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Few things are as heartbreaking as a child suffering a serious and preventable injury. The child’s parents will likely feel a combination of anger, sadness, and frustration wondering what to do in the event their child is injured. One option is to take legal action against the person responsible for the child’s injury. If your child has suffered injuries while attending daycare, the Fort Collins daycare injury lawyers from Zinda Law Group can help you understand your legal rights.
According to recent data from the Colorado Office of Early Childhood, Colorado reported one and a half times as many children hurt at childcare facilities as Texas. To help these families, our daycare injury lawyers are providing 100% free consultations. To speak with a Fort Collins attorney who can evaluate your claim and help you hold negligent parties accountable call (800) 863-5312.
For a free legal consultation with a daycare injury lawyer serving Fort Collins, call 800-863-5312
How can a Filing a Lawsuit help Me?
After your child suffers an injury, perhaps the last thing you are thinking about is hiring an attorney. Understandably, most parents are occupied providing care for their children. Usually, filing a lawsuit does not even cross their mind until they receive their first medical bill.
If you find yourself in this situation, you may feel helpless. However, through a court-ordered settlement, you can help your child make their recovery. A successful lawsuit after a daycare accident in Colorado can provide your family with:
- Compensation for the cost of medical care
- Compensation and assistance needed to find a safer daycare
- Prevent future daycare accidents
Our daycare injury lawyers feel that no family should be prevented from bringing a claim because they can’t afford the upfront costs of consulting with an attorney. That is why we offer free consultations, and a No Win, No Fee Guarantee, which means that you will pay nothing unless we win your case for you.
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Who will a court consider legally responsible for my child’s injuries?
Daycare accidents are often more complex than families initially anticipate. One reason why they are more complex is that the accident is likely the fault of more than one person. For example, a member of the daycare staff who observed their co-worker engaging in negligent behavior and didn’t report it could be held liable if the negligent behavior caused the injury. Indeed, determining who may be liable is not always a straightforward task, but some common defendants in daycare lawsuits include:
- Religious institutions
- Public daycare facilities
- Private daycare facilities
- In-home daycare services
- Individual employees of the above-named institutions
Naming all potentially liable parties is crucial to the success of your personal injury claim because, in some cases, a failure to do so may result in you losing the ability to collect compensation for your child’s injuries. An attorney can help you determine who may be responsible and properly file your injury claim. To determine liability, an experienced injury attorney assesses the facts of a case by considering the following questions:
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Was the Act Intentional or Negligent?
The first step in determining who is responsible for your child’s injury is establishing whether the actions that caused it were intentional or negligent. In cases involving intentional torts such as battery, assault, and emotional infliction of distress, daycare employees are often held individually liable. The daycare may also be liable for failing to stop the tort from happening if it had reason to know that these torts were taking place. Similarly, if the daycare hired the employee without conducting a proper background check, or failed to provide the appropriate training and supervision, the school may be held liable for the employee’s actions.
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What if I Signed a Liability Waiver?
Liability waivers intend to protect the daycare from lawsuits that may result from accidents. Parents often think that a liability waiver prevents the daycare from ever being held liable, but this is not the case. Of course, there are exceptions where the daycare’s liability is limited, but generally, if your child is injured due to negligence, you can sue the daycare provider for compensation.
Should I worry about the Statute of Limitations?
The statute of limitations is the time limit you have to file a lawsuit. 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 time specified by the statute of limitations, the injured party is effectively barred from bringing a claim.
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 as time passes after the accident.
A Fort Collins daycare injury attorney from Zinda Law Group can help you determine who to hold responsible, as well as what the statute of limitations or a liability waiver might mean for your claim. Call (800) 863-5312 to talk with an attorney who can start gathering information for your case today.
What to do immediately after a daycare accident
After discovering that your child was injured at daycare, you will likely be concerned about what to do next. Although you may trust your daycare facility to look after your child and ensure their well-being, every parent should have a plan of action in case of an accident. Taking the right next step can make a difference in the crucial moments immediately after the injury.
Assuming that you are informed of the injury, this is what you should do next:
Seek Medical Care for Your Child
If your child’s injury is severe enough to require medical treatment, hopefully the employees of the daycare should have immediately acted and called 911. After the police are notified of the accident, they can send an ambulance and medical crew to tend to your child’s needs. When being informed of the accident, be sure to ask if the authorities have been called and contact them yourself if necessary.
Document Your Child’s Injuries and Pain
After your child receives medical treatment, make sure to document their injuries. Photographs can be used to prove the severity of an injury and can be used later as evidence during a settlement negotiation and at trial. Additionally, you should ask for the notes taken by the medical team who addressed your child’s injuries.
