Daycare Negligence Compensation Start Your Family's Recovery

Considering their developmental stage and the daycare environment, including other children and involvement in physical activities, it is normal for your child to come home with an occasional bruise or scratch. However, it is not normal for your child to sustain severe injuries. While California has established a range of governing regulations for daycare centers, children still get injured if the facility or its employees fail to uphold the standard of care the law expects.

If your child has been injured or killed while under the care of a daycare center, contact Fiore Legal today to learn more about your legal options. We'll help you win compensation for the accident and achieve the justice and closure you and your family deserve.

Common Causes and Types of Daycare Injuries

Some common daycare injuries include minor bruises and scrapes, injuries from other children, and twisted and sprained ankles. While some of these injuries may result from negligence, most are typical injuries for an active child. Uncommon injuries likely associated with neglect include the following examples.

    Indoor hazards

    Tall, unattached bookshelves, heavy items (e.g., televisions, aquariums, and toy bins), and other indoor hazards can topple onto a curious child. Due to the object's weight, these accidents can cause significant injuries and death.

    Employee negligence

    Daycare employees can intentionally or unintentionally cause injuries or death to the children in their care. Lack of necessary training, use of drugs and alcohol, or just general failure to supervise all produce actionable personal injury and wrongful death cases.

    Playground equipment injuries

    Whether due to negligent supervision or poorly maintained equipment, playground equipment injuries are some of the leading causes of daycare accidents. Ultimately, daycare owners must inspect playground equipment for defects and hazards regularly, and daycare employees must supervise all children while on the equipment.

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    California Daycare Regulations

    Because of insufficient staffing, a significant cause of negligence in supervision and related accidents in daycares, California is strict on the staff-to-children ratio. The health and safety staff-related regulations are contained in the California Code of Regulations Title 22 § 101152 et seq.:

    • A ratio of one teacher/staff to four children and a maximum of 12 children receiving care shall be maintained for children between six weeks and 18 months of age.
    • The daycare shall maintain a ratio of not more than one staff to six children for children aged between 18 months and three years.
    • For children ages 3 to 4 years, the ratio shall not exceed one staff for every 12 children.
    • For children aged five years and older, the ratio shall not exceed one staff for every 14 children.

    Besides the staff ratio, other health and safety rules and regulations include;

    • The daycare must have a fully stocked and easily accessible first aid kit.
    • Daycare staff should be certified in giving pediatric first aid.
    • The daycare should properly store all hazardous chemicals and medications out of the reach of the children.

    In addition to the health and safety regulations, there are many other regulations that daycares and other childcare centers need to comply with for licensing. Failure to do so could result in negligence and injury, necessitating a lawsuit for compensation.

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    Who is Liable for Daycare Injuries?

    Daycare liability depends on many things, including how and where the injury occurred. Just because your child comes home with a minor bruise or scrape does not mean the staff at the daycare center are irresponsible or negligent. This can complicate the process of determining legal liability. For example, while most cases involve suing the daycare center for injuries, there are some cases in which the property's owner is also a defendant.

    While daycare centers may ask you to sign a liability waiver when you enroll your child, it does not mean that you cannot, under any circumstances, hold the facility liable for your child's injuries. There are many situations where the liability waiver does not protect the daycare center. Who you sue, whether you have a case, and how much your case is worth are all subjects we will discuss during your initial free consultation.

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    Daycare Centers and Personal Injury Claims

    A winning daycare personal injury lawsuit can be worth significant compensation, but they are usually hard fought. The law requires the parent (the plaintiff) to prove that:

    The daycare owed a duty of care to the child

    While daycares cannot protect children from every bruise or scrape, California law expects daycares to protect children from serious injury. California daycare owners and their staff are legally obligated to adhere to a standard of reasonable care to protect children from harm, known as a duty of care.

    The daycare and its staff breached this duty of care through their actions

    Essentially, you must show that through their actions or acts of omission, the daycare and its staff breached a duty of care they owe to the child. For instance, a daycare staff improperly stores cleaning chemicals in cabinets without safety latches. If your child accesses the chemicals and suffers chemical burns, the daycare has breached its duty of care.

    The breach of care directly and approximately caused the child's injuries

    Proximate and direct cause means the breach of care caused the injuries, was the only cause, and no other event could have caused the harm. In the above situation, you must prove that the daycare's failure to store toxic cleaning chemicals correctly was the only cause of your child's burn injuries. If the daycare had stored the chemicals in a place inaccessible to children, your child would not have been injured.

    The child's injuries were foreseeable and avoidable

    Foreseeability is the ability to predict the results of specific actions or acts of omission. In the above example, the child's chemical burns injuries resulting from toxic cleaning chemicals would be reasonably foreseeable to the daycare staff. The daycare staff knows that the cleaning chemicals are hazardous and can harm children.

    As a result of the injuries, you (the parent) and the child suffered damages

    Damages are the loss or injury the child suffers due to daycare negligence, whether tangible or intangible. To prove negligence or a personal injury claim, you must show the existence of damages like medical bills, income loss while caring for the injured child, and the child's pain and suffering. As the last element in a negligence claim, you must also outline the nature of damages suffered.

    Contact a Los Angeles Daycare Negligence Attorney

    If your child has sustained severe injuries due to suspected negligence or abuse, you may be able to recover damages. For clients in Los Angeles, CA, our skilled daycare negligence attorneys at Fiore Legal will help you seek the compensation you need and deserve for your child’s injuries. To learn more about our services, contact us today. Our consultations are complimentary and obligation-free.

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