that the answers so far seem to assume that you are facing serious allegations of criminal assault. I certainly didn’t read that into your question – it could just as easily be that the son is making defamatory statements that might damage your reputation, and various other scenarios as well. If you wish, send me details in a private message and I will try to help. I am not ‘public’, I am a very long way away (Alice Springs), I am a retired lawyer (not too much criminal experience though), and getting legal advice is priveleged. Finding a local pro-bono lawyer can’t be a bad idea, but so might sitting tight and waiting to see whether the ‘altercation’ has any actual result or not.
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DeeAnna, excellent advice.  You caught issues that I missed, especially those affecting privacy of the poster and the need for discretion in discussing the issue.
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I am sorry that you are going through this experience. 
GardenArtist has given you some very good advice.

You need to contact an attorney who has experience with malpractice claims. If you are lucky enough to have "Caregiver Companion Malpractice or Liability Insurance", then you need to contact that Insurance Company ASAP. 

An attorney can assist you in contacting the police (if they were contacted) or the State Board of Nursing (if you are a Certified Home Health Aide, CNA, Medication Aide, LPN, or RN) and determine what type of charges (if any) are being filed against you by the client’s family. 

Since you do not describe the “predicament”, it is difficult to give any sound advice other than to tell you that you need to talk to an attorney ASAP. 

DO NOT DISCUSS your situation any further with this forum or any other similar forum or internet group as any information that you give can be considered as “public knowledge”; and the family’s attorney can and will use any information that you write on a public forum against you. DO NOT DISCUSS your situation with anyone else including your family or other caregivers. Talk only with your attorney about your situation.

Google “what to do if accused of caregiving malpractice”  or “what to do if accused of malpractice” for further information.

https://www.americannursetoday.com/protecting-yourself-from-malpractice-claims/

If the State Board of Nursing or Department of Health and Human Services (or whatever department governs caregivers) gets involved, then expect to give a deposition about the situation. Your attorney must be with you when you give the deposition. DO NOT send any letters (of apology or otherwise) to the family or the client.  DO NOT talk to the client any more or take care of the client.

I am sorry that we cannot help you any further, but this is NOT the place to discuss such a sensitive and private matter that could result in criminal or healthcare professional liability charges filed against you and affect your ability to work as a caregiver in the future.

Good Luck.
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Kasi, if the issue is physical and something like assault charges are in question, you would need a criminal attorney.   If charges are pending, you can ask for a court appointed attorney pursuant to Miranda rights.

If the issue is not physical, but, e.g., financial, you'd be better off with a white collar criminal attorney.     If it's age related, you could look for an elder law criminal attorney, but I don't know how many there are in this practice area. 

Issues:   Have charges been filed with a police department, and if so what's the stage of those charges?   If they're financial, do you have documentation to support your position?   Do you have witnesses?   Any other evidence? 

It's hard to give advice w/o more detail, but I can understand that you wish to keep this matter private.    What I would do is:

1.   Research the websites of Texas, San Marcos and county in which it's located for (a) criminal attorneys and/or (b)  "pro bono" (free) attorneys if you're not able to afford to pay one.    You can also contact the Texas and San Marcos (if there is one) Bar Associations for pro bono attorneys.

Some law schools also offer pro bono advice, as do Senior Centers which have arrangements with attorneys to provide limited free advice on various matters.

2.  Prepare a list of relevant dates, events, charges  and issues to provide to an attorney; it's a lot easier if that's available when you speak or meet.

3,   Include in your list not only the facts, but witnesses and contact information, and those who may be aware of the situation.   Attorneys can use this info for their investigators to research. 

4.   Don't discuss the situation with anyone except an attorney or LEO.

5.    I can't offer any suggestions for protection as it turns not only on the incident but the charges, any witnesses, and duration since the incident (there may be a statute of limitations involved.)

I'm sorry to learn of this unpleasant situation, and hope that this limited advice offers some options.
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It depends on what the situation is what kind of attorney you need.
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