Fresno Daycare Accident Lawyer
Childcare services are a life-saver for busy, working families. By providing a safe and calm environment for your child, you are free to manage your other responsibilities during those few busiest hours of the day.
Unfortunately, some of these facilities are less trustworthy than others, leading to awful accidents. When a child is injured due to the negligent actions of their daycare provider, you will likely wonder what your next steps should be.
An attorney can be an invaluable asset to parents who want to recover the medical treatment costs and other damages they have suffered when their child has been injured by daycare negligence. The experienced team at Singh Ahluwalia Attorneys at Law is passionate about helping California families through all aspects of their injury claims, and we are happy to offer our support to you, too.
Call (559) 878-4958 or Contact us online to speak with a trusted member of our team who can help you get started by scheduling a consultation with one of our lawyers. All consultations are conducted by one of our experienced attorneys. For the convenience of our clients, we speak English, Hindi, Punjabi, and Spanish.
What Can a Daycare Injury Attorney Do to Help Your Case?
When you work with an attorney, you gain the education, training, and experience that is under their belt. Personal injury claims can be complex, especially without support, and when the claim involves something as serious as protecting your children, is working in isolation worth the risk?
Your attorney team can help you review the standards and practices set by the daycare facility (or other childcare service provider) in question. We will perform an in-depth investigation of the grounds, the hiring practices, any safety protocols implemented, and the facility’s adherence with strict state, local, and federal standards.
Hiring your own personal injury law team in the wake of a daycare accident can provide you with the following benefits:
- Comprehensive management of your case from start to end: Handling every part of a legal process on your own can be exhausting, especially when you have other responsibilities to worry about. An attorney can take much of the workload off your shoulders, overseeing every aspect of your case including filing documents and managing all communication channels with other parties involved.
- Thorough investigation of your accident, including claims of negligence: When reviewing the evidence of your case, you may miss small details that an attorney could highlight in order to further protect your best interests in later steps of the litigation process. An attorney can thoroughly investigate all the evidence of your claim in order to extract key information that may be beneficial for moments like negotiating settlements or presenting a case for liability in trial.
- Precise valuation of your damages in the past, present, and future: The expenses related to a daycare accident can become overwhelming, and the stress related to paying for your costs now may make it harder for you to put in the effort needed to project damages you will experience later, such as future medical care and rehabilitative therapy for your child. An attorney can accurately valuate all of the damages you have suffered and will suffer, increasing the potential size of your claim.
- Protection from common insurance claim traps: An insurance representative may attempt to take advantage of a lack of representation by asking leading questions or unnecessarily inquiring into your child’s medical history. In these situations, the victim may unknowingly offer information that might negatively impact them in the future. An attorney can help you avoid these common insurance claim traps by speaking on your behalf and diligently preparing you for any conversation that you may have with other involved parties.
- Compassionate representation: At Singh Ahluwalia, we understand that legal processes can be daunting to face, but we aim to make the journey easier to walk through by offering our knowledge, resources, and support to all of our clients. We’ll be there to help you better understand each step, answering any pressing questions you have along the way.
Common Types of Child Care Facilities in California
Depending on what your lifestyle looks like, you may benefit from various types of child care services. As the most populated state, California had a plethora of options for working families with kids.
In 2020, a research team concluded that roughly 57% of working households in America spent more than $10,000 in just that year alone on child care. This booming business is an essential service for many families who would not have the extra help any other way. At the same time, these facilities are known to cut corners when it comes to hiring or day-to-day child safety precautions.
Examples of childcare services providers who could be found to have negligently caused an injury to a young minor include:
- Home care including nannies and babysitters
- Traditional daycare facilities
- Home-bound child care facility where an adult is responsible for a small group of children in their own at-home daycare center
- After school care
What Liability Does a Daycare Center Hold?
