Albuquerque Daycare Injury Lawyers
Talk with our Albuquerque daycare injury lawyers today at (800) 863-5312
If you are like 58% of working Americans, you rely on childcare centers to watch after your little one while you are away at work. You expect your child to return to you in the same condition as when you left them in the care of the daycare staff. Unfortunately, daycare providers do not always meet the duty of care they must provide to children in their facilities. Albuquerque daycare injury lawyers help parents of children who were harmed from the negligence of daycare workers.
If your child was the victim of daycare negligence, talk with an Albuquerque attorney to see whether you can recover. Call (800) 863-5312 to schedule a free consultation with a lawyer at Zinda Law Group. We want to hear from you and discuss how we can help.
How can an Albuquerque personal injury lawyer help?
An attorney can help you before you have even begun or decided whether to begin a lawsuit. Meeting with a lawyer first can reveal whether the daycare center committed a tort for which it may be sued, and, even if the daycare was negligent, whether you can receive enough compensation to justify the lawsuit. Such a consultation can save you tons of time and money, especially when that consultation is free. If a lawyer advises you to move forward with your case, he or she can help you every step of the way.
Starting Your Lawsuit with an Albuquerque Personal Injury Lawyer
If you have decided that you should file suit against the daycare that harmed your child, ensure that you do so within the statute of limitations. A statute of limitations states how long you have to bring a particular legal claim. In New Mexico, the amount of time you have to bring a personal injury claim is three years. However, if a child is a victim of a personal injury, you have three years from the accident, or, if the three years runs out while the child is still a minor, one year after the child turns eighteen.
When you develop your claim, you must decide a few factors that could impact the outcome of your case. First, determine whether to sue the individual who caused the injury, the company that hired that individual, or both. You are usually more likely to receive maximum compensation from the company that owns and operates the daycare facility. A lawyer can help you strategize about who to sue based on the circumstances.
Second, your attorney can help you determine the cause of action to include in your claim. In personal injury cases generally, and in daycare cases specifically, the correct cause of action is typically negligence. Finally, your lawyer can help you with the procedural aspects of your claim, ensuring that you file with the correct court and use the correct formatting.
Read More: What is Negligence?
Albuquerque Attorneys Handle the Discovery Process
Discovery is the legal process by which the parties on either side of a case learn critical information to help them decide whether to settle or go to trial. Here, the lawyers interview the parties and potential witnesses to gather facts about the case. Sometimes, in daycare injury cases, lawyers reach out to expert witnesses for opinions about what happened to the child. The parties share that information with each other to see which side has the stronger case.
Settling the Claim
After both parties have exchanged enough information to understand the series of events and who was involved on the day of the injury, they will probably try to work toward a settlement. There could be several factors at play in the settlement, the most significant factor being the attempts of each party’s insurance company to reduce its payment amounts. For example, the daycare company’s insurance might argue that it should not be liable because you signed a waiver stating that you would not sue the company. An experienced Albuquerque daycare injury attorney knows how to counter such defenses to keep your case strong.
If the parties cannot agree on a settlement amount after negotiating, you may consider going to trial. While it is ultimately your decision whether to go to trial, your attorney can help you evaluate the settlement offers, the chances of success at trial, and how much you could potentially receive at trial. The jury decides your compensation amount at trial, which could help or hurt you.
Read More: Albuquerque Personal Injury FAQs
What you should do after a daycare accident in Albuquerque
You might wonder how to proceed after your child’s daycare accident. The good news is that you can act as a representative for your child and sue on his or her behalf. You can use the money from your child’s settlement to treat your child’s injuries, and some of the money might be saved back in a trust until your child turns eighteen years old. Take these steps to ensure you can get the maximum compensation amount:
Document the Injury
If you fail to document the injury soon after it happens, you might not have the proof you need to show that your child was injured at daycare. Plus, your child may have trouble directly telling you what happened. If so, watch, listen, and take notes if your child behaves unusually after daycare.
If necessary, file a police report to document your child’s injuries. Police reports provide an account from a party other than the child’s parent or the daycare and can help determine whether the daycare was at fault for your child’s accident. Ask for a copy of the report for your records.
Visit the Doctor
Once you have established that your child suffered an injury, take your child to his or her doctor as soon as possible. This helps your child recover faster and provides two kinds of proof for your legal claim. First, it shows that your child received an injury for which he or she could receive compensation. Second, it shows that your child experienced pain and suffering because of the kind of injury he or she received.
Keep track of all medical appointments, including the care provider, the diagnosis, the treatment, and the cost. This documentation provides evidence of the economic damages your family sustained. Talk with an Albuquerque personal injury lawyer to learn what other kinds of evidence you should keep on behalf of your child.
