5 of the Most Common Childcare Injuries and When to Worry

As parents, we are willing to accept the fact that at some point, our kids will get hurt or injured. Skinned knees and elbows, bruises, and twisted ankles are par for the course of childhood. When injuries happen at a friend’s house or at home, we are more inclined to shrug them off than when they occur in a childcare setting. However, not all injuries that happen at daycare are necessarily suspicious. In some cases, it really is a matter of “kids being kids.”

5 Normal Childcare Injuries

Just as not every childhood injury requires a visit to the doctor, not every injured sustained at daycare is a sign of something sinister. Normal childhood injuries do occur in childcare and daycare settings. Some of the most common include:

  1. Scrapes and Bruises. Minor injuries like scrapes and bruises are usually nothing to worry about. Kids just aren’t as careful or coordinated as adults which can lead to minor injuries from tumbles and rough play. 
  1. Bite Marks. Some kids are biters and, unfortunately, daycare providers can’t always prevent a bite from happening. Small, child-sized bite marks that occur only once or twice is not usually a cause for concern. 
  1. Sprains and Twisted Ankles. It’s easy for excited children to trip over their own two feet and twist an ankle or knee or sprain an elbow or wrist while trying to manipulate a toy.
  1. Hitting and Fighting. Children are still learning to control their emotions and find non-physical ways to resolve differences. Fights happen and hitting occurs; sometimes without the daycare provider’s knowledge. 
  1. Broken Bones. Although alarming, broken bones, particularly in active children, are not always a cause for concern. Tripping when running or falling off a playset could cause a bone to break. Pay attention to how the daycare handles the injury. An ambulance should be called right away as should you.  

When An Injury is Cause for Alarm

Parents never want to brush off an injury if there is a chance their child is being neglected or abused, but it can be a challenge to differentiate between “normal” childhood injuries and signs of abuse. In general, repeated patterns of injury are cause for alarm as are changes in your child’s emotional state regarding daycare. Signs that your child is suffering abuse or neglect at daycare include:

  • Repeated injuries that have no explanation.
  • Bruising in shapes or patterns or covering a large area.
  • Bite marks that are too large to be from a child.
  • Excessive fear or reluctance of the child to go to daycare or see a certain provider/worker.
  • Coming home extremely hungry or thirsty; losing weight.
  • Providers who are evasive about the injury, refuse to discuss it, or never tell you about it.

Before an injury ever happens, talk to your child about their days so they become used to sharing information with you. If they routinely talk to you about their day not only will you gain a better understanding of how the center is run, you’ll also be able to recognize unusual situations when they happen. Listen to your child’s side of the story and always talk to the daycare provider if your child comes home with an injury so you can ascertain what happened.

You know your child best. Some kids are always showing up with new cuts and bruises; others rarely so. If your child begins to exhibit an abnormal amount or type of injury or starts to come home with more serious injuries, it may be time for a closer look.

If you can’t get a straight answer or suspect abuse at a childcare center, contact The Beregovich Law Firm for advice. We offer free case consultations so you can share your worries and concerns with a Florida daycare injury attorney and get a straight answer as to whether the situation seems suspicious or not. 

Call (800) 631-9009 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation at our Orlando or Miami office today.

Documentation Is Crucial To Daycare Negligence Lawsuits

Winning a daycare negligence lawsuit means proving that the daycare provider breached their duty of care to prevent injuries and provide a safe environment for children. Simply accusing the providers of being negligent in this duty of care won’t win any cases. Like all personal injury cases, you need proof or evidence. 

Documentation is one way to provide evidence that the daycare provider was negligent and therefore bears responsibility for the accident and any injuries that occurred. Documentation can take many forms including eyewitness statements, police reports, medical examinations and reports, medical bills, photographs and videos. 

Gathering Evidence in Daycare Negligence Cases

How can parents go about gathering evidence in daycare negligence cases? 

