My Child Got Hurt a Daycare. What Do I Do?
It’s every parent’s worst nightmare. You have entrusted your child with a daycare or babysitter, but a few hours later, you get a call that an accident has happened and you find out your child has been injured. You can only hope it is not serious.
Unfortunately, these kinds of accidents happen all too often. With more than 11 million children under the age of 5 in childcare for an average of 36 hours per week, daycare accidents can occur at an alarmingly high rate, especially if the utmost care is not given to that child.
If your child was injured in a daycare accident, or worse, was killed, it is important to contact a Chicago daycare injury lawyer right away. While it may not seem like a priority at the time, a Chicago injury lawyer can help guide you through the next steps.
What if I Signed a Daycare Liability Waiver?
An accident occurred at the daycare and your child suffered an injury, but the next question in your mind is if the liability waiver you signed could prevent you and your family from receiving compensation for the accident.
But, daycare liability waivers almost never hold any weight in a Chicago daycare negligence lawsuit. Although many daycare facilities require parents to sign liability waivers, they do not legally exonerate daycare providers in the case of an accident or injury. The reason? There have been multiple cases of a judge ruling that a liability waiver should not exempt a daycare or its employees from being held responsible for the accident. In the eyes of the law, the daycare center or employee negligence caused the child to be injured or killed, and a piece of paper does not hold any weight in skirting that responsibility.
Do not let a liability waiver prevent you from filing a daycare accident lawsuit. If you have any questions, your Chicago daycare negligence lawyer can help.
What are Common Injuries in a Daycare Accident?
Frighteningly, there are far too many injuries that occur as a result of an accident at a child care facility. In 2015, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released statistics relating to daycare accidents. According to the report, nationally, 1,684 children of all ages died at the hands of daycare facilities. The national figure of 1,684 fatalities represents roughly a 6 percent increase in deaths since 2011. The following are the types of injuries typical for a daycare injury:
- Falling, such as from a high point or down a stairwell
- Drowning in an unsupervised swimming pool
- Abuse from daycare employees, including, physical, verbal, or sexual abuse
- Improper fencing or gating allowing children to wander away
- Exposure to chemicals or dangerous objects such as cleaning supplies or knives and scissors
How do I Prove Fault in a Chicago Daycare Lawsuit?
Filing a daycare accident lawsuit will be brought on behalf of your child because they are a minor. If you move forward, you will represent your child in suing the daycare for their negligent actions. Evidence will be required to do so. But, in order to file a lawsuit and receive compensation for the lasting effects of the accident, there are four things that must be proven to show the daycare’s fault.
- Duty of Care and Breach – The first step is to define the daycare’s “duty of care” and decide whether that duty was met or not. Daycares have a legally binding duty, set by the Illinois DCFS, to have direct supervision over the children under their care. They also have an obligation to seek direct medical attention for an injured child. If a child is left unsupervised, the duty of the daycare provider is breached. If a daycare provider does not seek direct medical attention after they become aware of the incident then this also a breach of duty.
- Causation – After establishing a breach of duty, you must prove that the injury occurred due to this breach.
- Foreseeable – Next, you must ask “Could the daycare have foreseen this incident?” The daycare could expect that an unsupervised, young child would injure themselves.
- Prima Facie – The first step in any daycare case is to evaluate if prima facie claims exist. Prima Facie is “a legal term used to mean that you have enough evidence to prove something by pointing to some basic facts, but that your proof can be refuted.”
- Proof – Finally, there must be documentary or physical evidence proving the claim. Incident reports, medical records, photographs, and testimony can be used as evidence to prove that an injury had occurred exactly as it was claimed.
Chicago Daycare Negligence Lawyer
Has your child been the victim of a Chicago daycare accident due to the daycare provider’s negligent actions?
An experienced Chicago daycare negligence lawyer from TorHoerman Law Firm is here to help with your accident case. Call for a free, no-obligation consultation.
For additional information, see the following pages:
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