By David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network
Parents rely on day care centers to provide for a safe and clean educational environment for children during the working day. When a parent drops off a child at a day care center, it is reasonable to expect that the child will be properly supervised, the facility will be properly maintained, and the child will be kept out of harm’s way. Unfortunately, children suffer injuries in day care centers. Some injuries are you avoidable and some injuries are not. As a Child Injury Lawyer, I am often contacted by an upset parent who was not timely or properly informed of an injury that took place at the daycare center. In most States, a day care center has an obligation or duty to timely notify a parent of an injury that takes place at a day care center. This is especially important when a child needs medical care or attention from a third party like a pediatrician, emergency room or other specialist. Certainly, a child should get immediate medical attention as needed. In addition, it is important that the child receives the comfort and support of a parent following an injury. While it is certainly disturbing when a day care center fails to timely notify a parent regarding an incident or injury, a legal case or claim is not necessarily warranted (from a practical standpoint) for the sole reason that there was a lack of prompt and reasonable notification of the injury. When evaluating a day care center injury case, a Child Injury Lawyer will typically evaluate four elements of the potential case:
1. Duty. This refers to the obligation of the day care center and its staff to follow rules and regulations and otherwise act in a reasonable manner to supervise and protect the children under the care of the day care center.
2. Breach of Duty. This refers to the failure to follow rules and regulations or to otherwise act in a reasonable manner.
3. Causation. This refers to the link between the Breach of Duty and the Damages. In other words, is the a connection between the Breach of Duty and Damages? Did the Breach of Duty cause Damages?
4. Damages. This refers to the injuries or harm caused to the child as a result of the Breach of Duty. What were the actual physical injuries? What medical treatment was required? Were the injuries permanent in nature? How much were the medical bills?
While notification of injuries is important, it may be difficult from a practical standpoint to show that the lack of notification caused any appreciable harm to the child.
The book – The ABCs of Child Injury – Legal Rights of the Injured Child – What Every Parent Should Know – has chapters on Day Care Center Injuries, School Injuries, Playground Injuries, and other topics. You can get this book for free at The ABCs of Child Injury.