  1. Visit a doctor for the child’s injuries. If your child has been injured at daycare, visit a doctor to be treated for the injury or schedule a check-up with your pediatrician if the injury is minor. Ask for copies of the examination results and any tests results and keep a record of all of your medical bills and expenses. This helps establish a paper trail of medical documentation by providing proof of injury and the extent of the injury as well as the costs associated with that injury. All of this information can be used to determine lawsuit compensation awards.
  2. Photographic Evidence. They say a picture is worth a thousand words and this is certainly true in daycare negligence lawsuits. If appropriate the injury, take photos of the scene of the injury. Did the child fall off a swing only to land on had concrete or asphalt, not woodchips? Is there a hot stove in the daycare center that is accessible to children? Are there too many kids relative to the number of daycare workers? All of these photos can back up your claim that the daycare center was negligent in their duty to provide care.
  3. Hire a Daycare Negligence Attorney. You don’t have to try and collect all of this evidence by yourself. Talk to a daycare negligence attorney right away to A) see if you have a case and B) handle evidence collection for you. An attorney can gain access to much more evidence than you could yourself and it saves you the trouble of having to try and gather evidence from what will likely be an uncooperative daycare provider.

The Beregovich Law Firm Fights For Families

If your child has been injured in a daycare accident and you need help determining what action to take, contact Andres Beregovich at The Beregovich Law Firm and schedule a free consultation. Andres will examine the facts surrounding your case and offer you an honest assessment and advice for the next steps. 

Contact The Beregovich Law Firm at (800) 631-9009 or email us to schedule a consultation.

Protect Your Child From Daycare Negligence: 7 Things to Look For When Selecting a Daycare Provider

It’s hard enough leaving your child with a daycare provider to go to work. It’s even harder when the news is filled with horror stories of children who have been neglected or injured at daycare facilities. What can parents do to ensure they are choosing a safe and qualified daycare provider?

Although daycare negligence is a scary concept, it doesn’t usually “just happen”. There are clues that can indicate whether a facility is at risk of suffering a negligence-related injury. While there is no guarantee that a negligent situation won’t arise, daycare facilities that proactively work to limit risk are less likely to encounter such situations. 

7 Criteria That Can Help Parents Gauge Daycare Negligence Risk

Here are a few things that reduce negligence risk in daycare facilities; parents should look for at these criteria when selecting a daycare facility: 

  1. Caregiver to child ratios. In general, lower ratios will result in better care; the more adults there are who are able to look after the children the better. The State of Florida does mandate adult to child ratios as part of daycare licensing. Legal ratios range from 1 adult for every 4 infants to 1 adult for every 25 children over the age of 5. 
  2. State License. Large daycare centers must be registered with the State. This ensures regular inspections by state officials. Family daycare homes are not licensed or inspected by the State, though they do have to register with the State. Ask to see the appropriate credentials when interviewing daycare providers for your child. 
  3. Easy access to first aid supplies. First aid supplies should be on-site and within easy reach of adults. 
  4. Proper safety standards. Take a good look at the safety features that are in place at the site. Is the outside play area fenced in? Is the playground equipment in good repair with wood chips or sand underneath to minimize fall damage? Are outlets covered and dangerous chemicals locked away from children? Do they have protections in place to prevent children from “wandering” into areas they should not be or worse, getting out the front door alone?
  5. Adequate access to food and water. It’s incredible that parents even have to ask this question, but make sure the children have access to water throughout the day and have a set snack and meal schedule? 
  6. Proper bathroom facilities. Again, this should go without saying, but make sure there are clean and functioning bathroom facilities at the site! 
  7. Employee checks. Ask what protections are in place for hiring employees? Do they undergo a background check? Do they have policies that employees must sign that forbid all forms of physical, mental, emotional and/or sexual abuse? What kind of training do employees receive and how frequently?

Contact The Beregovich Law Firm With Daycare Negligence Questions

If you have concerns about your daycare facility or think your child may have suffered from daycare negligence, contact The Beregovich Law Firm. Our Florida daycare negligence attorney can help determine if the incident was a simple accident or if negligence may be at play.   

Call (800) 631-9009 or email us to arrange a consultation to discuss your situation today.

 

Daycare Negligence Extends Beyond Physical Violence

When the words “daycare negligence” come up, images of abused children spring to mind, but negligence is actually a much broader concept that goes far beyond physical violence. There are many ways that a daycare facility could be negligent in their delivery of childcare without the child actually being physically abused.

