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Parents rely on day care centers to provide a safe environment for their children during the workday.  In most instances, a child is cared for by a trained individual who has the best interests of the child in mind. Unfortunately, far too many children are injured a day care centers when a staff member is untrained or lacks the patience / maturity to provide stable and nurturing care and supervision to child.  It is well known that children will misbehave especially infants and toddlers. Certainly, it is part of the job of a day care worker to deal with behavioral issues in a calm and safe manner.  When patience is lost, day care workers can and do inflict harm upon a child through careless acts and in some instances through purposeful criminal actions.

There are over 14 million children in a form of day care each day. Parents enroll their children in a day care program under the assumption that their children will be safely cared for while they are away. Day care cewnters have a legal duty to provide proper supervision and protection against injury. So, when the way a day care negligent acts results in a child getting hurt, the parent of the injured child may be able to bring a legal action on behalf of the injured child to seek out compensation for medical bills, pain, and suffering.  Negligence cases are dealt with in civil court, where parents can sue day care centers for financial compensation. Through a civil case or claim, a parent may be able to obtain compensation on behalf of the injured child.  Furthermore, a parent can be reimbursed for medical bills that the parent owes as guardian / financially responsible person for the injured child.

Many day care centers require parents to sign a liability waiver.  It should be noted that most States disfavor liability waivers when children are involved.  Otherwise, this would give a day care center a license of sorts to be negligent and put a child in harm’s way without repercussions.  Parents should be wary of day care centers that require the signing of a waiver that attempts to shield a day care center from negligent acts causing personal injury.

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In Michigan and other states, parents rely on day care center to provide a safe and nurturing learning environment during the workday. Whether a child attends an in-home day care center or a commercial day care center, it is important that the child is supervised by a caring and patient adult. Unfortunately, far too many day care workers are not well suited by education, temperament, or maturity to watch young children. It is a well-known fact that infants will cry and toddlers will misbehave. If children were perfect angels who never cried and never misbehaved, there would almost be no need for a day care center. For most children, a day care center is a haven of safety in an otherwise busy world. For others, unfortunately, and in far too many cases, tragically, a day care center is the site of a serious personal injury in the form of head injury, brain damage, skull fracture, shaken baby syndrome, and related injuries.

A recent case of alleged child abuse at a home day care center in northern Michigan demonstrates the reality of these types of tragedies. It was reported that the owner of a home day care shook a seven-month-old baby in her care to the point that the baby stopped breathing. When a child is shaken, the brain can be damaged.  This mechanical / medical condition is simply referred to as shaken baby syndrome.  However simple the name, the brain damage resulting from shaken baby syndrome can have permanent affects on a child and the family caring for that child. Permanent brain damage can result after mere seconds of violent shaking by an adult or older child because of the sensitivity of infants’ softer skulls and developing brains. In the case out of Michigan, reports indicate the shaking of the baby ultimately fractured the infant’s skull, which t did not result in loss of life for the infant, but did result in long-term health consequences.

According to the New York Department of Health, one to three thousand children suffer from shaken baby syndrome each year. A quarter of those children die, and approximately eighty percent of the surviving children suffer from permanent brain damage or other lasting health complications. Injuries of this nature remain completely preventable. The New York Department of Health suggests that when caring for a child that will not stop crying, caregivers lay the child down in safe place, such as a crib or play pen, and take a break, so that they do not burn out and harm the child. See Preventing Shaken Baby Syndrome. 

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Bounce houses are commonly seen in neighborhoods, amusement parks, fairs, parties, and other events. On most occasions, a bounce house is a great way for a child to play, get some exercise, and interact with friends. Unfortunately, bounce houses and similar recreational structures can be the site of a very serious injury and even the death of a child if safety precautions are not followed, including but not limited to, the anchoring of the bounce house. Furthermore, adult supervision is always key to protecting children from injuries. Kids will be kids. They lack good safety judgment and when there is no adult around – accidents and injuries can and do happen.

A recent accident in Nebraska exemplifies the instantaneous moment where fun on a bounce pad can turn injurious and deadly. A two-year-old boy died and his five-year old sister sustained a broken arm when a strong breeze uprooted the anchoring stakes of the moon bounce they were playing in at a Halloween pumpkin patch. The little girl was thrown from the bounce pad as it blew over, which saved her from serious injury. Unfortunately, the little boy tumbled with the bounce house as it blew over, which caused fatal head injuries. This tragedy in Nebraska demonstrates only one of the multitudes of ways in which a bounce house can cause injuries.

According to the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, other common injuries from trampolines and moon bounces are head trauma, neck injuries, and broken legs. Suffocation by the plastic of a bounce house poses additional risks, such as lung or brain damage from a lack of oxygen. Furthermore, the children’s hospital also indicates that over 10,000 children a year sustain injuries in moon bounces and that over a third of those injuries occur in children younger than five years old. See Bounce House Related Personal Injuries to Children.

