As a parent, you may trust daycare staff to protect and care for your child. When accidents happen, your child may be seriously injured. While it can be difficult to avoid every accident, many injuries could have been prevented by careful supervision, the removal of hazards, and the enforcement of strict safety guidelines. If your child has been injured due to the negligence or carelessness of daycare staff, you should learn what your next steps are.
Seek Medical Treatment for Your Child
Before you can take any other actions, you must take your child to see a doctor. Seeking medical care can prevent injuries from growing worse and start your child’s recovery so they will heal fully and quickly. When their treatment is complete, request a copy of the associated medical bills and reports. These reports can help to prove the extent of your child’s injuries and be used to calculate the damages for their pain and suffering, beyond their medical expenses.
Daycare Centers & Duty of Care
In order to prove negligence on the behalf of the daycare provider, you must demonstrate the facility did not exercise due care to prevent a foreseeable injury or accident. Due care means the degree of care a daycare provider or facility should be reasonably expected to exercise to prevent foreseeable harm. It often is determined by the circumstances of your child’s injury and how they compare to the normal, expected operation of a daycare center.
The two main factors of duty of care are:
- The cause of the injury or the circumstances of the accident: Was there adequate supervision of your child? Were there safety measures to prevent children from pulling over furniture, falling from playground equipment, or tripping over a hazard? Were conditions reasonably sanitary?
- The nature of the injury, and whether or not the injury was foreseeable: It can be difficult to foresee every possible situation, but your daycare provider should ensure that reasonable protections are in place to prevent injury. These can include installing self-latching gates to prevent children from going into restricted areas, placing padding underneath playground equipment, and employing enough workers to ensure that children can be appropriately supervised and cared for.
Once you have established that your child was injured, that the daycare had a duty of care, and there was a breach in that duty, you must prove that your child’s injuries occurred due to the breach. If your child would not have been injured, had the daycare had taken adequate precautions, you can prove that the daycare staff’s negligence was the actual cause of your child’s injuries.
You will also need to establish that the daycare was also the “proximate cause” of your child’s injuries. What this means is there was no other intervening cause that contributed to your child’s injuries. A proximate cause is an unforeseeable cause that is partially responsible for your child’s accident. If there is proximate cause, the daycare facility may not be considered negligent.
Presenting Your Claim
Prior to filing a lawsuit, you may wish to present your claim to the daycare facility’s insurance provider. It is possible that you will be able to settle your claim out of court. Your personal injury attorney can help you through every step of the process and can head up negotiations to ensure that you receive a fair settlement offer. During the process of filing your claim, an experienced personal injury lawyer can provide insight and can explain the legal options available to you.
At the Paulsen Law Group, we believe every client should receive compassionate, effective legal counsel. We understand the emotional time you are facing after your child was injured, and our Dunedin personal injury attorneys are here to help your family receive the compensation you deserve. We work with a wide variety of experts to help enhance your case and secure more favorable results for you and your loved ones.