Every parent knows the feeling of dropping their child off for their first day of preschool, nursery school, or daycare. Overcome with worry, we entrust the well-being of our children to childcare facilities and their staff. Most of the time, our trust is well placed. Everything is usually fine, and our kids learn how to interact with others, do arts and crafts, and get to play outside. Unfortunately, sometimes our children are injured while at child care facilities. These injuries typically consist of a scraped knee or a bump on the head, nothing that can’t be chalked up to “child’s play”. Sometimes, however, these injuries are serious, life-changing, and were preventable. In this article, we discuss what you need to know if your child is seriously injured while at a child care facility.
1. Get your child immediate medical attention.
If your child is injured, the most immediate concern is his or her safety. This means that if the child care facility did not already get medical treatment for your child, you need to do so right away. This is especially true for head injuries, where a child may have a concussion and the symptoms may not be apparent right away. Make sure that proper diagnostic imaging is performed at the urgent care or hospital.
2. Do I have a legal claim against the child care facility?
Once your child has received medical attention, the next step is establishing whether you have a claim against the facility on behalf of your child. Essentially, this means establishing whether the facility was at fault. Although it is best to speak to an experienced personal injury attorney that knows the law and can decide whether you have a viable claim, grounds for an injury claim will typically involve either “negligence” or “intentional acts”, or both, by the chid care facility.
Negligence, put simply, is a party’s failure to do something they should’ve done, or doing something that they shouldn’t have. There are many factors in establishing a negligence claim. However, some common acts of negligence include:
• Inadequate supervision
• Improperly maintained classroom/playground equipment
• Unsanitary/Unsafe conditions
• Injury from Toxic Chemicals or other Substances
These are only a few examples of injuries to a child that may involve negligence of the child care facility. Your attorney should be able to analyze and assess the likelihood of success for any claim.
Unlike negligence, intentional acts (“torts”) are not accidental or unintentional. Rather, these refer to injuries to a child caused by the willful, intentional, and/or malicious acts of the child care facility or its employees. Typically, in a chid care facility situation, this involves acts of “child abuse” by the facility, such as:
• Sexual Assault
• False Imprisonment
• Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress
Again, these are only a few examples of intentional torts. An injury to a child may involve one or more of these, in combination with negligence and other causes of action. Always get a free consultation with an experienced attorney.
3. Is the facility public or private?
The next step in a claim for damages against a child care facility is to determine whether the facility is publicly or privately owned. In other words, is the facility owned by a public school district? This is very important to know, because there is a specific process for pursuing an injury claim against a government entity. Most daycare and preschool facilities are privately owned. Occasionally, however, a preschool or child care facility is owned, operated, and/or governed by a school district. If the facility is a governmental entity, there are important time limits and forms that must be followed.
“We’ll Take It From Here.”
For over 35 years, Slatter Law Firm, APC has been fighting to get children and their families that have been injured by child care facilities the compensation they deserve.
With offices in West Los Angeles, Antelope Valley, and Santa Cruz, CA., Slatter Law Firm, APC is a family-owned and operated plaintiff law firm ready to be of service to families and their children in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Bernardino, Riverside, San Diego, and anywhere else in Southern, Central, or Northern California.
We know the law, the exceptions, and the strategies involved in order to maximize recovery for victims of injuries by child care facilities, public or private. If your child has been injured at the hands of a child care facility, please call us today for your free consultation at (310) 444-3010 or toll-free at (888) 293-0404, and let Slatter Law Firm, APC “take it from here“.