Few things strike fear into a parent's heart more than the threat of harm to their child. This is why an injury that occurs at a daycare or with a daycare provider can be an emotional thing to deal with. As the parent, you know that money won't remove your child's pain and suffering, but you also know that money is necessary to pay for medical bills and for any loss of income incurred by caring for your child during recovery. The following guide can help you file a claim against the facility.
From the time the accident occurs until you go to court, it is up to you to keep accurate documentation. Your first step begins at the doctor's office or emergency room, immediately following the accident. Get copies of all medical reports and supporting documents for the injury and any follow-up treatments.
Keep records at home, following treatment. Include documentation for any sick days or leave without pay that you must take to care for your child, along with a daily diary documenting your child's recovery.
While collecting your documentation, you can begin determining whether the daycare center or provider was at fault due to negligence. The following list can help you determine if this is the case:
What was the cause of the injury? Was your child left unsupervised, allowed to engage in an unsafe activity, or the result of conditions in the facility? If so, then the daycare center could be at fault.
Was broken equipment or facilities to blame? A poorly maintained playset or cords left lying across the floor are known safety hazards, so the facility may be found negligent in allowing these conditions to persist.
Were the children improperly supervised? Most daycare licensing agencies have strict requirements on the adult to child ratio. Even if there were enough adults available, they may still have been negligent in their supervision, such as if they were talking to each other, on their cell phones, or otherwise distracted.
Was the accident foreseeable? If the staff could reasonably foresee an accident occurring, then they should have been able to take steps to prevent it. For example, falling from play equipment, tripping over loose carpet, or slipping out of the facility through a broken gate are all foreseeable, so the daycare provider may be held responsible.
As you approach your court date, your documentation along with proof that there was a breach in the duty of care the center promised you and your child will be used to determine negligence. If you and your lawyer can prove causation – that the accident and injury only occurred because of the facilities negligence – you will like we awarded in the case.
In some cases, the facility or its insurance company may attempt to settle outside of court. This not only avoids the time and cost of a court appearance, you will also not be able to file a lawsuit in the future. You do not have to accept a settlement offer. Contact a local personal injury attorney to help you.