Parents drop their young children off at daycare every day. And even though most have done very careful research and read plenty of reviews, it is still difficult for most parents to entrust their child’s safety to anyone else. Most of the time, there is nothing to worry about. Unfortunately, there are times when parental trust is violated, and children suffer harm while at daycare.
If you are the parent of a child who was injured in a daycare or other childcare setting, you may be wondering what your legal options are. Can you file a personal injury lawsuit? Would criminal charges also apply? The answer to both of these questions depends on how your child was injured and by whom.
Accidents Happen, Even Under Proper Supervision
Getting injured is an unfortunate side effect of exploring the world. If your child gets hurt while playing or is injured by another child of the same age, you may not necessarily have a legal claim. Sometimes, accidents and injuries occur regardless of supervision and precautions.
Was Negligence a Factor?
Accidents do happen, but daycare staff and owners can be held liable if the accidents and injuries were the result of negligence. Daycare professionals owe your child a duty of care. If they act in a manner that is below a reasonable standard of behavior for the situation, they have breached that duty of care and may be considered negligent.
Negligence could take many forms, including:
- Not keeping a proper watch over the children or being understaffed
- Not taking proper care of the facility, leading to hazards
- Failing to address chronic behavior issues of certain children despite seeing that they could become violent or injure others
- Failing to adequately “baby proof” and protect against known, age-specific hazards
Intentional Acts Could Lead to Civil and Criminal Charges
Sadly, some daycare injuries are caused by the intentional acts of adults without adequate self-control. Children may be hit or shoved in frustration, or otherwise punished for misbehavior in a manner that was disproportionate to the offense and/or endangered the safety of the child.
In such cases, these individuals can and often should face criminal charges. But their actions are also a cause for civil action against the perpetrators and the facility itself.
Get Your Questions Answered By An Attorney for Free
If your child was injured or suffered significant emotional distress due to the negligence or intentional acts of daycare professionals, you may be feeling anger, panic, and many other emotions. If the incident was criminal in nature, please contact the police immediately. After that, contact our firm.
If the acts were non-criminal but related to negligence, please contact us to discuss your rights and legal options. Discuss your options with a personal injury attorney.