Jan 24, 2024 Michael M. Day Law Firm

If My Child Was Hurt in Daycare, Do We Have Any Legal Right to Compensation?

We entrust the care of our children to daycare facilities with the expectation that they will provide a safe environment that complies with Georgia standards. When a child is hurt due to negligence or abuse while in daycare, that trust has been betrayed. In many cases, the parents suffer emotional trauma that may be as severe as that inflicted on their children. Families also worry about long-term effects.

With the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer, parents may be able to obtain compensation to offset losses and provide for future needs after a child is hurt in daycare. For the best chance of recovery, however, it is wise to seek advice and assistance from a legal professional as soon as possible after the injury.

Make Sure Your Child Has a Thorough Medical Exam and the Right Treatment

If your child has been injured in any way during daycare, it is important to take your child to the doctor and ensure that they receive a thorough medical exam. A doctor may be able to detect injuries that aren’t immediately obvious such as brain injuries or internal bleeding. Children are often not able to accurately describe or even recognize injury symptoms, but a doctor who is used to working with children will often understand the questions to ask to gain valuable information.

For instance, a child may recognize when they are in pain, but if they are suffering confusion or dizziness caused by a traumatic brain injury, they might not know what to say about it. A doctor could gain information about important symptoms other than pain.

A prompt medical exam can protect your child from further injuries and get treatment started right away. In addition, the records from the exam provide valuable evidence if you file a legal claim. If you wait to take your child to the doctor, the daycare provider or their insurance company could claim that something outside of daycare caused the injuries.

Some injuries do not show symptoms until hours or even days after the injury occurred. If you notice a change in your child’s behavior or they report pain, head back to the doctor. In addition, return for follow-up visits as ordered, and be sure to follow instructions from the doctor. If you do not, insurance companies will try to claim that it was the lack of follow-up care or failure to follow instructions that caused your child’s injuries to become so serious.

When is a Daycare Facility Liable for Injuries to the Children in Their Care?

When a child in daycare suffers harm caused by the negligence or intentional abuse of an employee, then the employee and the facility can be held liable. If harm is caused by someone not employed by the facility, such as another child or parent, the center could still be liable if their negligence allowed the injury to happen.

Improper supervision often leads to injuries. This could be due to a combination of factors, including failure to hire a sufficient number of staff, failure to provide adequate safety training for staff, and individual negligence on the part of an employee.

Proving negligence requires evidence, so it is wise to begin working with an attorney who can help you collect and preserve evidence as quickly as possible.

Daycare Facilities Do Not Always Follow the Rules

Because children are vulnerable to abuse and neglect in a care situation, Georgia law establishes standards that daycare facilities are required to follow. But in an effort to increase profits, many facilities cut corners and don’t live up to their obligations.

All those who work with children are supposed to have legally sanctioned training so that they know how to prevent accidents and how to handle emergencies. Daycare facilities that are short of staff may hire or employ workers before they have had proper training. Facilities are also supposed to ensure that the ratio of children to staff does not exceed specific levels based on the age and maturity of the children. But these limits are frequently exceeded. In addition, those who work with children are supposed to have background checks performed to keep children safe from inappropriate individuals. However, facilities sometimes employ workers without waiting for test results.

When facilities and employees fail to follow the legal rules and the failure causes your child to suffer injuries, those responsible should be required to pay compensation for the harm suffered by your child and your family.

Injuries and Their Effects

The injuries in daycare environments that are obvious, such as a head injury or broken bone from a fall, are usually the result of a single incident. However, some injuries and harm from abuse develop over a period of time. For instance, a child can develop a dangerous infection due to unsanitary conditions or suffer developmental delays and mental illness triggered by ongoing psychological or sexual abuse.

You know your child better than anyone. When you suspect something is not right, take your child to the doctor and discuss whether they may need to see a child psychologist trained to help a child process and describe what has happened to them in daycare.

When you have evidence that your child suffered harm due to neglect or intentional wrongdoing in daycare, the individuals involved and the facility as a whole may be required to pay damages for the child and the entire family. You could receive funds to cover the cost of treatment, both now and in the future, and the cost of taking time off from work to meet your child’s needs. In addition, compensation could be provided for pain, suffering, mental anguish, and other effects of the injuries.

Talk to a Personal Injury Attorney Who Understands How to Handle Daycare Abuse

Injuries and abuse in daycare are heartbreaking, but there are steps you can take to remedy the situation. The experienced legal team at Michael M. Day Law Firm, LLC is ready to assist. For a confidential consultation to learn how we can help you achieve justice, prevent further abuse, and receive compensation to meet your family’s needs, call us at 404-480-4284 or contact us online today.