Daycare Injuries and Your Parental Legal Rights
In the United States, an increasing number of parents are using non-parental child care facilities. The services offered by a daycare have become essential to working American families. As per the Economic Policy Institute, Minnesota is one of the most expensive states in the country when it comes to child care costs. Yet, even after spending a substantial amount on child care costs, parents may often be faced with the traumatic experience of daycare injuries. If your child suffered injuries at a daycare, learn how a Minnesota daycare injury attorney from Tyroler Injury Law can help you understand your legal rights by calling (651) 259-1113.
Types of Child Daycare Injuries
There are many different types of injuries that may occur when a child attends daycare. Some of the types of child daycare injuries include the following:
Minor Scrapes and Bruises
Scrapes and bruises are the most common types of daycare injuries. From simple paper cuts to falling while walking, it is most likely that a child will experience these types of injuries. However, parents should become aware and alert if they notice regular or patterned scrapes and bruises. These types of bruises or injuries may indicate either neglect or abuse.
Bites or Bruises Received From Other Children
Children may fight among themselves at daycare facilities. Biting and hitting among children can lead to serious injuries. Lack of proper supervision, while children are interacting with each other, can also lead to such injuries.
Poor supervision during outdoor playtime or poorly maintained outdoor playtime infrastructure can also lead to daycare injuries. Children may slip and fall, hit a rock, or experience a swing fall. In other cases, children can hurt each other when poorly supervised on the playground.
Consuming Unsafe Objects
Children have a tendency to put the objects they are playing with into their mouths. Sometimes, they may even access chemicals or poisonous substances such as cleaning products, if left unsupervised. Daycare centers must ensure that such objects are out of the reach of children and kept in a safe area.
Not only swimming pools, but other containers filled with water such as bathtubs and buckets can also lead to drowning at daycare facilities.
Poor Daycare Infrastructure
The absence of legally required infrastructure at daycare centers and poorly maintained facilities at the daycare can also lead to serious injuries among children. For example, water leakage may cause the floor to become slippery and a child may slip and fall. Lack of smoke detectors may also compromise the safety of children at daycare.
Injuries can also happen while getting on and off daycare transportation buses or vans.
Children have a natural tendency to pull down objects from higher shelves. If unsupervised, it can lead to serious injuries from the heavy objects falling on them.
There can be multiple factors involved in a daycare injury caused to your child. Sometimes, it may become difficult to prove the liability of the daycare as the compilation of evidence can be legally challenging and complex. If your child suffered injuries at a daycare facility, learn how a Minnesota daycare injury attorney from Tyroler Injury Law can help you understand what your legal options are and ensure justice occurs by calling (651) 259-1113.
Minnesota Child Daycare Laws
In the state of Minnesota, daycare is usually provided through child care centers or family care centers. A child care center has a more formal setting where the staff meets certain training and qualification requirements. This type of care center is located at a place other than the care provider’s home and a large number of children are taken care of at the center. A family care center is usually located at the care provider’s home. A family care center cannot have more than 14 children cared for at a given time, according to Minnesota state law.
In Minnesota, both these types of child care centers are required to obtain a license from the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS). The centers must also comply with the standards prescribed by the DHS. These standards lay down the staff-to-child ratio, age-group distributions, and group size requirements for daycare facilities.
Daycare Release Forms or Liability Waivers
In Minnesota, most daycare facilities ask the parents to sign a liability waiver form before admitting their child into the daycare facility. These waiver forms usually contain two types of clauses:
Emergency Medical Treatment
These emergency medical clauses ask for authorization to take action in case of a medical emergency related to the child in case the parents cannot be reached at that moment. These clauses are usually valid and allow the daycare facility to take reasonable action in case the child needs emergency medical care.
Liability for Damages
These types of clauses usually ask the parents to give up their right to sue the daycare for compensation for injuries caused to their child at the daycare. These clauses are usually called “liability waiver” or “indemnity waiver.” These clauses state that the daycare will not pay for any harm caused to the child at the daycare.
Even though daycare facilities make parents sign such clauses, these waivers may not be held valid by the court. If a daycare facility acts negligently and as a result injury is caused to the child, they may have the legal responsibility to compensate the victim and the family for injuries and losses that result from the negligence.
Steps to Take After a Daycare Injury
If your child suffered injuries at a daycare, consider taking these steps:
Pay Close Attention to Your Child
Children may not be able to properly communicate after suffering an injury. Sometimes, they might not even be able to recognize that they suffered an injury. It is important to closely observe your child to notice any unusual behavior, take notes and ask your child about how he or she feels.
Seek Medical Care
Immediately seek medical care if you notice anything unusual. Sometimes, injuries may be internal and the child might not be able to communicate the pain properly.
Keep a record of all the details and documents related to the injury including the change in the child’s behavior, date and time of the injury, and hospital bills and records.
Consider Contacting an Attorney
Filing a personal injury claim for a daycare injury can be a complex issue. Consider contacting an attorney to help you understand your legal rights.
Daycare Injuries and Personal Injury Claims
Just like any other personal injury accident, parents may have the legal right to sue a negligent daycare facility for the injury caused to their child. To build a personal injury claim, it must be shown that:
- The daycare facility had a duty of care towards the child;
- The daycare facility acted negligently in fulfilling that duty of care and breached its duty, and
- As a result of the breach of that duty, injuries were suffered by the child.
In a personal injury claim relating to daycare injuries, parents can seek compensation on behalf of their child. Just like other personal injury claims, compensation can be given for medical bills, therapy and counseling costs, and pain and suffering caused to the child.
Learn How a Minnesota Daycare Injury Attorney Can Help
For parents, it can be a traumatizing experience to see their child in pain due to injuries caused in their absence. Filing a personal injury claim against a daycare can be a difficult task as it may involve different parties. Further, multiple laws may also be applicable depending upon the facts of the case. If your child suffered injuries at a daycare facility, consider contacting our legal team at (651) 259-1113 to learn how a Minnesota personal injury attorney from Tyroler Injury Law can help you with your child’s daycare injury case.