Aurora Daycare Injury LawyersLast updated on: July 6, 2022
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When you place your child under the supervision of daycare staff, you expect that they will be safe. After all, daycare businesses should have children’s best interests in mind and be constantly working to minimize any safety risks at their facilities. Unfortunately, daycare workers make mistakes and act negligently, often resulting in injuries to children. However, the Aurora daycare injury lawyers from Zinda Law Group can help families after a daycare accident.
If your child suffered an injury while in daycare, you may be able file a claim for compensation. Successfully filing a claim not only gives you a chance to be compensated for your child’s injuries, but it may prevent similar accidents in the future. To determine the viability of your daycare injury legal claim, call (800) 863-5312 to receive a 100% free case evaluation from an Aurora daycare injury attorney.
Common injuries SUSTAINED IN daycare accidents
Daycare injuries range in severity, from accidental injuries such as minor cuts, bruises, or scrapes, to much more serious injuries, like broken bones and concussions. Some of the most common injuries that occur due to daycare accidents include:
- Scrapes, cuts, and bruises
- Sprains and strains
- Broken bones
- Traumatic Brain injuries
In some instances, these injuries can be a sign of abuse. If you notice that your child has a pattern of getting hurt at school or continuously suffers from a certain type of injury, and you are uncertain of whether your child is suffering abuse, a pediatrician may be able to provide a second opinion. An Aurora personal injury attorney may also be able to help you analyze injuries to find patterns of abuse.
The Aurora personal injury attorneys at Zinda Law Group have experience with daycare accident lawsuits and are ready to help. We can help you make claims based on the injuries that your child has suffered, as well as communicate on your behalf with the daycare and file incident reports with the Colorado Office of Early Childhood.
Common causes of daycare accidents
There are many ways in which children can suffer injuries while in the hands of a daycare provider. Most accidents are unintentionally caused by negligent supervision and/or inadequate job training. In these types of cases, the daycare provider has a legal responsibility to take all reasonable precautions to keep children safe.
Daycare employees often breach this duty and cause injuries to children in the following ways:
Failure to Adequately Supervise
Negligent supervision is a theory used to establish liability when a person tasked with supervising another does not meet their legal duty. In a daycare, this theory would be used to prove that the care provider’s failure to adequately supervise the children caused a child’s injury. For example, if a daycare instructor were smoking a cigarette instead of watching a group of children on the playground, they may be held liable for an accident that could have been prevented by proper supervision.
Failure to Observe a Child’s Special Dietary Needs
Childhood food allergies are a significant threat to the safety and health of many young children. After exposure to a food allergen, children often suffer serious and life-threatening reactions, including anaphylactic shock. Considering the potential seriousness of allergic reactions, daycare employees should be aware of their students’ allergies.
Failure to Provide a Safe Premises
Premises liability is a legal theory that is used to hold the property owners of a daycare responsible for failing to keep patrons safe. If, for example, your child fell down a daycare staircase and break their leg, and the stairway is in poor condition or lacks a safety rail, the owner of the daycare may be liable for your child’s suffering. For parents pursuing accountability and financial compensation, premises liability is one available theory to hold the property owners responsible.
Failure to Screen Employees and Train Staff
Many daycare injuries could be avoided with proper staff training and with carefully developed hiring policies and procedures. For example, a daycare employee who uses drugs would be less likely to injure a child if they were subject to a background check and random drug screening upon hiring. Similarly, if the daycare does not instruct their staff on how to respond to child safety emergencies, they are increasing the likelihood of injuries.
Can I sue a daycare for negligence?
Negligence is a legal theory that must be proven before you can hold the daycare legally responsible for the harm your child suffered. Proving negligence is required in most personal injury claims, including those brought on behalf of children. To prove that the daycare negligently caused your child’s accident, you must prove a duty was owed to your child by the daycare, the daycare breached their duty, the breach caused your child’s injury, and the injury resulted in damages or harm.
The first step in assessing a negligence claim is to determine whether the defendant owed a legal duty to the victim. In the context of daycare accidents, daycare providers owe children a general duty of care, and some additional duties are created by state and federal statute. If the daycare’s duty is proscribed by statute, this element is easily satisfied because the statute is direct proof that a duty exists. However, the circumstances of an accident may determine when a duty is owed.
