As a family-owned and operated law firm, Auger & Auger believes that the childcare industry should be held to the highest standards possible. When you contact our Columbia childcare accident lawyer following an incident, we will take immediate steps to ensure that your child is not subjected to further harm or negligence.
Discovering that your child has been injured or harmed by neglect while in paid childcare is devastating and overwhelming. Unfortunately, these accidents happen frequently, and inadequate supervision is often a contributing factor. Both you and your child are entitled to compensation for injuries sustained through the negligence or incompetent behavior of another.
Every parent knows that children view the world around them with a complete lack of fear. They climb, they crawl, and they explore their surroundings with abandon. Because they often act without thinking, it’s up to care providers to do the thinking for them. Taking your eyes off a child for just a few seconds can be a life-altering mistake. Adequate supervision must be provided at all times.
Our Auger & Auger Columbia childcare accident lawyer knows that some of the most prevalent causes of daycare injuries are falls from playground equipment, accidents in bathrooms, slamming doors and drawers, and the ingestion of toxic substances. Children move quickly and not all accidents can be foreseen — but appropriate supervision goes a long way in preventing them.
According to the Early Childhood Learning & Knowledge Center (ECLKC), active supervision can reduce injuries in daycares. The organization provides tips for childcare providers who want to implement active supervision in their centers or home. Parents who read this information can formulate better questions when interviewing childcare providers.
Though laws for the childcare industry in South Carolina do not specifically speak to supervision, Section 63-13-180 states that the operation, maintenance, and standards for childcare homes must be designed to promote safety. As you read this section, it’s clear that the welfare of children is something that is taken very seriously in the eyes of the law.
As a parent, there are sections of the Childcare Provider Laws that are of particular interest:
It only takes a second for an accident to injure a child. But was it a simple accident that couldn’t have been prevented, or was the childcare facility negligent? We recommend speaking to a Columbia childcare accident lawyer rather than trying to figure it out yourself. Sometimes parents assume a child’s injuries are just “kids being kids” when the facility may have been negligent – and could be again.
In a childcare accident claim, as with other personal injury cases, you need to establish that the facility had a duty of care to your child, that this duty was breached, and that this breach caused their injuries. Generally, it is not difficult to prove that a daycare has a duty to provide a reasonably safe environment for the children in their care. Whether or not they did that in the case of a child’s injury is usually a pivotal question. If the daycare failed to take reasonable steps to prevent injuries to kids in the facility, and your child was injured as a result, they may have been negligent. If so, you deserve compensation for your child’s medical bills and other damages.
Here are some common situations that lead to preventable injuries in childcare settings:
Injuries at daycare may happen in a wide variety of ways, but here are some of the more common types of accidents we see:
Most injuries in daycare are accidents, even those resulting from negligence on the facility’s part. Although less common than accidental injuries, we see some cases where children were intentionally abused by those tasked with caring for and keeping them safe. Frequently, this is the result of the facility failing to properly screen workers or failing to provide supervision and surveillance of their employees. When choosing a daycare facility, consider asking these questions to determine how dedicated the center is to keeping kids safe:
Once your child is in care, use the tools available to check on your child as much as time allows. Facilities with online recordings are preferable because you can look at the video later if you’re too busy during your workday. In particular, you should always check the footage if you notice your child has any unusual bruises or marks on their skin they didn’t have before you dropped them off for the day.
If your child is old enough to talk, maintain good communication with them. Always ask what they did at daycare when you pick them up each day. Pay attention to how they act when dropped off and try to find out what’s wrong if they suddenly seem apprehensive or reluctant to go to the facility. Changes in mood or personality, regression, sudden difficulties with sleeping, or nightmares may also be signs of something wrong.
If your child suffers any kind of injury at daycare, ask for an accident report and any available video. If the staff seems evasive or claims there is no video available, don’t hesitate to speak with a Columbia childcare accident lawyer to learn your options. In some situations, this may be a matter for the police, as one South Carolina mother learned in April of 2022 after her child suffered a broken leg at daycare. The facility claimed the child got hurt on a crib railing but also said their cameras were “malfunctioning.” Suspicious of this story, the mother contacted local law enforcement. Authorities investigated and eventually recovered video of a worker abusing the child and causing the broken leg. The worker has since been arrested.
No family wants to live through the nightmare of having one of their smallest members injured or suffer a fatality while in someone else’s care. A provider may be considered negligent when they fail to provide the necessary amount of supervision for your injured child. Our Columbia childcare accident lawyer will investigate the accident and vigorously defend your child’s rights.
Our legal team has over four decades of combined experience, and we believe everyone has a right to health and safety. Your child deserves a passionate advocate from Auger & Auger, and we make sure our services are affordable for everyone by offering a zero-fee guarantee; i.e. you won’t pay unless we win your case.
Call (803) 470-5298 today for your free consultation, with no fees due until recovery!