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What are the Rights of a Special Needs Child Injured at a School or Day Care Center?

By David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network


In schools and day care centers, special needs children, like other children, are entitled to be supervised and cared for in a controlled and safe environment. While not all injuries or incidents can be avoided, the school or day care center should take its best efforts to provide for the daily safety, education, and well-being of a special needs child accepted into the day care or school program. The four elements of a potential case against a school or day care center involving injuries to a special needs child are as follows:

1. Duty. The school or day care center has a duty to provide for the supervision and education of a special needs child. While a school is not an absolute insurer or guarantor of the safety of a special needs child, the school should take reasonable and necessary efforts to provide sufficient staff, a well-maintained facility, and otherwise provide for the safety and well-being of the child.
Schools and day care centers have a duty to follow local and state regulations as well as internal policies and procedures that pertain to the education and supervision of children.

2. Breach of Duty. This element refers to actions or inactions on the part of the school or day care center that breach duties set forth by regulation, policy, procedure, or just plain common sense.

3. Causation. This element refers to the link between the breach of duty in the last element which is damages. In other words, the breach of duty must be the cause or contributing cause to the harm done to the child or the injuries to the child.

4. Damages. This element refers to the injuries and associated medical and economic expenses associated with the injuries.

A Child Injury Lawyer will evaluate the legal elements of the case to determine if there is a potential cause of action against the school or day care center on behalf of the injured special needs child. Furthermore, the Child Injury Lawyer will evaluate the case from a practical standpoint as well. Just because the case meets or potentially meets the legal elements of a an injury case, it does not mean that the child injury lawyer well accept the case for legal representation. Each potential personal injury case on behalf of a special needs child should be evaluated on its own facts, merits, and circumstances.

The book titled – The ABCs of Child Injury – Legal Rights of the Injured Child – What Every Parent Should Know – has chapters on Automobile Accidents, School Injuries, Day Care Center Injuries, Medical Treatment and Bills, and other topics. You can receive this book for free at The ABCs of Child Injury.

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