As a parent, you of course want the best for your child. When you leave your child with caretakers, you are entrusting your child’s well-being to that care facility. When the day care breaks that trust, and causes injury to your child, daycare facilities may be held accountable for their negligence.
Every state has laws and regulations for child care facilities. Even counties and municipalities may have day care requirements and certain regulations. Negligence, in any form, is unacceptable. If you believe the daycare facility is at fault for your child’s injury you need to know your legal rights.
Is the Child Care Facility at Fault?
Most facilities and personnel have your child’s best interest at heart. Not all incidents can be foreseen or prevented. However, not all facilities live up to the right standards or laws set by the state.
With the prevalent need in our society for child care, many facilities are understaffed or have unqualified employees. Other issues include improper room setup and outdated playground or other equipment that can lead to hazardous conditions.
If your child is injured at a day care, some general considerations may include:
- Did the daycare have a responsibility to protect or not injure your child
- Your child’s personal injury occurred while in the facility’s care
- The injury may have been preventable
- The extent of the injuries and medical treatment
- What steps were taken after your child was injured
- Did the day care facility have notice of a hazardous condition
What About Liability Waivers?
Many child care facilities have a liability waiver. While the liability waiver can provide some protection to the daycare, it still does not normally excuse negligence on the part of the facility or its staff.
Examples of negligence may include:
- Leaving the child unattended
- Feeding them foods they are allergic to
- Leaving sharp tools or toxic substances in reach of children
- Failure to properly screen employees
- Having dangerous or defective equipment
Whether you signed a liability waiver or not, you still have certain legal rights.
What to Do When an Injury Occurs
As soon as you become aware of your child’s injury, begin to document everything. It is important for your child’s safety to have good records regarding any incident.
Five recommended steps to take after an injury occurs:
- Seek Medical Attention: Take care of your child first. Even if the external injuries seem small, there may be internal issues you cannot see. Your child’s health is of course of the utmost importance. Follow the advice of your child’s health care providers.
- Find Out What Happened: Talk to staff and other witnesses. Your child may or may not be at the age where they can explain what happened to them, but speaking to other witnesses can help you understand.
- Keep a Record of Expenses: For every doctor’s visit, medical prescription, and time you may take off work, keep track of your costs.
- Take Pictures & Journal: Take before and after photos if possible and keep a daily journal of your child’s recovery. A daily record with photos may help in your child’s progress and allows you to keep up without trying to remember everything.
- Do you need Legal Advice?: If you decide to seek legal advice, find out from an experienced lawyer to know fully your legal rights.