When you choose a day care for your child, you trust the staff to take care of your child as if it were their own. While many facilities do a good job keeping children safe, others do not, and accidents are often the result. Below is an overview of day care injuries and how filing a personal injury claim may help parents obtain compensation for their child’s injuries. If your child has been hurt due to the negligence of a trusted day care facility, it may benefit you to consult a personal injury attorney to discuss your options.
Not every day care accident is due to the recklessness or negligence of the day care facility. Some accidents are not foreseeable or due to anyone’s carelessness. However, some day care injuries are completely preventable, and those may make for a successful personal injury lawsuit under premises liability law. In order to obtain compensation for your child’s injuries, you must be able to prove that workers did not maintain a reasonable standard of care, and that led to your child’s injuries. Some things that may be considered negligent include:
- Failing to keep the premises safe
- Violating health codes and statutes
- Not supervising children properly
- Having too few workers per child/being out of ratio
- Not having safety measures to keep children from wandering away
- Failure to provide access to water and bathroom facilities
- Failing to keep first aid tools on hand
It can be difficult proving negligence in personal injury claims, so it is usually best to hire a personal injury attorney to help you prove your case in court. While many premises liability cases are settled out of court, others may go to trial. For this reason, it is a good idea to hire an attorney with extensive trial experience.
Common Day Care Injuries
While children can be hurt at day care in many ways, some accidents occur more often than others. Some of the most commonly reported day care accidents and injuries include:
- Being hit by falling objects
Many children are hurt each year by items at their day care facility that are not secure. Bookshelves, tables, and other large objects should be firmly anchored to the wall so that accidents do not happen. Failure to do so puts every child at risk, because children tend to climb on these items during the course of the day.
- Playground injuries
The statistics compiled by the Centers for Disease Control, or CDC, show that of the 200,000 playground injuries that occur every year in the U.S., 20,000 children are treated for brain injuries or concussions. In addition to head injuries, children are likely to sustain fractures requiring treatment. Most day care facilities have playground equipment and outdoor play time, making these types of injuries commonplace. Some of these injuries may be due to faulty playground equipment, or they may occur because the day care worker was less than vigilant in their duties.
- Injuries inflicted by other children
While it can be more difficult proving negligence if your child was injured by another child at day care, it is not impossible. If your child’s injuries were during a time when the worker was not taking due care to keep your child safe, then you may be able to file a personal injury case against the child and the day care.
You may be able to obtain compensation for certain expenses and damages in a personal injury claim. Some of these damages may include:
- Emergency room care
- Hospital costs
- Doctor visits
- Pain and suffering
- Cost of crutches or wheelchairs
- Emotional distress
- Therapy fees
Every personal injury case has time limits in which a claim must be filed in court. Because each state has different time limits, it is best to see an attorney as quickly as possible after your child’s accident to avoid losing the right to file your claim. Failing to get your case filed in court within the statute of limitations in your state may mean your case will not be heard.
If your child suffered a serious injury due to the negligence of a day care facility or day care worker, contact a personal injury attorney for advice. After going over your child’s medical records and your case, your attorney will present all your options available under the law. While filing a lawsuit will not remove the trauma and pain of your child’s accident, it may help ease the financial burden that can often be quite costly when injuries are severe.