Call (800) 863-5312 To Speak With Zinda Law Group’s Arizona Daycare Injury Lawyers Today
Life is usually 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 and protect their children. Unfortunately, some daycare workers take more care than others when supervising children. If your child has been hurt at an Arizona daycare, contact Zinda Law Group’s Arizona daycare injury lawyers today to discuss your potential claim.
Steps to Take Immediately After a Daycare Accident in Arizona
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 against the responsible party after your child suffers an injury in daycare, 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 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 of the incident 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 the accident to prove injuries. Overall, taking pictures helps boost your claim’s credibility and increases the likelihood of obtaining compensation.
4. Call an Arizona Personal Injury Lawyer
Consider hiring an attorney who is experienced with child injury cases. At Zinda Law Group, our Arizona 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 yours and your child’s 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 That Are Usually Responsible for Daycare Injuries in Arizona
Generally, the daycare’s staff members and the daycare facility itself are named in a daycare injury lawsuit. When a child sustains an injury in 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, directly causing damages (i.e. an injury) to the child. The following parties may be found negligent after a daycare accident:
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, or not providing supervision in general) you may be able to file a successful lawsuit against the responsible staff member(s) for negligence.
Additionally, the daycare facility could face responsibility if one of the daycare’s employees caused your child’s injuries. 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.
Common Reasons For Daycare Injuries in Arizona
Daycare injuries result from poorly trained staff, unsafe conditions, and negligent supervisors. Several 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 an Arizona 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 Arizona 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 Arizona Daycare Accident
For a personal injury lawsuit under Arizona law, you can obtain damages for your child’s injuries, including any medical expenses incurred through treatment, as well as for any pain and suffering. In Arizona, 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. That is often the case when the victim is a child as the child may have difficulties verbalizing how much physical pain they are in or how they are feeling emotionally. Fortunately, your Arizona 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. Surprisingly, Arizona does not have a specific law that clarifies what the state’s standards are for obtaining punitive damages. Currently, Arizona courts have settled on a rule that a party may only recover punitive damages if the defendant acted with an “evil mind.” To meet the “evil mind” standard, a party must prove that the defendant:
- Had ill will and intentionally caused harm to the victim; or
- The defendant knew that what they were doing was so unsafe that it was likely to lead to serious injury
While neither state of mind is easy to prove, your Arizona personal injury lawyer will analyze the specifics of your case and tell you if attempting to acquire punitive damages for your child’s daycare injury is the best option.
Read More: How to Calculate the Value of a Case.
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 Arizona, the statute of limitations is two 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 Arizona 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, where your child is supposed to be in the trusted hands of professionals. Even if you are not certain as to who caused your child’s injury or how the injury occurred, hiring an Arizona 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 Arizona, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 for a 100% free case evaluation with an experienced Arizona personal injury lawyer. You pay nothing unless we win your case. That is our No Win, No Guarantee.
Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.