Las Cruces Daycare Injury LawyersLast updated on: July 8, 2022
Call (800) 863-5312 To Speak With Zinda Law Group’s Las Cruces Daycare Injury Lawyers Today
Life is generally busy for parents of young children. Not only do parents need to constantly supervise their children at home, but parents also need to ensure that their children are safe when they are working. The most common solution for parents with children between the ages of two and six is to place their children in daycare. Working parents must often rely on these daycare facilities and their staff to watch over and protect their children. Unfortunately, some daycare workers take more care than others when supervising children. Sometimes accidents occur causing children to receive serious injuries. If your child has been hurt at a Las Cruces daycare, contact Zinda Law Group’s Las Cruces daycare injury lawyers today so that you may pursue compensation that will aid in your child’s recovery.
Steps to Take Immediately After a Daycare Accident in Las Cruces
Because a child lacks the legal capacity to file a lawsuit when injured, it is up to a parent or legal guardian to stand in and file a lawsuit on behalf of the child as a “next friend.” When you are contemplating filing a lawsuit after a daycare accident, you should consider taking the following steps:
1. Seek Medical Attention if the Child is Injured
The first thing you should do if you suspect, or have determined, that your child suffered an injury at daycare is to take your child to a nearby medical facility. Even if you do not think that your child’s injuries warrant immediate medical attention, visit a medical professional, whether it is your child’s primary care doctor or a physician at a local urgent care and keep them updated on any new health developments. Additionally, keep a record of all the medical expenses, including any emergency care, surgeries, evaluations, and rehabilitation services.
2. Report Your Child’s Injuries
After discovering your child’s injuries, file a report with the proper authorities — the daycare managers and the police. Regardless of the type of injury, it is important to properly report the injury and ensure that there is an official account about said injury to support your claim.
3. Document the Evidence
In a case involving a young child, the child may not be able to adequately explain how their injury happened. Therefore, you will need to gather additional evidence to strengthen your child’s personal injury claim. Some important pieces of evidence to obtain, if possible, include:
If any witnesses were present at the scene of the accident, try to get their names and contact information. Relevant daycare witnesses may include staff members, caretakers, or office workers. Witnesses can greatly help an attorney present evidence that supports your claim.
Surveillance Camera Footage
If the daycare facility has a working surveillance camera that captured footage of your child’s injury, make sure to request a copy of the video. Any information obtained from the footage could explain how the injury occurred, boost your claim of negligence against the daycare and its staff members, and potentially contradict any claims made by a responsible party trying to shift blame for the injury.
Additionally, take pictures of the accident scene if you can. Having photos of the location of the accident can help establish a timeline of where the injury occurred and how it happened. Furthermore, make sure that you have images of your child after their injury to show proof of the injury’s extent. Overall, taking pictures helps boost your claim’s credibility and increases the likelihood of obtaining compensation.
4. Call a Las Cruces Personal Injury Lawyer
Due to the complexity of the legal process, it can be difficult to know which steps you need to take after an accident. Therefore, you should consider hiring an attorney with experience in child injury cases. At Zinda Law Group, our Las Cruces daycare injury attorneys can properly walk you through the possible legal outcomes and potential compensation you may receive. While this is an understandably difficult time, our attorneys have the skills and expertise to get your life back on track.
5. Settlement and Trial
After your attorney files a lawsuit against the responsible party or parties, they may negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf to obtain a favorable monetary settlement for you. If the negotiations are unsuccessful, your lawyer will bring your case to trial and pursue maximum compensation in court.
Parties Who Are Usually Responsible for Daycare Injuries in Las Cruces
Generally, the daycare’s staff members and the daycare facility itself are named in a daycare injury lawsuit. When a child sustains an injury at a daycare, the most common type of lawsuit filed against a defendant is based on negligence. A negligence lawsuit alleges that the defendant owed the injured child a duty of care, that the duty of care was not met, and that the negligence directly harmed the child.
To demonstrate that the daycare had a duty of care, you must show that the daycare was in a position of authority to take reasonable precautions to protect your child from foreseeable harm (e.g., keeping toxic materials out of reach of a child who could otherwise consume the material and get very sick). After proving that there was a duty, you must showcase that the daycare did not take reasonable precautions to protect your child. Next, you must show a direct link between the daycare’s failure to take reasonable protective steps and your child’s injuries. Consequently, once you show that there was a breach and the daycare is responsible for your child’s injuries, you must prove that your child suffered damages as a result. Typically, medical bills suffice as adequate proof of damages.
The following provides a further explanation of how a party can be found to be negligent:
Usually, staff members (e.g., teachers or nannies) are responsible for the safety of the children in their care. Therefore, if a staff member took an action that they should have reasonably known would cause harm to your child (e.g., leaving hazardous chemicals within arm’s reach, allowing them to play with dangerous toys or nearby equipment, not monitoring your child while they were in the daycare’s outdoor swimming pool, or not providing supervision in general) you may be able to file a successful lawsuit against the responsible staff member(s) for negligence.
