Every day millions of children are entrusted to day cares all across the country. Most of the time that trust is deserved and the children are kept safe. But, sometimes because of with the negligence of a day care worker, or even an intentional act, children get hurt. Day care injuries are emotional and can traumatize children for the rest of their lives. Your child may be entitled to compensation for their physical and mental injuries.
Special Duty of Daycares
When you place your child in a day care, that facility and those employees all owe your child a special duty of care. Children are not able to make the kind of judgments about what is a safe activity and what is a dangerous activity that adults make.
Day cares are highly regulated in each of the states. All states require some form of background check and licensing for day care owners and workers. When a day care worker breaches their duty to keep children safe from harm, the worker and the day care itself may be liable for damages.
While not every injury a child suffers at a day care is the type that can, or should, lead to a legal claim, when the day care or its employees are negligent and that negligence causes injuries, an injury claim is often appropriate.
Types of Day Care Injuries
There are a wide variety of day care injuries that happen every day. Some of the typical day care injuries you see in the news include:
- Head and neck injuries
- Sprained ankles
- Fractured bones
- Traumatic head injuries
- Injuries from sexual assault
- Torn ligaments and tendons
- Mental trauma
If your child has suffered an injury at daycare, you need to take them right away to be examined by a medical professional. This is the best way to make sure their injuries are treated properly and that any hidden internal injuries are discovered.
Taking a child to the doctor also helps document the dates of the injury and the causes of the injury. These may both be important if you bring a claim in your child’s behalf.
Signs of a Day Car Accident
Sometimes a day care may not disclose that a child has been injured or harmed. Other times, the day care may try and actively hide the facts of any incident. In some cases of negligence, the day care may not even be aware of any issues.
As a parent you are likely more sensitive to your child’s moods and state of mind. Signs that there is a problem at day care can include:
- Unusual anger
- Being withdrawn
- Sudden fear of going to day care
- Talking about secrets
- Abnormally violent play
- Unexplained bruises or cuts
- Inappropriate affection with day care providers
It is impossible to list everything that can be a warning sign of problems at day care. The best defense is to pay attention to your child’s changes, having a strong relationship with your child that encourages communication, and being involved with the day care.
If you suspect something is wrong, don’t ignore your feelings. Make sure you know what is going in when your child is at day care. Show up early and unannounced to see the reactions of your child and the day care.
Special Rules in Cases Involving Children
While every state has a different amount of time that you can bring a claim for personal injuries called the statute of limitations, all states allow children more time to bring claims than adults.
Typically children have until some time after their 18th birthday to bring a personal injury claim. Some states may allow for less time.
However, even if you have several years to bring a claim, it is almost always better to bring the claim as shortly after the discovery of the day care injury as possible. This keeps the evidence fresh and can prevent harm coming to other children.
How to File a Claim
The process for handling a claim will be different in every state. Typically the claim will belong to the child but the parent will have to act as the child’s representative. Some states require the formal appointment of a guardian to handle the case. This will usually be the parent, but another adult could be appointed as well, depending on the circumstances.
How the Recovery is Handled for Your Child
When your child gets a recovery, most states will require that the parent keeps the money safe until the child reaches 18. Some courts require an annual reporting of the finances while others will just want proof that it has been placed in a trust account that is locked until the child is 18.
When you child has suffered day care injuries you can feel overwhelmed. Let us help you. We can connect you with an experienced attorney who understands how to fight for the compensation your child deserves. You need to take action fast because your opportunity to get the money your child is legally entitled to may be short.