Car accidents can result in tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of dollars in medical bills, lost wages, and car repairs. How is it decided who will have to pay for these damages and bills? In Florida, it usually starts with personal injury protection (PIP). If you experience damages that add up to less than [..]
Don’t Let Florida Childcare Providers Get Away with Hurting Your Kid
If you send your little one to daycare, preschool, aftercare, or another type of child care service, you do so with the expectation that they will be well cared for. After all, that is the number one job of any child care provider, regardless of the particular “mission” or focus of the specific “program.” Socialization and learning are great, but they cannot come at the expense of safety.
Unfortunately, as the experienced injury attorneys at The Injury Law Firm of South Florida can attest, child accidents and injuries do happen – even at the finest daycare establishments – due to negligence and unsafe conditions. So, what can you do if your child is injured at a child care facility?
As you struggle with obtaining medical care and focus on your child’s recovery, the legal side of things may be far from your mind. However, you owe it to your child and your family to consider the potential benefits of winning a personal injury claim.
Contrary to popular belief, injury lawsuits are not about getting a payout or putting a price tag on an accident. Ask anyone who has suffered through a serious injury – especially to their child – and they will tell you that if they could turn back time, they would do so in a heartbeat – compensation or no compensation.
So, why file a suit after a daycare injury? Parents with injured children get in touch with The Injury Law Firm of South Florida for a number of different reasons.
Why Florida Parents File Aftercare Injury Claims
They are drowning in bills and need help. There is a huge difference between getting a “payout” and being compensated for what someone else did. Serious injuries typically do not simply fix themselves. They require visits to doctors. Or hospitals. There may be surgeries. Physical therapy or other types of rehab work. Medicines or other required medical tools.
All of those things cost money. Money which would not have been needed if it were not for the incident in question. Then there is the money lost due to parents having to take time off work to go to all of those appointments. Transportation costs. Pain and suffering.
If another’s actions literally end up costing you tens of thousands – or more – it should be their responsibility to cover those costs. Unfortunately, it does not quite work that way. Compensation is possible, but not automatic – you have to fight for it. Filing a personal injury lawsuit is how you do this.
They want to hold the responsible parties accountable. Beyond paying off the many bills they have accrued, many parents feel angry and betrayed when their child is hurt while at daycare. They want justice. They want the person or entity responsible to pay for what they have done and for others to acknowledge that their child was wronged and it should not have happened.
Often, an aftercare injury claim is the only way to find closure.
They do not want this to happen to other families. When a child is hurt due to a negligent daycare worker or bad practices, there is every chance that it will happen again unless changes are implemented. Most child care facilities are honorable and will work diligently to make their space, employees, and practices as safe as possible.
Not all of them, though.
If you worry that the negligence that harmed your child is going to continue and you want to help, the best way to stop it may be to file suit against the facility. This will not only shine a light on the problem, but likely cause them to take a financial hit as well. Even the most stubborn places tend to be quick to change practices when they discover that refusing to do so is going to lose them money.
Whatever your goals, The Injury Law Firm of South Florida can help. Our skilled injury attorneys have successfully handled countless child injury cases, and they understand all of the ins and outs of the law that can strengthen your case.
Common Causes of Daycare and Aftercare Injuries in South Florida
Wondering if your child’s injury is really cause for a lawsuit?
Playful, curious, and full of energy, kids can be magnets for accidents even under careful adult supervision. Moreover, childcare facilities not only see their fair share of minor scrapes and bruises, but also more serious injuries that require medical attention – even when they follow every reasonable safety protocol.
How do you know if your child’s injuries constitute negligence? It starts with knowing how the accident happened.
Daycare and aftercare accidents can come in all shapes and sizes, but the some of the most common causes include:
Negligent supervision. Youngsters have a way of finding themselves into trouble and do not always recognize dangerous situations. That’s why careful, constant supervision is needed from the staff members of a daycare center. Lack of supervision is a leading cause of accidents and injuries in daycare facilities.
Inadequate training. Adequate training is important for jobs in any field, but is particularly important at daycare centers. These are individuals you are trusting with your children, who are not only the most precious part of you, but at a vulnerable, formative stage in their life.
Childcare staff should be trained to manage the unique challenges and risks that come with caring for children, in addition to being knowledgeable on preventing and handling emergencies. Daycare and aftercare conditions become dangerous when a staff is improperly trained.
Understaffing. Even the most caring staff members may struggle to provide adequate supervision if their daycare center is understaffed. Insufficient staffing levels at a daycare or after-school facility not only places your child in danger, it is a violation of Florida law.
Faulty equipment. At a daycare, all equipment should be stringently maintained. Broken playground parts, malfunctioning toys, or faulty baby gear like cribs and highchairs can result in tragedy.
Lack of childproofing. Any establishment that cares for young children should be “childproofed.” That means ensuring choking hazards and cleaning supplies are out of reach, floors and sharp objects are padded, electrical sockets are covered, and so on. Without strict, strategic childproofing, daycare accidents become an inevitability.
Unsanitary conditions. Daycares can become germ factories when they are not properly cleaned and sanitized. Conditions may also become unsanitary if staff members do not follow best practices to prevent transmission of germs and illnesses, such as washing their hands frequently and encouraging children to do the same. Unsanitary conditions at a daycare can allow colds, flus, and illnesses to circulate among the children.
Improper food handling. Similarly, a lack of food safety awareness at a daycare center can lead to foodborne illness. Staff members have a responsibility to keep cooking areas clean, refrigerate perishable foods, and ensure the right food goes to the correct child. In addition, food should be cut into bite-size pieces to prevent choking accidents.
Slip and fall accidents. Slip and fall accidents can cause serious injury at any age. These types of accidents can be common in daycare centers, where many youngsters may be still learning to walk, and hazards like toys are often strewn about floors. Unsafe conditions, such as worn carpeting or cracked floors, may also cause slip and fall accidents among children at daycare centers.
These are only a handful of the many causes of daycare accidents. Regardless of the reason, a daycare or after-school care accident can lead to serious injuries like broken bones, burns, brain injuries, and even death.
As a Florida parent, you have the right to stand up against unsafe, negligent childcare companies if they put your child in harm’s way.
What You Need to Prove to Win a Daycare Injury Claim in South Florida
In order to win your injury suit, our lawyers will fight to help you prove the following:
- Duty – The childcare facility had a duty to care for your child in a safe environment.
- Breach of duty – The childcare facility failed to provide adequate care for your child due to negligence.
- Causation – The facility’s breach of duty resulted in harm to your child.
- Damages – The harm your child suffered led to specific financial costs.
Even if you are uncertain whether you have a personal injury case against your daycare center, we encourage you to get in touch with The Injury Law Firm of South Florida. We offer parents a free consultation, during which one of our experienced child injury attorneys will help explain your rights and discuss your options. In addition, our lawyers work on a contingency basis, meaning you won’t pay a cent until we get the compensation you deserve.
Let us handle the legal matters while you focus on helping your family heal. Our seasoned team at The Injury Law Firm of South Florida has helped many families get back on their feet after accidents and tragedies, and we have the compassion and determination to win your case. Contact us now to schedule your free consultation and take the first step towards obtaining compensation and preventing similar accidents in the future.