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What if a Child is Hit at a Day Care Center and it is Caught on Video? Civil and Criminal Consequences of Child Abuse

By David A. Wolf, Attorney – Child Injury Lawyer Blog
Day Care Video Surveillance.001When a child is injured at a day care center, it can at times be a mystery as to how and why the child was injured.  This is especially true when a day care center work lies or hides acts of abuse, neglect, and corporal punishment.  Video surveillance, at times, captures the very acts of abuse or neglect inflicted by the very same day care center providers who have the legal duty to protect, support, education, and care for the child.  Most states prohibit any kind of corporal punishment and criminalize the acts.  As such, if a day care center work strikes a child, criminal charges can be brought against the day care center work; however, it should be noted that the criminal prosecution of a day care center worker caught on video hitting a child is not automatic.
Each incident or case is evaluated by the local law enforcement and the prosecutor’s office to determine if a crime was committed and if enough evidence can be presented to successfully prosecute the day care center worker.  If bad acts are caught on video, many people may assume that the day care center work is going to jail or prison; however, no assumptions or presumptions should be made on any particular case as to criminal prosecution.  Furthermore, it should be noted that the pursuit of a civil case is also something that needs further review by the parents and a Child Injury Lawyer as to the elements of the case and the practicality of pursuing the case.  The elements of a civil case or claim for day care center negligence, harm, assault, or corporal punishment are as follows:
1. Duty;
2. Breach of Duty;
3. Causation; and
4. Damages
Each element is evaluated on its own and how it relates and connects to the other elements of a civil case. It should be noted the the violation or breach of the duty is just one of the four elements.  There are also a number of practice considerations that a Child Injury Lawyer evaluates as part of the potential civil case or insurance claim.  The standard of proof for a criminal case is to prove the case by beyond a reasonable doubt.  The standard of proof for a civil case is to provide the case by a preponderance of the evidence which is a more likely than not standard of proof.
Certainly, video evidence showing a child being hit and assaulted in a day care center can be quite powerful.  However, the video itself typically is not the basis of the entire case. There are a number of other factors to consider in the pursuit of a civil and / or criminal case based on the bad acts of the day care center worker.
David Wolf is a child injury attorney, author, and advocate.  He has written 7 books that focus on personal injury matters including the book titled The ABCs of Child Injury – Legal Rights of the Injured Child – What Every Parent Should Know – and the book titled Broken Trust – Abuse, Neglect, and Molestation – Legal Rights of the Injured Child.  You can get these and other books for free by completing the Contact Us Form on this Website – Child Injury Lawyer Blog.  David Wolf firmly believes in Giving a Voice to Injured Children and Their Families.