Negligence Can Happen in Many Ways 

While there is no doubt that a daycare provider or employee who hits or physically restrains a child is acting negligently, there are many other ways that providers could be sued for negligence

Daycare negligence is a breach of duty on the part of the daycare provider. A daycare provider’s primary duty is to treat children with reasonable care. Obviously, this includes not physically abusing children, but it also includes ensuring their safety and well-being as well as providing for their physical and emotional care. To ensure this standard of care, daycare providers must provide proper shelter, food, rest, and age-appropriate activities for the children in their care. This care must be delivered in a safe and secure setting; a provider could be negligent if the building is dangerous or the outdoor play area is not secure.

Parents may not notice signs of physical abuse on their children, but that does not mean there isn’t negligence on the part of the daycare provider. Subtler signs of negligence include:

  • Low number of employees/providers relative to number of children. Florida does require minimum adult to child ratios starting with 1 adult for every 4 infants and increasing the number of children one adult can care for from there. Even if the facility complies with the required ratio that doesn’t always mean children are receiving adequate care. If you have concerns discuss them with the site manager.
  • No-no’s are within easy reach of children. A daycare facility can be negligent if children can put themselves in dangerous situations. This includes children having access to cleaning products, office or craft supplies, or small objects that could be a choking hazard. If these items are lying around within reach of children, the facility is being negligent.
  • Unsafe conditions or situations. Broken doors, windows, fencing, and gates and old or broken playground equipment are signs of negligence. Any one of these things could lead to a child being hurt.
  • Changes in your child’s personality. Physical abuse is easier to spot than emotional abuse, but emotional abuse can and does occur at daycare facilities. Be wary if your child becomes withdrawn or starts acting more timid or unsure at home. He or she may be experiencing emotional abuse at daycare.
  • Hungry or thirsty kids. If your child comes home hungry or thirsty every day, he or she may not be receiving enough food or water at daycare. Ask about food and drink schedules and pay attention to your child’s weight. If they start to lose weight or become dehydrated it is a red flag.

Our Florida Daycare Negligence Attorney Can Help You

If you suspect negligence at your child’s daycare facility, contact Andres Beregovich, Esq. at The Beregovich Law Firm right away. Mr. Beregovich will listen to your suspicions and advise you on an appropriate course of action. We can investigate whether or not the facility is appropriately licensed and staffed, tell you if the concerns you have qualify as negligence or not, or help you obtain compensation for your child’s injuries.

Contact The Beregovich Law Firm at (800) 631-9009 or email us to schedule a consultation at your convenience.

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Daycare Accidents and Liability Waivers

Many parents who sign their children up for daycare are presented with a liability waiver before the child is accepted. These waivers are designed to protect the daycare from spurious lawsuits that may result from normal childhood accidents. When children are involved in more serious accidents, parents sometimes think they cannot sue the daycare for negligence because they signed a liability waiver. This is false.

In general, if your child is injured due to negligence on the part of the daycare provider you can sue for compensation. There are, of course, exceptions to this rule, such as if you yourself may be partially at fault for the injury, but generally speaking, liability waivers do not preclude families from suing daycare providers IF the injury happened due to the provider’s negligent actions (or inactions).

Daycare Waivers Limit Liability, They Don’t Remove It

Daycare waivers are intended to limit a day care’s liability for injuries that occur on their watch – not remove their liability entirely. Legally, a daycare cannot waive their liability for daycare accidents or daycare injuries that result from their own negligence, rending the waiver unenforceable in these types of situations.

Keep in mind that simply sustaining an injury is not enough to bring forth a lawsuit, whether there is a waiver involved or not. If your child is injured while at daycare and you decide to sue, you will have to prove that negligence played a role in the injury. You’ll need to prove that the facility failed in its’ duty to provide care and that the failure played a role in causing the injury to occur. Finally, you will need to prove damages. Damages is another term for the compensation needed based on the injury. Damages are calculated in many ways but typically include current and future medical bills, wages that you or your spouse may have lost due to needing to take time off from work, or even pain and suffering.