Speak with a Childcare Injury Attorney
The party at fault for your child’s injury should pay for what happened. An attorney can help you calculate how much your child’s case is worth and get the evidence you need to prove the worth of the case. An attorney also has access to a network of expert witnesses who can attest to the severity of your child’s injury.
What ARE THE MOST COMMON DAYCARE INJURIES?
There are countless ways a child could be injured at a daycare, but there are a few common injuries for which parents should be on the lookout when their children return from daycare. If your child was injured in one of the following ways, speak with an Albuquerque lawyer to learn about your options. If your child’s injury is not on this list, it does not mean that you cannot recover, but you may have a case other than one for personal injury.
Common daycare injuries include:
- The child bumping his or her head on desks or doors, causing a concussion
- The child falling from playground equipment and fracturing/breaking bones
- The child consuming unsafe materials such as cleaning supplies and being poisoned
- The child being pinched or harmed in some other way by malfunctioning playground equipment
- The child jamming his or her fingers
- The child being injured by another child at the daycare
- The child choking on small toys or other objects
- The child being injured due to abuse from the daycare staff, such as poor supervision
What duties do daycare centers have to children and parents?
If your child suffered one of the aforementioned injuries, you may have a case for negligence. If the daycare was negligent, that means that it owed you and your child a duty of care and failed to provide that duty of care, causing your child to sustain a compensable injury. If you think the daycare center acted negligently toward your child, contact an attorney.
What Duty of Care Does the Daycare Center Owe Your Child?
Typically, a duty of care in personal injury cases refers to the amount of care that a reasonable person would show under similar circumstances. For example, a reasonable person driving a car slows down to prevent crashes when excessive rainfall affects visibility. A reasonable pool owner who has neighbors with children fences the pool to stop children from entering the pool and drowning. The reasonable person prevents foreseeable accidents.
A daycare facility could be held to the industry standard of other comparable daycares. If there are common precautions that daycares take to avoid accidents, the daycare in your child’s case should have tried to do the same. If daycares usually put rubber padding or mulch beneath playground equipment rather than concrete in order to lessen the injuries caused by falls, your daycare should have done the same.
An attorney can help you determine the level of care that the daycare should have provided in your specific case. Once you have determined the level of care, you can show whether the daycare breached the duty of care it owed you and your child. If you can prove the level of care and that the daycare breached the level of care, you are halfway to proving negligence.
What Must You Show About Your Child’s Injury?
The latter half of the negligence analysis pertains to your child’s injury. First, you must show that your child received an injury of the sort that can be compensated under the law. If your child is upset because another child made fun of her clothes that day, you probably cannot receive compensation on your child’s behalf.
Second, the daycare or daycare employee must have directly and proximately caused your child’s injury. Even if another child caused your child’s injury, you could show that it is the daycare’s fault if there was poor supervision over the children. If you can prove these two elements in addition to the elements pertaining to the daycare’s duty of care, you have successfully made your negligence claim.
What if you signed a liability waiver?
Some daycare centers may try to relieve themselves of liability by having you sign a waiver stating that you will not sue it for negligence if something happens to your child. Those waivers might deter some parents from suing, but they are usually unenforceable.
Types of compensation for daycare injuries
You may receive compensation either through settlement or trial if you can successfully prove the elements of your personal injury claim. Your compensation amount is determined by the damages your child suffered. Your damages in a daycare injury case could include economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages.
Economic damages compensate you and your child for the money you spent or otherwise lost responding to your child’s injury. This includes medical bills and time you took off work addressing your child’s injury. As you can see, these are easily calculable, so you will be expected to have receipts showing the correct amounts for these damages.
Non-economic damages compensate your child for the pain and suffering he or she experienced because of the negligent act of the daycare or because of the injury itself. These are more difficult to calculate with certainty, but they are still a significant source of compensation. Therefore, it can help to have an experienced lawyer tell you the appropriate amount to expect.
It is not in the public’s best interest to have daycare centers get away with minimal consequences for their negligence. In order to keep daycares as safe as possible by deterring future negligence, the court might assign punitive damages to punish the daycare. These damages are designed to prevent similar conduct in the future rather than compensate the victim.
Zinda law group lawyers want to help you with your daycare injury claim
Those who work in childcare must pay extra attention to ensure that children do not get hurt while at the care center. If the people with whom you entrusted your child failed to keep him or her safe, you may be able to pursue compensation. Additionally, your lawsuit can encourage the daycare to take steps to prevent similar harm in the future. The daycare injury attorneys at Zinda Law Group can listen to you describe what happened to your child and help you learn about your options moving forward.
Let our experienced lawyers in Albuquerque help you at every turn. At Zinda Law Group, we offer our clients a No Win, No Fee Guarantee to ensure that they do not pay us unless we win their cases for them. Call (800) 863-5312 for a free consultation with us today.
Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.