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Every day, millions of parents bring their children to daycare as they go off to work. These services may be provided at facilities run by qualified childcare professionals, or the childcare workers may come to the parents’ house to look after the children. Either way, there is an expected duty of care on the childcare workers to keep the children safe and free from injury under their supervision. When daycare providers do not meet this standard of care, and a child is injured, parents can turn to a daycare injury lawyer to help them seek compensation.
What to Do When Your Child Is Injured at Daycare?
If you suspect or find out that your child was injured at daycare there are a few steps that can follow:
1. Seek medical attention for your child
You should consider contacting your child’s pediatrician or in severe cases consider going to the emergency room or urgent care facility. When speaking with the doctor, you may want to mention that your child was injured at daycare.
2. Collect Evidence
Good evidence is necessary if you decide to file a lawsuit against your daycare provider. Evidence is especially important in cases involving small children as, depending on their age, they may be unable to explain what happened to them. Here are some useful pieces of evidence to document:
- Witnesses – speak to anybody who may have witnessed the incident and take their contact details.
- Surveillance Camera Footage – Was there a surveillance camera in operation where the incident occurred? If so, make a note of this and request the footage.
- Photographs – Take photos of your child’s injuries. These will be useful as evidence of injuries may fade over time.
- Expenses - You should keep all records and bills for treatment your child receives as a result of the injury, including emergency care, medical treatment, and if necessary, mental health services.
3. Speak with a Daycare Injury Attorney
Because child injury cases can be quite complex and extremely emotional, you should consider hiring an experienced attorney who has handled such cases before. Experienced child injury attorneys can walk you through the entire process and calm your nerves about possible outcomes and compensation. These claims are never easy, but experienced attorneys can everything seem more manageable.
Common Daycare Injury Claims
If your child has been injured while at daycare you may be considering filing a claim seek injury compensation. Although every case is different many cases have common foundations. Common injury claims have been:
- Staff negligence - failure to supervise a child
- Burn Accidents
- Safety Code Violations
- Physical Abuse
- Unnecessary physical discipline
- Emotional/Psychological Abuse
- Sexual Abuse
- Playground injuries
Who can I sue if my child is injured in daycare?
Depending on the circumstances of your child’s accident and injury, those who may be held accountable for the damages are:
- Daycare provider
- Other staff members, such as caretakers and office staff members of the daycare facility
Generally speaking, if the accident happened because of failure to supervise your child, physical abuse of your child, then you are likely to pursue compensation from the daycare facility. For more information and to understand your position better, call us on (800) 863-5312 for a free consultation with an injury attorney.
Common Types of Child Daycare Injuries
Common daycare injuries can range from accidental playground injuries, (cuts, scrapes, or bruises), to much more severe injuries, such as broken bones or concussions. Injuries that most commonly occur in daycares include:
- Broken bones
- Neck injuries
- Spinal injuries
- Brain injuries
- Drowning or near-drowning
- Choking or suffocation
- Lost teeth
In all cases, it is advisable to take pictures of the injuries as evidence if you are seeking compensation by way of a personal injury claim.
Proving Daycare Negligence
If you are seeking compensation against your daycare provider, you must show that the provider was negligent and therefore liable for the injuries that your child sustained. Negligence is a legal term which consists of four elements. To prove negligence, you must show:
- The daycare provider had a duty of care to protect your child from harm.
- The daycare provider breached its duty of care.
- The breach of the duty of care was the direct and proximate cause of your child’s injuries.
- The injury sustained must have been foreseeable by the daycare staff.
If you can meet all these requirements, your attorney will be in a much better position to seek the maximum compensation for your child’s injury.
Making a Child Injury Claim
Accidents involving children are treated a little differently to accidents involving adults. A child under the age of 18 is considered a minor or infant – depending on which state you live in.
When a child is under the age of 18, they cannot bring a personal injury claim forward themselves. A parent or guardian can do this on their behalf. If a parent decides to pursue a claim on behalf of the child, they are referred to as the ‘Next Friend’ in the child injury case.
Next Friend Rule
A parent may file a lawsuit for injury compensation on behalf of their child as a ‘Next Friend’. The next friend is usually one or both parents of the child. In cases where there are no parents to make a claim, then a legal guardian may do so.
Where a claim is successful, the court will generally hold the compensation awarded to the child and released to the child once they turn 18. Please note that ages may vary depending on which state you live in. It is advisable to speak with a child injury attorney to understand your case better.
Making a claim on behalf of your child
To seek compensation on behalf of your child, you can take the following steps:
- Seek medical attention for your child
- Gather evidence of the injuries, such as witness accounts, photographs, and records of costs involved
- Speak to a child injury lawyer to discuss the next steps, allowing you to focus on your child’s recovery while your lawyer will focus on seeking a settlement for them.
Suggested Reading: How a Daycare Injury Lawsuit Works
Legal Time Limits (Statute of Limitations)
The statute of limitations is the legal time limit in which a person can claim after an accident or discovering another party injured them. In most states, a person has two years to seek compensation. However, in child injury claims, this time limit usually doesn’t take effect they turn 18 years old.
Note: The statute of limitations may vary from state to state. It is essential to speak to a child injury attorney to understand your position better. For more information on legal time limits and your child’s case call us on (800) 863-5312 for a free consultation with an attorney.
Daycare Centers and the Law
While the wording and specifics of official child care center regulations may differ from state to state, they all share some commonalities, child safety. Some of the minimum requirements of a daycare provider may be:
- Minimum licensure requirements
- Compliance requirements
- Provider responsibilities
- Background check requirements
- Caregiver to child ratios
- And much more
Discussing your case with an attorney will help you establish whether a breach in the standard of care was the cause of the accident and whether you are in a position to seek compensation from the daycare provider.
Settling Your Case
The majority of personal injury lawsuits, including daycare and child injury claims, settle before the case ever reaches trial. Your attorney will be with you every step of the way and seek compensation in areas such as:
- Out of pocket expenses
- Medical bills
- Future medical care
- Lost income
- Future lost income
- Compensation for your child’s pain and suffering
- Child mental/psychological injuries
When your attorney is pursuing your case, they may ask for evidence of costs to include them as part of the compensation amount they seek for your child.
No Win No Fee Child Injury Attorneys
At Zinda Law Group, our child injury attorneys have helped thousands of victims get their lives back on track after suffering an injury. We have the knowledge and resources necessary to help you build the most substantial claim possible and pursue the compensation you deserve for hospital bills, future medical costs, property damage, lost income, pain and suffering, and much more.
Our firm also believes that the parents of an injured child should never have to worry about being able to afford excellent legal representation. That is why we offer 100% free consultations, and why you pay nothing unless we win your case. That’s our No Win No Fee Guarantee. Call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 to receive your free consultation with one of our experienced child injury lawyers.
Meeting with attorneys by appointment only.
Suggested Reading: 9 Red Flags to Avoid When Shopping for a Daycare