My Child Was Hurt at Daycare – Who is Liable? - Child Abuse and Neglect Legal Blogs Posted by Mark D. Chappell - Lawyers.com

My Child Was Hurt at Daycare – Who is Liable?

Daycare providers have a legal responsibility to protect children under their care from harm. When that duty is breached and a child is injured as a result, daycare providers may be held liable for the injuries caused by their negligence, even if a release form was signed. Parents of children who were injured while at daycare should speak to a local daycare injury lawyer as soon as possible to ensure that their child’s rights are protected.

Proving a Daycare is Responsible for a Child’s Injuries
Many daycare centers include an indemnification clause in their release form, which states that they are released from all liability for any injuries a child may suffer while under their care. However, this clause is typically considered to be against public policy and it therefore often does not hold up in court.

Parents may bring a personal injury claim against the daycare’s insurance company to recover compensation for their child’s injuries. To prevail, they must be able to prove that the daycare facility was negligent. Negligence is established by showing that:

the daycare center had a duty of care to do everything that a prudent daycare center would reasonably do to protect children under its care from harm; however
the daycare center breached that duty of care; and
the breach was the direct and proximate cause of the child’s injuries; and
that breach caused the child to be injured (for which medical evidence must be provided).
Daycare facilities cannot be held liable for unforeseeable events or for injuries sustained due to the negligence of a third party. An example of this would be in the case that a child was injured because of a defective product. The daycare operator will only be liable if it was directly responsible for the child’s injuries, which must be supported by medical bills and records, witness statements, photographs, and other forms of documentation.

Daycare Facility Negligence
When a daycare facility fails to uphold its duty of care, children may be seriously injured as a result. Daycare facilities may be held accountable for various forms of negligence, including:

Not having the proper caregiver to child ratio
Failing to uphold safety standards
Hiring inappropriate personnel/failing to perform background checks
Not training employees adequately
Neglecting to provide children with basic necessities such as food, water, and medication
Lack of supervision/unsupervised bathroom facilities
Damages for Injuries Sustained at Daycare
To prevail in a daycare injury case, it must be shown that the child suffered some form of injury. It is therefore important for parents to obtain copies of all medical bills for treatments relating to the injury and keep track of all out-of-pocket expenses, as they may be compensable. Daycare injury claims involving multiple parties can become especially complicated, therefore it is advisable that parents speak with an attorney before signing any settlement agreements to make sure that their child’s rights are protected.

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Mark D. Chappell

Licensed since 1985

Member at firm Chappell, Smith & Arden, P.A.

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