Child Care Facility Liability for Child Injuries
The joy of parents’ lives is their children; however, responsibilities and life’s obligations sometimes require that parents seek help with childcare. Many parents must work outside of the home and may not have the convenience of relatives to assist them in caring for their children. If this is your situation, you probably agonized over finding a safe and reputable child care facility. You conducted immense research and asked every parent friend you could for recommendations. You wouldn’t trust just anyone with caring for your child, nor should you.
Despite selecting a highly regarded facility, injuries can still occur and often do. Remember that it’s not your fault—but someone is likely to blame.
If your child has suffered an injury while at daycare or at a childcare facility in Florida, you deserve to hold the at fault parties accountable for their actions. Your child is suffering. Every parent knows that when their child suffers, you suffer too. You owe it to your child to speak with a seasoned Florida child care injury lawyer today.
Every state has guidelines for child care facilities. Florida is no different. Florida’s Department of Children and Families oversees regulations for:
- Childcare facilities
- Childcare homes
- Handicapped childcare facilities
The point of these regulations is to make sure your child is safe and cared for when you are not around to supervise. Florida regulates the licensing of the employees at the facilities as well as the type of equipment the facilities can use.
Child Care Injuries
Most children enjoy playing outdoors and at playgrounds, but that is where most children suffer injuries. Some injuries are more serious than others, regardless of where they occur. Common injuries include:
- Broken Bones
- Neck injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Other traumatic brain injuries
Child care facilities typically do their best to ensure the safety of every child in their care, but not every situation can be anticipated. If your child suffered an injury in the care of a facility, fault may be attributed to the facility and they may be liable for damages. Dealing with an injured child is an overwhelming experience. You deserve to have a Florida child care injury attorney at your side. An attorney can guide you through the next steps to ensure your child makes a full recovery.
Who Is at Fault for Your Child’s Injuries?
Nearly a quarter of all children under the age of five attend daycare. Child care facilities are working hard to keep up with the demand but sometimes training is inadequate and equipment may be out of date. Knowing who is at fault for your child’s injuries is the first step in moving forward.
To prove the child care facility was at fault, you must show:
- The child care provider had a duty to protect your child;
- Your child suffered an injury while in the facility’s care;
- Your child’s injury could have been prevented;
- You can show your child suffered harm as a result of the injury.
As soon as you learn about your child’s injury, collect and preserve evidence. Keep copies of all paperwork, keep copies of medical records, and take photos. You want to get photos of your child’s injury, the location where the injury happened, any toys that may have been lying around nearby. You also continue to photograph the injury throughout recovery. Doing this will help your lawyer build a case against the child care facility and help you maximize your financial recovery.
Why Bring a Child Injury Claim?
There are many reasons why parents decide to bring a claim against a child care facility where their child was injured. One of the most vital motivations is to cover medical expenses. Medical expenses can become substantial and if the injuries were sustained through the fault of a facility, the facility should be responsible for that burden.
You deserve reimbursement for the expenses you have paid and the wages you have lost caring for your injured child. Injured children cannot always verbalize what happened and the extent of their injuries. This could require multiple visits to the doctor and, in extreme cases, multiple medical procedures. Your child may also require rehabilitation or medications. The costs can add up quickly.
The financial hardship that your family has endured as a result of the facility’s acts can make them responsible for covering the costs of that injury. It’s important to remember, however, that reimbursement is not automatic. Child care facilities are unlikely to readily admit fault and to voluntarily compensate you and your family. It’s something you have to fight for and you do that by hiring a lawyer you trust to bring a claim against the child care facility, holding them accountable for your child’s injuries and your medical bills.
The best way to get reimbursement for the costs you have paid out of pocket and to prevent injuries to other children is to bring a claim against the child care facility. A successful claim can serve multiple purposes. You would not only be reimbursed in your specific case, but you will have acted as a deterrent for the facility’s It’s a win-win situation. You receive reimbursement for your lost wages and out of pocket expenses and the child care facility is held accountable for their actions and will probably make swift changes so it does not happen again.