Meet With the Superintendent of the Daycare
Once your child receives medical care and you’ve documented their injuries, you should arrange for a meeting with the head of operations for the daycare. During the meeting, you will have the opportunity to ask questions about the accident and what the employee taking care of your child was doing when it occurred.
Ask For Footage of The Accident
Although daycare facilities are not legally required to grant a family access to review their camera footage, it is worth asking for as a they might be willingly give it to you. Be advised that they may be okay with showing you the video, but not want to provide you with your own copy. It’s important that if you get the chance to watch the video, you pay close attention to the factors that could have caused the accident to occur. An attorney can help you with this step.
Report the Accident to the Colorado Office of Early Childhood
All daycare accidents resulting in injury should be reported to the Colorado Office of Early Childhood (COED). The daycare is required to report the accident, but you can ensure that documentation of the accident exists by filing a complaint with the COED’s Division of Early Care and Learning yourself. When reporting the accident to the COED investigators, make sure to concisely explain the specific circumstances surrounding the accident.
Contact Fort Collins Daycare Injury Lawyers
An experienced daycare injury lawyer can inform you about your parental rights and your chances of making a recovery from the injuries suffered by your child. A Fort Collins personal injury lawyer from Zinda Law Group will have experience in holding negligent and unsafe daycare facilities liable for violations of safety standards. Additionally, a case evaluation from one of our attorneys is free and can aid in your decision-making process.
Can I bring a Personal Injury Claim on Behalf of my Child?
Under Colorado law, minors are “persons under disability,” and, in most cases, cannot file lawsuits on their behalf. As the parent, you are responsible for retaining a lawyer and filing a personal injury lawsuit for them. Additionally, you may bring your own claims to recover compensation for damages related to your child’s injury.
Can I Recover the Cost of Medical Expenses?
As mentioned, parents have a legal right to recover for medical bills if their child was injured due to someone else’s negligence. Additionally, a recent Colorado Supreme Court decision extended the right to recover for medical expenses to children as well. However, a parent and a child cannot recover for medical expenses simultaneously.
What Happens with the Compensation my Child Receives?
In cases where the victim is a child, most of the funds recovered will belong to the child. As a rule, the judge will likely order that the funds are put into a trust that the child cannot access until they’re an adult. In the meantime, funds will be pulled from the trust for purposes designated by the court, and the remainder will collect interest.
Common Causes of Daycare accidents
Daycare accidents can have several causes. For example, there are many different types of daycare facilities. But regardless of what type of facility it is, the daycare is expected to take every precaution to make sure a child isn’t injured while in its care. The two most common causes of daycare accidents are negligence and child abuse.
Childcare service providers have a general duty to take reasonable precautions to prevent foreseeable harm. Additionally, state and federal laws impose certain standards that must be observed when providing care, supervision, or guidance for a child. Negligence per se refers to acts that are inherently negligent because they violate a specific legal requirement. When there are specific statutory requirements prohibiting the behavior that caused the injury, the failure to meet those requirements indicates negligence.
Altogether, to prove negligence, you must show by a preponderance of the evidence that the daycare or its employees breached the general duty of care or some other statutorily enforced duty. And if the duty is enforced by statute, the act or omission is automatically considered negligent.
When people hear about a child abuse, they automatically assume that the child was physically abused. Abuse can also refer to mental and emotional trauma suffered by the child as well. In fact, according to the American Society for the Positive Care of Children, only 17.5% of mistreated children are physically abused. Signs of physical abuse include bruises, marks, and scratches that cannot be otherwise explained.
Cases of abuse are most often criminally prosecuted. Some parents assume that they are precluded from filing a personal injury claim when the abuser is facing criminal sanctions. This assumption is incorrect and should not deter you from filing a civil claim for compensation.
Get Help from one of our Fort Collins daycare injury Lawyers today
The Fort Collins injury attorneys from Zinda Law Group are here to help the victims of childcare abuse and neglect. We know that parents drop their kids off at daycare expecting to pick up them up in the same condition that they left them in. Indeed, if you are informed that your child has been injured in an accident at daycare you will likely feel confused and betrayed. If your child was hurt at daycare, speak with a Fort Collins attorney from Zinda Law Group by calling (800) 863-5312 today. An experienced Fort Collins daycare injury attorney can help you work through this complex and challenging time.
Zinda Law Group offers a free case evaluation. Plus, our No Win, No Fee Guarantee, means that you will pay nothing unless we achieve a favorable settlement, judgment, or verdict for your case.
Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.
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