What Happens if Your Child is Injured at a Daycare?
Many parents rely on daycare centers to care for their children while they work. As they should, parents expect these providers to supervise their children and to ensure their safety while in their care. Unfortunately, injuries do occur in daycares quite frequently. While not every injury at a daycare center is a result of negligence—accidents do happen—sometimes injuries do result from negligence.
When Can a Daycare Be Liable for a Child’s Injuries?
A daycare provider has the duty to protect your child from foreseeable harm. If the daycare breached this duty by some form of negligence or intentional misconduct, then they may be held responsible for the injuries your child suffered as a result.
Some examples of daycare negligence include:
- The daycare was not properly staffed.
- The daycare staff did not adequately supervise the children.
- Toys or equipment for the children were unsafe and/or not age appropriate.
- Conditions at the daycare were unsanitary.
- Daycare provider failed to take reasonable precautions for child safety, such as covering outlets and keeping hazardous objects out of children’s reach.
- Daycare staff administered medication not approved by parents.
These negligent actions by daycare staff members can lead to serious injuries. In the most tragic cases, negligence can even lead to death. In cases where a child is injured due to the negligence of the owner or staff of a daycare, you have the right to pursue a claim against the daycare.
If your child has been injured at daycare, here are 5 steps to take:
- Get your child immediate medical attention. Your child’s health and safety should always be the main concern. Be sure to keep records of all your child’s medical treatment, including the initial diagnosis. These records will be important should you decide to pursue a claim against the daycare facility.
- Photograph your child’s injuries. Photos of the injuries may serve as important evidence in your claim.
- Ask your child about the incident, if he or she is old enough to explain it to you.
- Speak to your child’s daycare provider about the incident. You want to know their side of the story. You should also ask for a written incident report from the daycare provider.
- Consult with a personal injury attorney about the case. An experienced attorney will be able to help you determine whether to file a claim against the daycare provider. They can also help to further investigate the incident to determine whether the daycare was negligent or not. If your case needs to proceed to court, your personal injury attorney will be able to handle these proceedings and give you guidance each step of the way.
What About Waivers?
When you register your child for daycare, they may require you to sign a liability waiver before they begin caring for your child. Usually these waivers will include an indemnity provision, which states that the provider is not liable if a child suffers an injury on the property. If you read over this waiver, it may seem that the daycare provider cannot be held responsible for injuries your child suffered while under their care. Fortunately, this is not the case.
California courts have held that these waivers of liability for daycare centers are generally not enforceable, as it is bad policy to allow parents to sign away their rights to compensation before an incident causing injury occurs. Enforcing such waivers would allow daycares to go unpunished for negligence. Thus, it is quite possible for these indemnity clauses to be ruled invalid.
Daycare centers are most likely aware that negligence waivers are not going to be effective in a personal injury claim, but many continue to include them to influence parents’ decisions regarding lawsuits. If your child has been injured at a daycare, don’t assume you don’t have a claim just because you signed a waiver.
“Daycare providers have the responsibility to protect the children in their care and to prevent foreseeable injuries. When a child is injured due to daycare negligence, the child’s parents or guardians have a right to seek compensation for their child’s injuries,” said Attorney Walter Clark, founder of Walter Clark Legal Group.
Our firm has been handling personal injury cases throughout the California Low Desert and High Desert communities for over 30 years. With a 95% success rate, the California personal injury attorneys at Walter Clark Legal Group will fight to hold those responsible for your loss accountable and win compensation to cover medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If you have been injured and want to discuss your legal options, contact us today at (760) 777-7777 for a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer. We have offices in Indio, Rancho Mirage, Victorville, El Centro, and Yucca Valley, and represent clients through the entire California Low Desert and High Desert communities.
DISCLAIMER: The Walter Clark Legal Group blog is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended as legal or medical advice. References to laws are based on general legal practices and vary by location. Information reported comes from secondary news sources. We do handle these types of cases, but whether or not the individuals and/or loved ones involved in these accidents choose to be represented by a law firm is a personal choice we respect. Should you find any of the information incorrect, we welcome you to contact us with corrections.