When you first enrolled your child in the daycare facility, you probably signed a liability waiver. This waiver, written by the child care facility’s attorney, provides the child care facility protection if a child is injured while in their care. Signing this waiver does not prevent you from bringing a claim against the child care facility, holding them accountable for your child’s injuries.
Regardless of whether you signed a liability waiver, if the child care facility or an employee acted negligently, you should bring a claim. Examples of negligent behavior include:
- Leaving children unattended
- Leaving hot liquid in a child’s reach
- Letting children engage in rough play
- Allowing children to climb on furniture
Liability waivers provide the child care facility no protection from negligent behavior. In the end, the liability waiver is intended to scare you away from bringing a reasonable personal injury claim against the child care facility.
What to Do When Your Child Is Injured
If you know or suspect that your child was injured while at a child care facility in Florida, taking certain steps can help bolster your claim.
- See a doctor. Take your child to a doctor as soon as possible. Your child should receive a full medical exam to determine what injuries they have suffered. You want your doctor to complete this exam to make sure your child does not have any injuries that are not visible. Internal injuries can be deadly.
- Speak with witnesses. Speak with child care facility employees and any other witnesses to your child’s accident. Your child can tell you what happened to them but witnesses can provide a different vantage point and may shed light on the moments leading up to your child’s accident.
- Keep track of expenses. Keep every prescription receipt, a copy of every medical bill, and keep track of your time off work. All of these items will help us maximize your financial recovery and help to make sure you get reimbursed for every expense.
- Take pictures. Taking pictures can help show what your child suffered. By taking daily photos of your child’s injury, you can help paint a picture of how long it took your child to recover.
- Keep a journal. Write in the journal every day, even if there is little to report. Keeping this journal will help remind you what both you and your child went through on their path to recovery. Over time, you recall every hurdle your child experienced.
Your last step is to choose the right attorney to handle your claim. Child injury cases can be extremely complex. They are also emotional. Your lawyer will be able to guide you through the complex legal process and help to relieve your stress. You need to focus on getting your child the care they need to make a complete physical and emotional recovery. Let it be our job to focus on the legal work.
Getting Compensation For Child Injuries
No amount of money can ease the suffering of your child. What money can do is make sure this does not happen again and make sure that you do not suffer financial hardship because of your child’s injury, an injury you did not cause.
Working with a trusted child care injury lawyer can help you by trying to get you compensation for:
- Your child’s medical bills
- Your lost income
- Any out of pocket expenses you paid
- Your child’s pain and suffering
- Your child’s emotional distress
- Future medical bills
Depending on the severity of your child’s injuries, you may have to take time off work and your child may require medical procedures, numerous doctor visits, and rehabilitation. Because of this, you of course want to focus on your child’s recovery. That’s why you need to have a lawyer advocating for your child to make sure your expenses are covered.
The vast majority of cases settle out of court. But if you have not spoken with a lawyer, you should consider not signing any settlement offers you receive until you do. The right lawyer can help you create an accurate estimate of your child’s future medical expenses and your lost wages. This is extremely important because the initial offer you receive from the insurance company likely will not cover all of these expenses. If you have not created this estimate, you will not know you are missing out on money until it’s too late.
When you sign a settlement offer, you waive your future right to bring a claim against the insurance company for your child’s injury. This is true even if you realize later that the settlement funds were not enough to cover all of your child’s medical bills. This is a truly tragic situation that we do not want to see any client suffer. Unfortunately, it does happen.
That’s why we recommend you speak with a child care injury lawyer in Florida before you sign any settlement. We know you want to put this traumatic situation behind both you and your child. We completely understand. Our goal is to settle your case quickly but to maximize your financial recovery. You deserve to focus on getting your child the medical care they need. The best way to do that is to work with a Florida attorney you trust.
Contact a Florida Child Injury Lawyer Today
Your child care facility may put up walls and make it difficult to take pictures or collect other evidence. Do not let a child care facility bully you into not taking legal action or collecting information or evidence. Legal remedies are in place to protect other children from suffering like your child and to help your child get better as quickly as possible.
If the child care facility is at fault for your child’s injuries, you hold the power to show they are liable and should compensate you and your child for your suffering. You, however, may need the help of a child injury lawyer to leverage that power on behalf of your child—and prevent other children from suffering similar injuries.