Breach of Duty
After determining that a duty was owed, the next step is to determine whether the daycare breached its duty by doing (or not doing something) that a reasonable person would do under similar circumstances.. For example, a reasonable person would put the heaviest books on the bottom of a bookshelf to decrease the likelihood of it tipping over.
The third element of negligence requires the plaintiff to show that the unreasonable conduct of the daycare or its employee is what caused the child’s injury. Of course, many factors contribute to an injury occurring. But here, the harm suffered must be related to the plaintiff’s conduct in such a way that, if not for the plaintiff’s conduct, the accident would have been unlikely to occur.
Damages are the final element that must be proven in a negligence case. Damages refer to monetary compensation awarded to the victim for the wrongful acts committed by the defendant. To recover for damages, the plaintiff must prove that they suffered harm as a result of the injury. If successful, the plaintiff will receive compensatory damages and potentially punitive damages if the conduct that caused the injury was particularly egregious.
What if my child has been the victim of abuse?
As mentioned, most daycare injuries happen unintentionally. However, other daycare injuries are intentionally caused and sometimes amount to criminal violations. Be assured that even if the person responsible for your child’s injuries is facing a criminal trial, your ability to bring a civil claim should be unaffected.
In 2019, Child Protective Services received an estimated 4.4 million referrals alleging the mistreatment of children. Further investigation revealed that of those 4.4 million, roughly 16% of those children were victims of abuse or neglect. Of those victims, over 26% suffered from physical or sexual abuse.
Intentional abuse of a child is a particularly heinous act that should be punished both criminally and civilly. The Aurora injury attorneys from Zinda Law Group can help you understand the difference between a civil and criminal lawsuit, as well as explain the different requirements that must be met for each type of case.
Can I file a claim if my child died as a result of the accident?
In the worst cases, the child’s injuries end up being fatal. Many parents, still devastated by the death of their child, are left not knowing what to do next. In fact, some parents don’t even realize that a personal injury claim can still be filed, despite their child having passed away.
Wrongful death claims are meant to empower the child’s family to seek compensation for damages incurred as a result of the tortious killing. Simply put, if a child dies because of the actions of another, a suit may be brought by the family to recover damages resulting from the child’s death. While wrongful death claims involving younger children are mostly speculative, parents may be able to recover economic damages.
How is a Wrongful Death Suit Different than a Negligence Suit?
Wrongful death claims are basically the same as negligence claims because you must prove that the defendant negligently caused another’s death. The key difference between negligence and wrongful death suits is that in wrongful death suits, the victim’s injury was fatal. The National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System defines a “child fatality” as the death of a child caused by an injury resulting from abuse or neglect or where abuse or neglect was a contributing factor.
Which Damages Can I Recover if my Wrongful Death Suit is Successful?
Successful wrongful death claimants receive monetary damages as compensation for the harm caused by the death of their child. Family members of the victim may be awarded the following damages:
- Medical expenses incurred before the victim’s death
- Funeral expenses of the victim
- Loss of love and companionship
- Loss of future earnings
- Mental anguish and suffering
As stated earlier, plaintiffs are awarded punitive damages if the conduct that caused injury was particularly egregious and the court is looking to deter that conduct from happening in the future. This is ahigh bar to meet from a plaintiff’s perspective, but the type of conduct leading to wrongful death is more likely to qualify for punitive damages than the type of conduct involved in more common personal injury claims.
An Aurora personal injury lawyer will be familiar with wrongful death claims and can analyze the facts of your case to determine what type of damages you may receive compensation for. We know that there is no pain like losing a child and we are here for you after an accident.
Is my child’s claim subject to the statute of limitations?
The statute of limitations is the time in which a person must file suit. In most states, there is a two-year window for personal injury claims to be filed following an accident. If the lawsuit is not filed within the tim frame specified by the statute of limitations, the injured party may not be able to file suit.
In Colorado, there are special rules for personal injury claims brought by plaintiffs who are minors. Under Colorado law, the statute of limitations does not begin to run until the plaintiff turns 18 years old. This means that minor plaintiffs have much longer to bring a personal injury claim. However, be advised that evidence may become stale or unobtainable the longer that time passes after an accident.
Get Help from one of our Aurora daycare injury Lawyers today
We know that when parents drop their kids off at daycare, they are expecting in the daycare to keep them safe. When a daycare fails to honor this basic expectation, parents understandably feel frustrated and betrayed. Zinda Law Group’s daycare injury lawyers are here to help you navigate the legal process.
Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.