San Antonio Daycare Injury Lawyer
Many parents don’t want to resort to daycare for their children. This is mostly due to the expense, but also because it’s hard to trust other adults to adequately protect and nurture your children. But for single parents or working parents, daycare is often the only option. Safety is the most important thing when it comes to deciding on a daycare for a baby or child. And while most daycare centers are perfectly safe, accidents can and do happen. These accidents can result in major injury, illness, and even death. If you’re concerned that your child is suffering due to daycare negligence, you may have grounds to sue the facility for damages. A San Antonio daycare injury lawyer can help.
The experienced attorneys at Janicek Law have what it takes to hold daycares liable for both personal injuries and wrongful deaths. Call us today at 210-366-4949 to schedule a free consultation.
How Common Are Daycare Accidents and Injuries in the U.S.?
According to Fiscal Year 2019 data, 76% of American children of all ages go to daycare centers every day. It’s impossible to know how many of these children suffer accidents, injuries, and abuse, because many daycare centers don’t report this kind of data.
However, there is one study that determined an approximate number of child care fatalities between the years of 1985 and 2003. This study determined that 1,362 child fatalities occurred in a variety of daycare settings. Due to the playful and clumsy nature of the average child, we can all suspect that the number of daycare injuries that occur on an annual basis are much higher.
Why Do Daycare Accidents, Injuries, and Deaths Happen?
Daycare accidents can happen for a variety of different reasons, including inadequate staffing, lack of safety, lack of training, and abuse.
Just like many industries in the U.S., the daycare industry is suffering from its fair share of understaffing, which has worsened since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Also, many states limit the number of children that daycare workers can watch over. Texas is one of many states that lists specific child to caregiver ratios. These ratios are determined by the child’s age.
Child Age Range
Child to Staff Ratio
Maximum Group Size
If there are not enough childcare providers per number of children of a specific age group, then accidents can definitely happen. Adequate supervision is crucial for child safety.
Lack of Safety
Texas also requires every daycare facility to follow a strict set of safety protocols. This means that daycare facilities must undergo regular inspections to ensure that children stay safe. Additionally, daycare workers must follow certain safety protocols on a daily basis. Still, it’s not unheard of for a daycare center to have broken or malfunctioning playground equipment, toys, and various other safety hazards. All of these safety hazards are considered premises liability or product liability violations. Combined with short staffing, these safety issues could pose a huge threat to any child.
Lack of Training and Qualifications
Texas law states that all daycare employees must meet the following requirements:
- Pass a background check
- Have been recently examined for and free of tuberculosis
- Be at least 18 years old
- Have a high school diploma (or high school equivalent)
- Have completed a notarized Licensing Affidavit for Applicants for Employment
Unqualified caregivers can harm a child through an accident or intentional abuse. A daycare who hires one or more caregivers who don’t meet these qualifications can definitely be sued for daycare negligence.
As previously stated, daycare employees must pass a background check before supervising children. If a daycare facility fails to follow this rule, and hires someone who has a history of physical abuse, the children they supervise will be in immediate danger every day. On the other hand, some abusers don’t have anything on their criminal records, so they can easily pass a background check. This scenario still poses a significant threat to children in their care.
Kids can suffer a variety of different types of abuse in daycare including physical, emotional, verbal, and sexual abuse.
Common Types of Daycare Injuries
Kids can suffer a wide variety of serious injuries in child care, including:
- Broken bones and joint dislocations from playground equipment, “rough-housing,” or abusive workers.
- Burn injuries from bottle warmers or even harsh chemicals.
- Suffocation from unsafe sleeping conditions, cords, toys, large chunks of food, etc.
- Head injuries from falls, playground equipment, rough-housing, abusive workers, and suffocation.
- Poisoning from food and chemicals.
- Serious illness from other children or caretakers.
- Heatstroke from playing too long in the heat or from being forgotten in a hot van or bus.
- Cuts and bruises from unsafe toys and equipment, rough-housing, and/or abusive workers.
Signs That a Child May Be Experiencing Abuse in Daycare
Physical abuse and unsafe conditions at a daycare facility can be easy to spot through cuts, bruises, and other physical symptoms. But children can also exhibit a variety of emotional signs that they’re suffering from abuse and/or daycare negligence. Be sure to watch out for these emotional symptoms:
- Regression: If you notice that your child is regressing in any aspect of their development (sleep, food, talking, potty training, moving, etc.), then there may be a problem at their daycare center.
- Excessive Crying: If you notice that your child is crying much more often than usual – at home and at daycare – then negligence and/or abuse could be the cause.
- Separation Anxiety: It’s natural for children to have some level of separation anxiety from their parents and families, especially if they’re going to daycare for the first time in their life. But constant separation anxiety that doesn’t improve over the course of several weeks or months could indicate abuse or negligence at the child’s daycare center.
- Fear of Other Adults: It’s also common for many children to be shy around new people. But if you notice a sudden increase in your child’s shyness/fear of other adults, this could be a sign that something is wrong at their daycare facility.
How to Report Daycare Abuse in Texas
If you suspect that your child’s injuries were caused by daycare negligence or abuse, you should definitely file a complaint with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS). They can help investigate the child’s injury and the child care facility as a whole.
Can I Sue for Daycare Accidents, Injuries, and Deaths?
If your child was physically, emotionally, or sexually harmed at their caregiving facility, you have grounds to hire an attorney and sue for daycare negligence.
A negligent daycare center can be held liable for physical, emotional, and sexual harm through a personal injury lawsuit. But if your child died as a result of their daycare accident or injuries, you could file a wrongful death lawsuit on their behalf. Both types of lawsuits can help you restore your life (and your child’s life) to its pre-accident state through financial compensation.
A San Antonio daycare injury lawyer from Janicek Law has the skill and experience necessary to litigate both personal injury lawsuits and wrongful death lawsuits. We want to help your family and your injured child obtain justice for any and all damages.
Damages for Daycare Accidents and Injuries
A San Antonio daycare injury lawyer can help you recover financial compensation for the following types of damages:
- Past and future medical bills
- Past and future rehabilitative bills
- Lost wages (for the parent of the injured child)
- Loss of earning capacity (if the child suffers permanent disability which affects their future ability to work)
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress (for both the parent and child)
- Mental health counseling bills (for both the parent and child)
- Permanent scarring, disfigurement, and/or disability
- Funeral and burial expenses if the accident results in wrongful death
Texas Statute of Limitations for Daycare Accidents
If you want to file a legal claim for your child’s daycare incident, you have limited time to do so. The Texas statute of limitations for both personal injury and wrongful death claims is two years. This means that you have 2 years from the date of your child’s injury or death to sue their daycare facility.