Kentucky regulators, on November 24, 2022, decided to close a local daycare permanently, as the facility deals with the consequences of an employee being accused of child abuse and claims in a daycare negligence lawsuit that abusive behaviors had been disregarded or covered up.
This is not a solitary case but a representation of the daycare negligence cases alarming all the parents in the U.S.
This LezDo blog revolves around the raising of daycare negligence lawsuits in the United States and the legal rights of injured children and their parents.
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Before getting into the nuts and bolts of negligence at daycare and the stemming lawsuits, let’s have a quick glance at the statistics of child care in the U.S. I am sure this would help you grab the depth of the matter; we are about to discuss in this blog.
- Child care facilities are used by 58% of working parents, or 6.38 million parents nationwide.
- Children’s care costs account for at least 10% of American households’ total income on average.
- In the United States, the childcare sector is worth $54 billion.
What is daycare system in the U.S?
Commercial daycares, also known as childcare centers, provide a structured and controlled childcare system.
The following are the types of childcare centers in the United States.
1. Family Child Care Homes:
Child care runs in a residential building with a limited number of children and caretakers.
2. Child Care Centers:
Child care centers operate in commercial buildings, with children grouped according to age.
3. Pre-School Programs:
As the name suggests, preschool programs are intended for kids between the ages of 3-5 years and run through schools, non-profit organizations, or childcare centers.
4. School-Age Programs:
School-age programs are run for school-going kids before and after school hours.
5. Family, Friend, and Neighbor Care:
These types of daycares are operated by family members or neighbors of the children either in the kids’ or the caretaker’s residence.
What are the common types of daycare abuse?
Though we are discussing daycare injuries and the stemming lawsuits in the perspective of negligence, daycare injuries as a whole could result from the following factors.
- Medical neglect
- Emotional abuse
- Physical abuse
- Sexual abuse
How do daycare injuries occur due to negligence?
Playgrounds: Playgrounds are dangerous if not constantly watched over. Poorly maintained playgrounds increase the risk of injury from debris, rusted playthings, or cracked fall surfaces.
Falls: Falling from playground equipment to the ground is the most frequent daycare accident.
Inside play spaces: Children can easily get wounded due to lack of space or when there is an overabundance of furniture.
Injuries from other children: Children who are more aggressive may hurt others by pushing, shoving, biting, striking, or scratching when not adequately supervised.
Burns and electrocution injuries: Children can suffer burns and electrocution injuries due to unsafe kitchen premises and unprotected electrical cords, outlets, or appliances.
Exposure to animals: Existence to animals are more likely to shed specific diseases, and lack of management can lead to bites, or scratches.
Exposure to harmful chemicals and medications: Inhalation or ingestion of harmful chemicals like floor cleaners, pesticides, bleach solutions, or even medications can harm children.
Suffocation, choking, and drowning: Children are inherently interested and frequently explore everything around them. If unattended, it can result in choking, drowning, etc.
What are the common types of daycare injuries?
Daycare injuries can range from minor cuts to severe injuries and disfigurement in the children. The following are the commonly reported daycare injuries.
- Scrapes, cuts, and bruises
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injury
Signs of Daycare Negligence
The signs of daycare negligence may differ per the nature of the incident and the child. The below-mentioned are the common signs of daycare negligence in children.
- Unexplained bruises, bite marks, or other injuries
- Unkempt and dirty appearance
- Consistent drowsiness or tiredness
- Behavioral changes
How to handle a daycare injury?
Quickly seek medical help
Getting appropriate medical care soon after your child has sustained a daycare injury can help ensure the child is safe. Seeking medical attention can also help when you proceed with a personal injury lawsuit.
Take photos and videos and store physical proof
After an injury, document your child’s wounds with photos and videos at each step. Collect the daycare center’s CCTV recordings, which can be used as proof in cases alleging carelessness.
Converse with prospective witnesses
Speak with anyone who can provide an eyewitness account of the circumstances leading up to your child’s accident or any evidence that reflects the daycare provider’s management.
Personal Injury Claims for Daycare Negligence
Licensed caregivers generally try to keep children safe, but certain facilities or employees act irresponsibly and breach their duty to safeguard the children entrusted to their care. Only 10% of childcare facilities offer good care, as per the National Institute of Child Health Development survey.
Injuries at daycare facilities range from minor accidents to child death. When the injury and the connected medical care is associated with negligence of the daycare, it can lead to daycare negligence claims and suing the daycare facility.
Daycare Negligence Lawsuit- How to Sue?
An adult acts as the injured child’s representative in personal injury litigation because a child lacks the competence to bring a lawsuit. One or both parents of the child may serve as the legal representative.
You may obtain the justice you and your child deserve, as well as monetary compensation for your trauma if you believe your child is a victim of daycare negligence.
It is important to evaluate the substance and veracity of your allegation before filing a lawsuit against the daycare for negligence. Your next move after medical care should be to get in touch with a daycare injury attorney who could give you legal counsel regarding your claim.
The daycare injury lawyer may choose to speak with childcare employees and accident witnesses, as well as analyze daycare security footage or business policies and procedures.