Don’t Let a Liability Waiver Prevent You From Seeking Justice

There are good reasons to sign liability waivers. For example, most give the daycare the authority to call an ambulance, if needed. So, don’t let your fear of giving up your right to sue, stop you from signing it. If the daycare is truly responsible for your child’s injury, you can’t be stopped from filing a lawsuit against them, but you’ll want to make sure you have a case by contacting The Beregovich Law Firm for a case evaluation. Our Florida personal injury attorney will examine the evidence and advise you of your legal options so you can make an informed decision.

Contact The Beregovich Law Firm at (800) 631-9009 or email us to schedule your consultation.

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Pursuing Justice In Day Care Deaths

One piece of news that we see way too often here in Florida is day care deaths. Whether from abuse, negligence, or honest accidents the reports are always disturbing. What can parents and families do if they have had a child die while under the care of a daycare provider?

Legal Recourse For Day Care Deaths

Nothing can make up for the loss of a child, particularly in cases where the child was supposed to be safe and under the care of someone you trusted. Many people question why they should even bother bringing a lawsuit against the daycare provider since it won’t do anything to bring their child back.

There are several reasons why families decide to pursue daycare providers in court after a day care death. Rarely, do families pursue lawsuit solely for the funds that may be awarded. It’s usually much more complex than that.

  • Closure. For some families, it is needed for them to achieve closure. They feel that they must do everything they can to continue to be an advocate for their child. Fighting for their child’s rights is one final act that they can do for their child.
  • Awareness and Prevention. Others seek legal help to prevent similar situations from occurring in the future. By filing a lawsuit against the provider, they can raise awareness of “red flag” situations that other parents may experience with their own daycare provider. Raising awareness can also lead to changes in the law and licensing of day care providers, particularly in terms of inspections and staffing ratios.
  • Justice. Some families simply want justice. They want the daycare provider to acknowledge that their actions were wrong and contributed to the child’s death. They want someone to accept responsibility for the child’s death.

Consult A Personal Injury Attorney In A Day Care Death Situation

Florida day care deaths are typically prosecuted by personal injury attorneys as negligence or wrongful death lawsuits. The Beregovich Law Firm works with parents to settle day care death lawsuits and bring closure to the family with as minimal stress as possible.

If your family has suffered a day care death in Florida, contact us at (800) 631-9009 or info@beregovichlaw.com for a free and confidential consultation.

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When Negligence Leads To Day Care Accidents

It is normal for children to get bumps and bruises from time to time. But it’s another thing entirely for a child to be injured due to a caregiver’s negligence, which we are seeing more and more frequently in the form of day care accidents.

Despite the rules and regulations governing day care operations, day care accidents are on the rise in Florida and around the country. They stem from issues related to inadequate staffing and poorly trained staff to dangerous conditions – all of which may be considered negligence on the part of the day care operator. If it turns out that negligence did play a part in your child’s accident, you should contact a personal injury or day care accident attorney right away to determine your legal options.

Addressing Day Care Negligence In Court

The injuries that arise due to day care negligence range from minor cuts and bruises to broken bones, internal injuries, and in extreme circumstances, death. The incident can leave physical and emotional damage from which children and their families struggle to recover. One step in such recovery for many families is to pursue action in court.

There are many reasons why Florida parents choose to file lawsuits when day care accidents occur.

  • Compensation. Many families need help paying for the child’s medical treatment and recovery. Recovered compensation can help cover medical bills, lost wages due to caring for the injured child, and caregiving costs that resulted from the injury.
  • Awareness. No family every wants another to go through a similar situation. For some, pursuing the truth in court is a way to prove that the facility or operator was negligent so that other families are made aware of the situation.
  • Protection. Again, families of injured children don’t want to see the same thing happen again. By taking a day care to court, they can force the owners to make changes to their operations to help prevent future incidents.

Receive Advice On Day Care Accidents From The Beregovich Law Firm

If your child has been injured in a day care accident, contact The Beregovich Law Firm to discuss the situation and determine if negligence played a part in the injury. We offer free consultations so you can explore your options with no risk. Call our office at (800) 631-9009 or email info@beregovichlaw.com to schedule a consultation.