It's finally summertime! Your kids are out of school, the weather is warm, and there…
Daycare is essential for working families, especially for families that have children of preschool age or younger. It is a reasonable expectation to pick up your kids at the end of the day the same way that you dropped them off: healthy. With this in mind, when placing our child in the care of someone else, parents should feel confident that the childcare center will care for their child. However, negligent conduct and supervision in a daycare setting is a common occurrence with the potential to lead to serious child injuries.
Who regulates daycare centers in Texas?
Texas Department of Family and Protective Services regulates and oversees daycare centers, imposing minimum standards that facilities must follow. If a facility doesn’t meet the minimum standard, they cant keep their licenses. Childcare facilities are required to do everything they reasonably can to ensure the health and safety of their charges.
There are only a couple of things that could potentially be foreseeable that the daycare could’ve taken precautions to prevent. The facts of your case and the injuries your child sustained will determine whether or not the daycare facility was negligent by failing to exercise due care. However, facilities must provide a written report if a child is hurt at daycare. If the provider was negligent and failed to provide proper care, the daycare can be held responsible.
Do centers have a responsibility if my child is hurt at daycare?
Caregivers in childcare facilities have the duty to supervise and care for children in their charge. You may have had to sign a liability waiver when you signed your child up, saying that you discharge the daycare and its staff from damages, legal claims, or expenses based on injuries or death of your child. However, the waiver is applied to the situation in which the child was hurt in an actual accident or an incident caused by someone outside of the daycare center, for example, if someone outside of the facility happened to crash into the building and hurt your child.
In addition, the waiver will not excuse the daycare center from legal responsibilities. If you signed a waiver and are unsure of what rights you have, contact us today to speak to an attorney immediately. In addition to being able to report any abuse or injury, you may bring a civil lawsuit for monetary damages against the daycare or other liable parties.
What level of supervision is needed?
The type of supervision varies, depending on the children and their needs. The level of supervision depends on a number of factors. Some of the few situations and factors to consider include:
- Children at a daycare near a pool or busy road will need more supervision than children in less risky environments.
- Younger children require more supervision than older children.
- Children with behavioral problems will require more monitoring.
- If there is a large group of children, it will require intense supervision.
- A child with a mental or physical disability needs a heightened level of supervision.
One main cause of negligence is an irresponsible high child-to-caregiver ratio. Organizations have a duty to only accept children that they are able to supervise. If an organization accepts more children than they can responsibly care for and a child is hurt due to lack of supervision, that organization can face liability.
What are some ways in which daycare centers may seem negligent?
There are accidents that potentially could happen that may make the daycare center seem negligent. The following are:
- The provider neglects to safely monitor children
- Place a child in harm’s way
- They don’t remove hazards that pose a threat to a child
- The provider engages in careless or reckless actions that contributed to the child’s injury
- The provider abuses a child
You must be able to prove negligence in order to secure compensation after your child has been injured.
What are some types of injuries that can happen at daycare?
Although you may have a strong bond with your child that allows you to speak to them about anything, there may be times that your child may not find the words to communicate that they have experienced abuse. It may be hard to know for sure if your child is experiencing some type of abuse or neglect in daycare. The following are common injuries that may occur at daycare centers:
- Broken Bones
- Eye injuries
- Sexual Assault
- Traumatic brain injury
- Allergic reaction
What should I do if my child was hurt at daycare?
You may have a right to seek compensation if your child has been injured. In order to make a claim against a daycare facility, you must be able to prove negligence. Just because a daycare center may have a waiver that you signed doesn’t mean that the facility isn’t liable for the hurt. Trust your gut, you know your child better than anyone else.
If you plan on pursuing a lawsuit, we recommend you:
- Get the names and contact information of anyone that may have witnessed the abuse or accident.
- Seek medical attention for your child. Retain all copies of medical bills related to the injuries sustained at the daycare center.
- Document your child’s injuries by taking pictures, as well as the scene of where the accident took place,
- Speak to one of our attorneys before making any record statements, accepting any settlements. And signing medical records authorization.
Keep in mind that the quicker you initiate your claim against the daycare facility the better for you. Depending on the state that you reside in, there is a statute of limitations, but it is typically two years after an injury is sustained that you may be able to file. Once the time limit elapses, you may be prevented from bringing a lawsuit against the daycare or other guilty parties for your child’s injury. In addition, it may be harder to find witnesses, and memory may not be as accurate if you wait too long.
The Carlson Law Firm can help
If your child has been injured in a daycare center, contact our office today to speak to one of our compassionate personal injury attorneys. Before signing a settlement agreement prepared by the insurance company, it is in your and your child’s best interests to have an attorney review the facts of your case and the proposal to make sure that you didn’t accidentally sign a waiver.