Sending a child to daycare can be a challenging and emotional experience. The relationship between parents and daycare providers is built on trust. Unfortunately, sometimes daycares break that trust. When that trust is broken, and a child is injured, accountability must follow.
Learning that your child was injured at daycare will undoubtedly make you feel angry and frustrated. When an injury is caused by abuse or neglect, these feelings are even more intense. A Stonecrest daycare injury attorney at MG Law can help you hold the negligent or abusive parties accountable.
A lawyer will help you report the incident to the appropriate authorities so that investigators can get to the bottom of what happened. An attorney can also help you seek compensation for your child’s injuries. Taking these steps with the help of an attorney is the best way to get justice for you and your child.
Daycare Abuse and Neglect
Even one instance of daycare abuse or neglect is unacceptable. Unfortunately, these incidents happen far too often. As recently as August 2022, daycare workers were caught on camera body-slamming a 3-year-old child in Atlanta. Understandably, the child’s mother is demanding that everyone involved be held accountable.
While body-slamming a child is a clear-cut case of abuse, daycare abuse and neglect can come in many forms. Incidents that might be considered daycare negligence or abuse include the following:
- Playground accidents;
- Injuries due to a lack of supervision;
- Fights between children;
- Severe allergic reactions;
- Slips and falls;
- Exposure to toxic substances;
- Injuries from toys or equipment;
- Choking on small objects;
- Failure to give a child access to proper meals; and
- Any physical, verbal, or sexual abuse.
When the abuse or neglect is caught on camera, it’s easy to see what happened and figure out who might be responsible. Unfortunately, many incidents are harder to detect. That’s why it’s important to be able to spot red flags that might indicate your child is being neglected or abused at daycare. Red flags include the following:
- Changes in your child’s behavior;
- Your child becoming withdrawn or depressed after returning from daycare;
- Unexplained bruises, cuts, or other injuries that the daycare fails to notify you of;
- Messy, dirty, or otherwise unmaintained facilities;
- Your child regularly coming home hungry or thirsty; and
- Visibly unsafe conditions on the daycare premises.
Though many of these red flags may have innocent explanations, each one warrants further investigation by parents.
Liability for Daycare Injuries
To hold a daycare facility liable for your child’s injuries, you must usually show that the facility was negligent. Courts can consider a broad range of activities negligent. For example, a daycare facility can be negligent because of how it hires staff, how it maintains its premises, or the way it supervises children.
Any successful negligence claim will need to prove four elements. First, you must show the daycare owes a duty of care to your child. Second, the daycare must have breached this duty of care. Third, the daycare’s breach of duty must have caused your child’s injury. And finally, you must show your child suffered an injury for which damages are available.
Duty of Care
Proving that the daycare owed your child a duty of care is usually straightforward. Daycare providers are legally obligated to provide every child with the same quality of care that a reasonable facility would provide and to follow all applicable laws and regulations.
Breach of Duty
To show that the daycare breached its duty, you must prove that a reasonably prudent facility would have acted differently under the same circumstances. If the injury was foreseeable, and a reasonably run daycare facility would have taken steps to prevent it, then the daycare likely breached its duty.
Next, you have to prove that the facility’s breach of duty caused your child’s injury. This element is called causation. Causation is often the most challenging element of negligence to prove. For example, if your child gets sick from exposure to a dangerous chemical, you will need to prove that the chemical was what caused the sickness. This often requires expert testimony from doctors, and the daycare facility will likely try to rebut that testimony with their own experts. An experienced lawyer will know how to gather and use evidence to help you show that your child’s injury was caused by the daycare’s breach of duty.
Finally, you must prove that your child’s injuries caused compensable damages. Showing that your child suffered an injury can be pretty straightforward. For example, an X-ray image can be used to show that a child suffered a broken bone. Proving monetary losses, such as how much money you spent on your child’s medical treatment, is also relatively easy to establish by producing bills and receipts. However, getting a medical expert’s opinion regarding the extent of the harm your child suffered and their prognosis is crucial for you to receive compensation that will cover future medical expenses and rehabilitation costs. Given the challenges of proving daycare injury liability in Stonecrest, consulting with an experienced attorney as soon as possible is essential.
Compensation for Daycare Injuries
If you prove that a daycare provider’s negligence or abuse caused your child’s injuries, you will likely be entitled to compensation. This compensation is meant to make up for the losses caused by the injury. Compensation for a daycare injury claim can include payments for:
- Medical bills,
- Lost wages due to caring for your injured child,
- Disfigurement and scarring,
- Pain and suffering,
- Mental anguish, and
- Any other reasonable costs incurred due to the injury.
In rare cases, victims can also recover punitive damages. In Georgia, it can be difficult to prove that conduct was so egregiously wrong that punitive damages are warranted. A lawyer can analyze the facts of your case and determine if you might be eligible to seek punitive damages.
Legal Options After Your Child Suffers Daycare Abuse or Neglect
Finding out that your child was injured because of a daycare provider’s neglect or abuse is every parent’s worst nightmare. At MG Law, our team is here to help you and your child get the justice you deserve. While you help your child recover from their injury, navigating the complexities of the legal process should be the last thing on your mind. Our experienced and compassionate lawyers can handle every aspect of your claim so that you can focus on helping your child and family heal. You can trust that our skilled lawyers will work tirelessly to help you fight for the best daycare injury settlement possible. Contact MG Law today so we can help you protect your child’s rights.