As a Fort Worth child injury attorney, I understand a parent’s anger, frustration and grief if their son or daughter has been injured while under someone else’s care. When you entrust your infant or toddler to a daycare, you put your trust in them to look after your child and to protect them from harm. When an injury occurs – especially if it’s a serious injury such as a broken bone or a head injury – it's your right in Texas to recover compensation for your child's pain, suffering and medical bills.
Common Causes of Daycare Injury
There are many different ways children can be hurt at daycare centers. Some of the most common include injuries from:
- Broken toys
- Food served too hot
- Child bites
- Inadequate supervision
- Field trip car wreck
- Fingers slammed in doors
- Slips or falls
- Poor staff-to-child ratio
- Playing with insects
- Bus wrecks
Compensation for Daycare Injuries in Texas
Texas law allows parents of an injured child to make a legal claim for compensation with the aid of a personal injury lawyer against the at-fault party - in this case the daycare. The purpose of this claim is to seek compensation for the injuries your child has experienced.
The types of compensation you are entitled to include reimbursement for your child’s accident-related medical expenses, pain and suffering, physical impairment, disfigurement, as well as any potential loss of future life enjoyment or income (such as in severe cases where the injury will affect the rest of their life).
Do You Have a Strong Daycare Negligence Case?
To help you understand whether you are able to make a claim against your child's daycare, consider the following questions.
Was your child's injury the result of inadequate supervision?
Inadequate supervision - or a too-high ratio of children to staff - is one of the most common causes of daycare injury. If you believe your child's injury could have been prevented with better supervision, you have a strong case. Additionally, if the staff ratio was under Texas minimums, meaning there were not enough caretakers to children, you also have a strong case against the daycare.
Did the daycare fail to take appropriate precautions to prevent the accident from occurring?
Daycare centers have an obligation to keep their spaces safe and to take steps to prevent accidents from happening. If a staff member leaves a door open, for instance, and a child walks out of the room and gets hurt, this means that the daycare didn't take all appropriate precautions to prevent accidents.
Did the daycare fail to act quickly after the accident?
Sometimes, accidents are unavoidable. Children fall, they get hurt, and that's part of growing up. However, caretakers have a duty to act quickly if children do become injured to prevent further injury and to help mitigate the accident. If a child falls and scrapes their knee, for example, the staff should not leave the child untreated. A scraped knee should be cleaned and bandaged to prevent infection. If the staff fails to do so and it results in an infection, this is considered negligence.
> Want to learn more? Download our free guide on daycare injuries.
Proving a Daycare Negligence Case
In order to win compensation for your child's suffering and medical bills, you'll have to prove that the injury was caused by a daycare's negligence. Even though the accident happened under the responsibility of the daycare provider, it is your duty - the burden of proof - to provide the court with the necessary documents, records and evidences that will make your case successful.
Your child's injury is a very serious matter. To prove your case to a jury, record your child's injury it through paperwork, documents or records given to you after taking your child to the emergency room. If you hire a personal injury attorney, their legal team will handle the evidence process and will walk you through the process.
Building Your Negligence Case
If you believe you have a strong case against the daycare, you're going to need to build your case with evidence to present to the insurance company and, potentially, a jury. Examples of evidence include:
- Pictures of your child's injury
- Doctor's notes and diagnosis
- Records of hospital visits
- Medical bills
- Video evidence from the daycare
- Witness accounts
Then, you will need to consult with a child injury lawyer. The child injury lawyers at the Anderson Law Firm offer free case reviews to all parents in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.