Daycare centers should be places of trust and where you never think twice about your child’s safety. And while the majority of daycare centers are very trustworthy, there are instances when your trust is betrayed and your child is harmed at a daycare center. This happens more than you think. If your child has been injured, in any way, at a daycare facility, you have the right to bring a claim against the daycare center to recoup damages for what your child has endured. There is more abuse inside of daycares than you may think.
Child Protective Services (CPS) has reported more than 3.5 million incidents where they were called to daycare centers, which, from a national standpoint, involves more than 6.5 million children. The most common reason for CPS being called to daycare centers include, but are not necessarily limited to, the following: neglect, physical and sexual abuse, emotional abuse, and finally medical neglect.
As shocking as it may seem, there have also been many reported deaths of children at daycare centers. In order to operate a daycare, you must be licensed by the State of Washington. However, that does not necessarily mean that safety protocol will be followed. Statistics will tell you that females will be more likely than boys to suffer abuse at daycare facilities, with children under the age of three the most likely victims of abuse. Percentage-wise, white children are the most likely to be abused, followed by African-American children and Hispanic children.Washington State Daycare Laws
The legal theory that is most commonly used in daycare negligence cases is a theory called failure to supervise or a negligent security theory. This means that your child was harmed because the daycare failed to watch your child, and this lack of supervision led to the child’s injury. There are also other theories available to you, however, depending on how your child is injured. One such theory is that of a premises liability, meaning that the daycare was not kept safe. This theory would be the one to pursue if your child slipped and fell or tripped and fell at the daycare. In most daycare cases, you have to be able to prove that the daycare either knew or should have known that there was a dangerous condition present.
A lawyer can help you achieve the desired outcome in a case like this by doing any number of things. In these kinds of cases, timing is very important. If your child slipped and fell on a substance that was only on the floor for a very short period of time, then the daycare will likely prevail on the argument that it could not have reasonably have known to clean up the spill.
Here are common ways children are injured at daycare centers:
- Physical abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Choking on toys
- Exposure to unsafe materials
- Not feeding or giving a child water
- Failing to supervise a child
If a child under the age of 18 is injured at a daycare, they cannot bring a lawsuit on their own. Rather, they must have an appointed guardian ad litem or their parent, who is over the age of 18, bring a claim. This can be accomplished easy with a lawyer’s help by going to court to have the adult appointed as the guardian ad litem.
Even if the minor is seventeen-years-old and mature for their age, if the settlement occurs prior to the age of 18, a judge will require a GAL be appointed. The GAL is meant to be neutral, it’s often an attorney, and this individual will meet with you, the parent, the minor child, and your personal injury attorney to make sure the settlement is fair and appropriate for the circumstances. Some counties, like King and Pierce Counties, are large enough that they have professionals whose sole job is to be guardian ad litems. If you have questions about whether you or your child can bring a claim, feel free to call The Jackman Law Firm for a discussion.Common Daycare Injuries
If your child has been injured at a daycare, then they may have suffered one of the following injuries:
- Broken bones
- Soft tissue injuries
- Back injuries
- Butt or tailbone injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
Injuries of this serious of a nature rarely just heal on their own. Rather, they require medical attention to address them. Medical specialists such as osteopaths, physiatrists, and chiropractors can help you get back to the path to health after suffering a serious injury on someone else’s property. It is important to connect with a pediatrician who can help your child find the appropriate medical care.How The Jackman Law Firm Can Help
If your child has been injured at a daycare, you may have a claim against them to recoup compensation for your injuries. The Jackman Law Firm has the expertise to effectively represent you with the insurance company, in arbitration and if necessary in court to secure your rights for compensation and relief. After your child’s injury, you are understandably upset and likely unsure of your options and which way to with your case. You are likely receiving a lot of phone calls from insurance companies, you’re taking your child going to the doctor or the chiropractor, and you may be missing work to deal with these issues for your child.
If this is the case, do not go through this process alone. We can help you every step of the way. We can work with the insurance companies so they do not contact you. We can help you secure all of the compensation your child is owed for their injury under Washington State Law. The Jackman Law Firm can help you recover the following on behalf of your child:
- Money for pain and suffering
- Money for lost wages
- Money for out of pocket expenses
- Money for medical bills
We have the resources, experience, and successful track record to win your case. Feel free to call for a free consultation.