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By David A. Wolf, Attorney – Child Injury Lawyer Blog

4_ToysWhile enrolled in a day care center, a child should be supervised in an environment that is safe and free from hazards.  The day care center should follow its own policies and procedures as well as the policies and procedures set forth by state and local licensing agencies and laws.  It is difficult to legislate or regulate every since situation or care provisions that take place in a day care center.  Furthermore, it should be noted that common sense can be used in the day care center. If something seems dangerous or risky to a child, then the hazard should be removed.  It is well known that children are curious and lack safety awareness.  As such, anything within reach of a child that can cause harm should be kept away from a child.  This includes but it not limited to hot water, liquids, food, ovens, burners, and other items that can and will cause burn type of injuries to a child.  When a child is burned, first aid should be provided and the parents and when necessary fire rescue / emergency services should be called in.

A civil case on behalf of child involves four essential elements:

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By David Wolf, Attorney and Robert Chaiken, Attorney

Truck Accident.001In communities throughout the United States, there is a common danger that is out on the roadways – day and night. The common danger is in the form of large commercial vehicles and semi-tractor trailers.  Certainly, companies have a right to conduct business and it is proper to utilize commercial trucks and semi tractor trailers in intrastate commerce and in interstate commerce; however, when the commercial or truck driver crashes into other vehicles or causes a crash due to the negligent driver of the commercial or truck driver then there is a cause of action against both the driver and the company that he or she is driving on behalf of.  When there is a crash with semi tractor trailer, the resulting damage to both other vehicles, drivers, and passengers can and often is quite significant and in some cases tragic and devastating.  Certainly, all drivers have a duty to operate the motor vehicle in a safe and reasonable manner by observing and obeying speed limits, street signs, traffic, and weather conditions.  Commercial and truck drivers have special training or at least should have special training to operate such large vehicles.  It is important that the trucks are well maintained and that driver logs are meticulously maintained and followed.  One drowsy or overworked truck driver can change the life of another person and his or her family in a split second.
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By  David Wolf, Attorney and Samantha Vloedman, Law Clerk

Published by Child Injury Lawyer Blog

Building Blocks LIn Illinois and other States, parents rely upon day care centers to provide a safe, nurturing environment for their children during the busy work day. For most children on most days, a day care center provides proper supervision to keep the children safe and out of danger. Unfortunately, there are days (far too many days) when a child is injured while under the so called watch of a day care center.

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By  David Wolf, Attorney

cal-0814-cl5-funpark11During the summer months and other times of the year, amusement parks and theme parks are packed with guests.  For most, the day or evening at the theme park or amusement park is filled with good times, fast but great tasting food, and fun rides.  For some guests, the day or night at the theme park or amusement park is one filled with personal injuries or even the untimely and tragic death of a guest or rider.  There are risks inherent with any activity; however, amusement park and theme park rides should be sound from an engineering and mechanical standpoint.  It is also important the the theme park and amusement park is properly staff with individuals who are trained and otherwise dedicated to the job.  Unfortunately, some theme parks or amusement parks are staffed with low paying employees who are not very motivated to do a good job.  Furthermore, there is a certain boredom or montony with the task of running a ride over and over again. It is the same task.  The work can be quite dull and this, in turn, can distract the ride operator into some daydreaming, sleep, and other distractions like mobile phone use.  Some ride operators mayy even under the influence of drugs or alcohol just to get through the shift.
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 By David Wolf, Attorney

Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

School Bus - BlueSummer is a wonderful time for children to explore, to be active, and to get some further education.  For working parents, summer time is just another 3 months of work.  As such, working parents rely upon day care centers and summer camps to provide for the care and safety of their children.   There are serious risks and dangers that present themselves during summer.  Namely, there are risks of serious personal injuries and even death when a child is left in a school bus or day care center van for even just a few minutes.  There should be no such thing as running a quick errand as a child remains in a school bus or day care center van unattended without any air conditioning.   Furthermore, there should be no such thing or story of a child mistakenly left on a school bus or van in the summer or any other time of the year.  With the heat of summer, there are greater risks for hyperthermia which, in turn, can cause serious personal injuries and even the death of a young child.   Tragically, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, it appears that a child died as a result of hyperthermia as a result of being left in a day care center vehicle.  It was reported that the 22 month old child was left in the vehicle for about 2 hours or so.   A day care center employee was asked to lie to the local authorities as to the situation and circumstances where the child was found.  While the day care center operator had experience working with children, her license had expired.   You can read more about this horrible event at – 22 Month Old Child Dies After Being Left in Day Care Center Vehicle. 
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