Every day we entrust our children to day care facilities to watch over them while we work. Though most do the best job they can, accidents happen, and there’s nothing worse than getting a call and finding out that your child has been injured. In certain situations, the facility itself might be responsible, and therefore liable, for the injury. If you are considering filing a personal injury lawsuit against a day care facility, you should consult with a personal injury lawyer immediately. Our attorneys at Bighorn Law can help you determine if you have a strong case, negotiate a settlement, or help you win your case in court.
Are Day Care Facilities Liable for Child Injuries?
It all depends on the specific situation, but yes, they can be liable for an injury. Unlike a school whose purpose is to educate, courts have ruled that the purpose of a day care facility is safe supervision. According to LegalMatch.com, this puts a greater burden on them to exercise care and protect your child from injury.
Generally, there are three legal theories used to establish a childcare center’s liability. These are:
- Negligence Per Se
- Res Ipsa Loquitor
Negligence in Childcare Supervision
Because these facilities are meant to supervise children, they are expected to exercise reasonable care to keep them safe. Like with other negligence cases, you will have to prove that the staff at the facility acted unreasonably, and that the average daycare staff would have acted differently and prevented the injury. Did the staff keep the facility clean and hygienic to a reasonable degree? Did they do a poor job of keeping the play area clear from potentially dangerous objects? A personal injury attorney can help you analyze the situation and determine if the daycare facility was acting in a negligent manner.
Negligence Per Se
This refers to a situation when the facility was violating a law when the injury occurred. If they were not following the law, then they will be held liable for injuries that occur while that law was being broken. One common example is if a childcare center is not following a law regarding the proper ratio of staff to children. If your child is injured and you can prove that the facility was not staffed to the legally required amount, the childcare center may be inherently liable.
Repsa Ipsa Loquitor
This means the “thing speaks for itself.” If a young child suffers a serious injury at a daycare facility, the facility can be held liable even if it’s difficult to explain exactly what happened. If the injury is very uncommon and very serious, the court may decide that it could only have been caused by an act of negligence, so the facility and its staff are at fault. For example, if your child suffers a serious concussion or a broken arm, and the daycare facility cannot explain what happened, you may be able to establish liability based on “repsa ipsa loquitor.”
Whatever the situation is, the first step is treating your child’s injuries, and then contacting your personal injury lawyer. Bighorn Law is here to help you through the process. We will help fight alongside you to keep your child safe and get the justice that you deserve.