A daycare injury lawsuit can be pursued by establishing the following factors:
- The daycare had a responsibility to watch after and safeguard your child.
- The daycare violated its duty of care.
- Your child’s injuries were brought on by the daycare’s violation of its duty.
- Your child suffered injuries that can be supported by evidence
Medical documents of the child are solid evidence of the injuries sustained due to daycare negligence. Precise review of the medical record reviews would clearly scrape out the medical evidence for the claim.
Keep all copies of the medical bills for any injuries your child received while attending the childcare facility since you’ll need them if you want to file a claim for compensation.
LezDo TechMed is the leading medical record review company trusted by the top daycare injury lawyers in the U.S. We have reviewed medical records for hundreds of daycare negligence lawsuits, helping the attorneys bag the best compensation to the victim.
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Liable Parties in a Daycare Injury Claim
Who could be held liable in a daycare injury lawsuit?
- Daycare owners
- Daycare operators
- Daycare staff
- Third-party, such as a parent company that owns the daycare facility
However, depending upon the circumstances of the incident, the defendants in a daycare injury litigation may differ.
Daycare centers are not responsible for accidents caused by third parties’ irresponsibility or unpredictable events like a toy defect or equipment flaw in the daycare premise. The daycare facility would be held accountable only when it was directly to blame for the child’s injuries.
What are the damages covered in a daycare negligence lawsuit?
Pursuing daycare lawsuits, the parents can seek compensation for the following damages.
- Emotional distress
- Costs of medical expenses and equipment
- Future medical care costs
- Rehabilitation costs
- Lost pay for the parents of the kid
- Costs of switching daycare facilities
- Lost income
- Children’s lost quality of life
- Wrongful death
The compensation for the parents, including the medical costs, will cover the past and up until the litigation is finished, as well as any future medical costs up until the child is 18 or beyond.
The vital element in a daycare injury lawsuit is understanding if the daycare facility possesses a valid license to cover the victim’s injuries.
The main hurdle in suing licensed daycare facilities is that they should have enough money in their insurance scheme that is enough to pay settlement/compensation to the injured child. While suing small daycare facilities run in a house, the insurance coverage of the house owner or landlord will apply.
In 2017, a toddler in Texas was attacked with scissors by another child in a daycare facility. The lawsuit claimed that despite knowing the youngster had a history of aggression, the daycare providers did not properly supervise the kids.
For their child’s bodily pain and suffering, emotional agony, physical disfigurement, physical handicap, and medical costs, the parents pursued a daycare negligence lawsuit with the support of Miller & Zois, the expert daycare negligence lawyer. The lawsuit resulted in settlement of $325,000 to the family.
How to safeguard your child in daycare?
Kids are among the most vulnerable groups, requiring extensive care and attention. The market for child care in the United States was estimated to be worth USD 33.5 billion in 2021, and from 2022 to 2030, it is anticipated to increase at a CAGR of 4.15%.
Leaving the children at daycare facilities is the one and only choice available to many working parents in the country. How to ensure that your kids are safe and taken care of in the daycare systems?
Existing state and federal legislation specifies requirements for all of these facilities and institutions. Let’s check out those standards mandatory for a daycare facility.
- A suitable caregiver-to-child ratio
- Simple access to first aid supplies
- Suitable safety requirements
- Adequate food portioning in accordance with the recommended timetable
- Adequate restroom facilities
- Appropriate safety precautions to stop wandering of the kids
- A rule that forbids any abuse of the body, mind, emotions, or sexuality
As a parent, make sure the daycare facility you choose for your child is appropriately licensed and follows the guidelines imposed by the government.
Carefully monitor your child for any cuts, wounds, or health issues, and encourage him to share his daytime stories with you. Visit the daycare facility periodically and observe the environment and staff behavior.
How daycare facilities should ensure child safety?
- Regular practice of safety and emergency plans.
- Staff members with CPR and first aid training.
- Safe and secured room access.
- Make sure the playground surface absorbs shock.
- Children using playgrounds must always be adequately supervised.
- Sturdy furniture and fittings are fastened to a wall or the ground to prevent tipping or wobbling.
- Playground equipment must be safe and well-maintained.
- Implementation of attendance tracking software and child care security system.
- In addition to observing and enforcing playground laws, they must train kids to use the equipment properly.
- Avoid playgrounds with concrete, asphalt, compacted dirt, or grass.
You want others to treat your child with the same care you would, yet this isn’t always the case when you entrust them with their care. No matter how much research you do on a facility, you never know if your child is in danger until it’s too late.
The immediate thing you can do when your child is injured in such circumstances is to sue daycare for neglect with the help of an expert daycare lawyer.
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1/5 The negligence of daycare occurs when an employee deviates from the required standard of care, putting a child at risk.
The daycare, or staff involved can and should be held accountable if their negligence results in harm or injury.#daycarenegligence #lezdomedlegal pic.twitter.com/FHZC4Yaqse
— LezDo MedLegal (@LezDoMedLegal) December 29, 2022