Inadequate Supervision in Daycare Facilities
One of the most common causes of child injury at a daycare facility is lack of or inadequate supervision. Falls, ingestion of toxins and playground injuries are all common injuries that might be related to inadequate supervision.
Injuries are more common in younger children, both because of their inexperience and because they are less coordinated than older children. If an employee at a childcare facility is careless, the result can be serious or catastrophic injury. A worker could briefly step away while changing a baby’s diaper, for example, and the baby could fall off the changing station. A childcare provider might leave the room for a moment, allowing children the opportunity to climb and fall from high surfaces. Sometimes simply failing to adequately control children can lead to a very serious injury by the child.
According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, “Based on data gatheredin 2006 from 39 states, 5,321 daycare providers were found to be perpetrators of abuse or neglect.” While many daycare providers were safe and careful, inadequate supervision, neglect and abuse at childcare facilitiesare major problems across the country.
How does Texas law address negligent daycare facilities?
The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services regulates daycare facilities. This agency inspects facilities on an ongoing basis for compliance with regulations, investigates accidents and suspected abuse, and maintains a hotline to report abuse anonymously (1-800-252-5400).
State regulations mandate strict supervision of children at daycare facilities. “Supervising children at all times means that the assigned caregiver is accountable for each child’s care. This includes responsibility for the ongoing activity of each child, appropriate visual and/or auditory awareness, physical proximity, and knowledge of activity requirements and each child’s needs.” (Tex. Health and Safety Code Sec. 746.1205) There are stricter laws governing supervision of infants. Generally, infants need to be watched at all times to ensure they are not hurt.
Legal Options Parents May Take after a Child Injury
If a child is injured from abuse, neglect or poor supervision, parents have the option to file a personal injury case. Generally, plaintiffs must prove that the defendant acted negligently and that the defendant’s negligence caused the injury. Wrongful death lawsuits have same similar standards of proof and can be filed by parents after a child’s death.
Parents may seek compensation for their damages, like medical expenses or time taken off work to care for an injured child. These claims are generally subject to the two-year statute of limitations in Texas. The statute of limitations for the minors claims may be valid until the child turns 18, giving children until they are 20 to pursue some of the damages. Parents should discuss both statutes of limitations with an attorney so they understand the time period they have to file and the types of damages they may seek.
However, delaying the initial investigation or filing a lawsuit can make a case much more difficult and sometimes impossible to win because of loss of evidence and witnesses and status of the daycare facility.
Child Injury Lawyers
Contact a daycare accident lawyer to help you as soon as possible after your child’s injury- Call (281) 587-1111 for a no obligation consultation with an experienced child injury lawyer.