As a parent, the health and safety of your children is more important than anything else. Your job, social commitments, and even personal wellbeing all take a back seat when it comes to your kids. Trusting your children to the care of professionals is difficult but often necessary for working parents. Daycares exist so that these individuals have peace of mind that their children receive professional care and attention—but what happens when a child is injured at a daycare center?
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
First of all, it is vital to fully assess the injury and your child’s perception of it. Children often play rough, and cuts and scrapes are a completely normal part of growing up. Some accidents may be completely out of the hands of daycare staff, such as a tumble off of playground equipment that the child has no trouble navigating regularly. Kids are incredibly resilient, and the usual scuffs and bumps are often forgotten as quickly as they come. However, should your child seem uncharacteristically hesitant to talk about his or her injury—or if he or she displays any other behavior out of character following an accident—this may be cause for alarm.
If your child was injured at daycare and you think a lawsuit may be a necessary next step, get a full account of exactly what happened. Other children unfortunately do not qualify as reliable witnesses, so you will need to ask the staff what happened and how the injury was treated. It should be obvious, but a scraped knee is not often just cause for a lawsuit. However, if your child suffers a broken bone, serious burn, or becomes ill from exposure or lack of proper care, you definitely want to consider a lawsuit. Look for these warning signs:
- It appears as though the injury was due to inadequate supervision from the staff
- The grounds and premises seem unsafe or unfit for children
- There is evidence of any criminal activity taking place on the premises
- Your child displays signs that they have been intentionally abused by staff members
In cases of intentional assault from daycare staff, you can file a civil lawsuit against the offenders. They may also face criminal charges for their conduct; this is highly likely if they are found to have abused a child in their care.
ASSESS YOUR LEGAL OPTIONS
If you have reviewed the details of your child’s injury and a lawsuit seems to be the best option, your next step should be retaining the services of an experienced and reliable attorney. If your child’s injury was not the result of intentional criminal conduct, then proving negligence is crucial to a successful personal injury lawsuit. To do so, you must establish three facts:
- The daycare center owed your child a duty to act with reasonable care. For a daycare center, this means it must have adequate staff to provide proper supervision to all of the children in its care, its premises must be clean and hazard-free, and staff members must actively supervise children’s health and safety and provide care as needed.
- The defendant breached this duty through some action. This could extend to failing to address safety concerns on the premises or having too many children assigned to each caregiver.
- This breach directly resulted in your child’s injury. To qualify, the injury must have happened while at the daycare center under the supervision of the staff.
If you are dealing with an injured child, navigating legal entanglements can be added stress that you simply do not want to address—but it is vital that you hold negligent parties responsible for the damage they cause. The Nielsen Law Firm has over 30 years of experience defending the rights of our Houston, TX clients in all manner of personal injury cases. Get in touch with us today for a free case evaluation. We can handle your legal troubles while you focus on your child.