School and Daycare Negligence
The financial and emotional costs of serious injury to a young child are often overwhelming, especially when the child’s injuries occur in school or a day care setting. When you transition your son or daughter into daycare or school, you expect that the same safety precautions you would provide will also be provided by the daycare for your child. However, every year, many children fall victim to school and daycare’s neglectful conduct.
Responsibilities of a School or Daycare
School and daycare officials have a legal responsibility to do everything possible to protect students from injury caused by accidents or other children. Unfortunately, too many schools and daycare centers neglect their responsibilities, resulting in thousands of unnecessary injuries every year. If your child was injured, you may have a legitimate legal claim for money damages for medical bills, pain and emotional distress to your child.
In essence, failure to supervise an infant, toddler or other young child is a form of negligence that can even be viewed as abuse. Many cases involve: burn injuries, playground accidents and other serious injury-causing events due to inadequate supervision.
Examples of common neglectful conduct include but are not limited to:
- · Negligent hiring, training and supervision at a day care facility
- · Negligence in failing to directly and adequately supervise your child when charged with his or her safety
- · Lack of supervision
- · Failure to provide safety measures
- · Failure to meet state nutritional guidelines
- · Violations of daycare licensing rules, including caring for too many children
- · Unsafe playground equipment
- · Unsafe toys and playing conditions
Very often, the accidents and injuries that result at daycares and schools is a direct result of having too many kids under the supervision of too few adults. This in itself is a safety hazard, regardless of whether any other sources of danger exist. Further problems arise when electrical sockets aren't covered, poisonous materials aren't kept locked up, open water is not fenced off, equipment and toys are not well maintained, hanging cords are not secured and stairs are not blocked by safety gates.
A school could be guilty of negligent hiring practices as well. There have been many cases in which schools hire individuals with unacceptable records and a criminal history. If the staff hires someone despite this or hires them without even conducting a background check, then they may be held partially liable for any criminal behavior.
Once an Accident Occurs
Typically, schools and daycares are required to file an accident report form if a child is injured while under the supervision of an employee or teacher. This report will then be filed be kept on record. If the child was hurt enough to require medical care and the institution is found liable, then you may be able to seek a claim against them. The accident report will have information that includes the date and time, as well as how the accident took place and what the nature of the injuries was. There is also post-accident information that should be recorded, such as what medical treatment was provided and whether or not the parent or legal guardian was notified promptly. Any time a child is injured, action must be taken. If a recurring problem is noticed, then the school is responsible for evaluating whether or not there needs to be a change in their safety policies or some other type of corrective response.
Contact an Attorney
Any serious injury sustained by a child under the care of a teacher or daycare provider should be questioned and investigated by a legal professional. If your child has been injured or victimized while at daycare, it is critical to have an experienced daycare injury attorney advocate for your rights. An experienced attorney can diligently seek a claim against the negligent and harmful party to recover full compensation.