Next, the daycare facility could face responsibility if one of the daycare’s employees caused your child’s injury. Under the doctrine of vicarious liability, an employer can be held responsible for the acts of an employee if the employee was negligent while in the scope of employment. Typically, vicarious liability is found in scenarios where an employer instructs an employee to act a specific way in certain situations. Thus, if a staff member administers disciplinary tactics to your child because of their employer’s training, the daycare facility will likely be held responsible.
Read More: What is Negligence?
Common Reasons For Daycare Injuries in Las Cruces
Daycare injuries result from poorly trained staff, unsafe conditions, and negligent supervisors. Specific causes of daycare injuries include:
- A disproportionate child to staff ratio
- Staff negligence
- Safety code violations
- Playground injuries
- Inappropriate disciplinary tactics
- Lack of supervision
Make sure to always be aware of how the daycare facility treats your child. If at any point you believe that your child is at risk of serious injury, take them out of the daycare and alert your local authorities regarding your suspicions.
Types of Injuries in a Las Cruces Daycare Accident
Usual injuries at a daycare range from minor cuts and scrapes to severe injuries such as fractures and concussions. The most common types of daycare injuries include:
- Broken bones
- Broken or lost teeth
- Neck injuries
- Stomach injuries
- Spinal injuries
- Head trauma
As you can see, children can receive a variety of potentially life-altering injuries while at daycare. At Zinda Law Group, our Las Cruces personal injury lawyers are dedicated to ensuring that your child’s injuries are taken seriously through zealous advocacy on your behalf.
Demanding Compensation After an Las Cruces Daycare Accident
For a personal injury lawsuit under New Mexico law, you can obtain damages for your child’s injuries, including any medical expenses incurred through treatment, as well as for any long-lasting trauma and pain and suffering. In New Mexico, you may be able to obtain economic damages, non-economic damages, or punitive damages.
Economic damages refer to compensation for monetary losses, such as out-of-pocket medical expenses (past and future), loss of earnings, loss of use of property, and loss of future employment. These damages are the easiest to calculate.
Non-economic damages refer to compensation for non-monetary losses such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, inconvenience, and loss of companionship. Non-economic damages are harder to quantify than economic damages. Generally, a young child may have difficulties verbalizing how much physical pain they are in or how they are feeling emotionally. Fortunately, your Las Cruces attorney will help determine the value of your child’s non-monetary losses.
Unlike economic and non-economic damages, punitive damages punish the responsible party rather than making the victim “whole again.” Typically, you must meet a very high standard to obtain punitive damages. Importantly, under New Mexico law, a plaintiff must demonstrate that their injury was the direct result of the defendant’s intentional malicious conduct, oppressive behavior, or act committed with a wanton and reckless disregard for the plaintiff’s safety. Accordingly, it is difficult for victims of a slip and fall accident in New Mexico to obtain punitive damages. Despite the difficult threshold, consult with your New Mexico personal injury lawyer to determine whether you should seek punitive damages.
Additionally, because New Mexico is a pure comparative negligence state, if a court determines that you have any responsibility for your accident, your compensation will be reduced by the percentage you are found at fault. For example, if you sue a daycare operator for $10,000 and are found 10% at fault, you will receive $9,000 in damages instead of the full $10,000. Therefore, it is important to talk with your attorney about what your potential liability may be.
Read More: How to Calculate the Value of a Case.
What Are the Signs that My Child Is Being Abused at Daycare?
Because parents are not present when daycare injuries occur, it can be easy for parents to miss signs that their children are suffering. Therefore, it is important for a parent to be proactive and understand common factors indicating that their child is being harmed at daycare. For example, if your child is arriving home with unexplained bruises, cuts, or scrapes, it could be a sign of neglect by the daycare staff. Additionally, if your child has suddenly begun experiencing night terrors, it could be your child’s way of expressing their trauma connected to injuries suffered at daycare. If you have any reason to suspect that your child has been injured at daycare, contact the Las Cruces police immediately.
Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations is the legal time limit a party has to bring a claim for their injury or the injury of someone that the party represents. Every state has a statute of limitations. In New Mexico, the statute of limitations is three years from the date of the injury. However, the statute of limitations is tolled when a child is the injured party. Additionally, an injured child’s time limit will not begin to run until the child turns 18. This means that in a scenario where a five-year-old child is injured at a daycare, the child has 15 years to bring a lawsuit against the responsible party.
Contact Our Zinda Law Group Las Cruces Daycare Injury Lawyers Today
Any occurrence where a child is injured is a traumatic experience for a parent, especially when the injury happened at a daycare center. Even if you are not certain as to who caused your child’s injury or how the injury occurred, hiring a Las Cruces attorney is a great way to determine what led to your child’s injury and whether pursuing legal action is the proper response.
If your child has been injured in a daycare accident in Las Cruces, New Mexico, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 for a 100% free case evaluation with an experienced Las Cruces personal injury lawyer. You pay nothing unless we win your case. That is our No Win, No Fee Guarantee.
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