Daycare Injuries: What Are Your Rights
Receiving a phone call to say your child has been injured while at daycare is every parent’s worst nightmare. You might feel scared, angry, frightened and annoyed – all of these feelings are completely valid and normal, as is feeling frustrated towards the people who are supposed to be looking after your child. While most daycare injuries are complete accidents, and usually caused by other children, if the injury is serious, you may want to seek compensation. In this article, we’ll take a look at your rights when your child is injured at a daycare center.
Your Daycare Contract
Most reputable daycare centers will provide parents with a contract before their child attends that states they accept no liability for accidents or injuries. The reason for this is to try and blindside parents into believing that they are unable to make a claim should the worst happen. However, this isn’t true. A contract accepting no liability still does not excuse the daycare from keeping your child safe, and you are well within your rights to sue. Abuse or injury should be reported to the police if you believe it was done on purpose, and civil lawsuits can be brought for accidental injuries.
You Will Need to Claim on Behalf of Your Child
As you would probably expect, a child is unable to file their own personal injury lawsuit. Because of this, the court allows parents to file on their child’s behalf. This is done under a rule called “next friend” which allows a parent or legal guardian to take action on behalf of an underage person. It is worth being aware that any monetary compensation will be placed into a trust fund, which your child will gain access to once they reach the age of 18. Some of the money can be used to care for your child if their injuries are life altering.
The Steps to Take
If your child has been injured at daycare, these are the steps you need to take:
- First, document your child’s injury. In most cases this will have been reported to you, but if it hasn’t you will need to watch your child closely to determine where they are injured. This may be difficult if your child is not currently able to communicate.
- As soon as you recognize an injury, it’s important to seek medical treatment. This will not only help your child to receive the care they need, but it will also provide a paper trail should you decide to sue for damages. Make sure to keep all receipts.
- Lastly, you’ll want to contact a personal injury attorney such as Horst Shewmaker. An experienced attorney will be able to help you prove negligence and claim the compensation your child rightly deserves.
The amount of time you have to make a claim following an injury varies depending on the state in which you reside. However, it is always a good idea to take action as soon as possible after the incident to ensure the evidence is readily available.