Oftentimes, parents will sign a liability waiver before leaving their child in a daycare facility. Typically, these contracts say that the facility is not responsible for any injuries your child sustained in their care. Fortunately, just because you signed a waiver does not mean that you are completely unable to move forward with a claim against your child’s negligent daycare center.
There is no waiver that can completely protect a childcare facility from liability, and if there was, parents probably wouldn’t feel comfortable bringing their child to a facility that legally has no responsibility to care for them.
Regardless of a liability waiver, you may still take action against a daycare facility in certain instances including:
- Situations involving negligent supervision: If your child was injured due to improper supervision from the staff, you may have a valid negligence claim against the facility.
- Claims of an unsafe environment: The property owner or facility manager has a duty of care to create a safe environment for all guests including taking proactive actions like child-proofing, repairing toys and equípement, and keeping hazards like pools covered.
- Evidence of unlawful acts: You may suspect that your child’s daycare facility committed unlawful acts if you catch them lying about how your child sustained certain injuries. Any evidence of an unlawful act is grounds for immediate investigation into the facility’s negligence.
Proving the Four Elements of Negligence
Negligence can be more difficult to prove than many people realize. It isn’t as simple as figuring out who hurt you or your child and then immediately beginning the process of litigation. There are four primary showings that must be demonstrated in order to prove that another party was negligent, and that their negligence caused the harmful accident in question.
The four primary components of proving negligence are as follows:
- Duty of care: The party in question has a duty of care to the victim.
- Breach of duty: The duty of care was ultimately breached.
- Causation: The breach of care directly caused an injury.
- Injury: Finally, the accident caused by said breach of care resulted in damages to a victim.
Main Causes of Child Injury in Daycare Centers
When we leave our beloved children in the hands of another supposedly qualified caregiver, we expect them to be safe. Unfortunately, an accident can happen in any environment. A child advocacy organization reported that almost 20% of SIDS fatalities occur in these care facilities.
Even though every accident is different, there are some injuries that are more commonly treated in childcare accidents. It is crucial that parents are aware of these injuries so they can be prepared to assess their children for symptoms if they suspect something is wrong.
If your child is facing an injury that presented itself after they came home from daycare, you may benefit from calling a daycare injury lawyer.
The most common types of injuries in childcare facilities are related to:
- Slip and fall accidents
- Falls from height
- Equipment malfunctions (e.g., unsafe playground facilities)
- Defective, damaged, or otherwise dangerous toys
- Exposure to toxic substances (e.g., cleaning chemicals)
- Assaults by other children
- Drownings and suffocation
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Neglectful or even intentionally abusive staff
What Regulations Must California Daycare Centers Follow?
All childcare facilities in California are required by law to be registered with the Community Care Licencing Division of the State Department of Social Services. This requirement helps the proper authorities keep track of any complaints or concerns, and it also sets expectations for standards of care. At-home childcare facilities, family child care, and on-site military child care are not subject to licensing, but facilities found to be operating negligently or “under the radar” without a license could still be held liable in most instances.
There are specific standards that all facility employees must meet, including age and educational requirements. Many employees in a childcare facility will have Early Child Education (ECE) knowledge and ample experience to support it. Teaching aids and assistants have only an age requirement of 18 years old, but teachers must have 12 ECE units plus 6 months of experience, and supervisors must have 12 (core) ECE units and 3 years of experience.
There is also a staff-to-child ratio under Title 22 regulations. This requirement varies by age, and only applies to in-person childcare facilities, excluding in-home care centers.
The staffing ratio is as follows:
- 0-2 years old: 1 adult to 4 children
- 2-6 years old: 1 adult to 12 children
- 6-14 years old: 1 adult to 15 children
Any deviation from standards and practices could be found to be a breach of duty and connected to any potential harm suffered by young program attendees.
What Steps Should I Take After a Daycare Accident?
It can be stressful to process your next steps as a parent looking out for the health and safety of their child, but luckily, there are some universal steps that every parent can take after their child’s daycare accident to protect the validity of a claim moving forward. These steps act can provide a paper trail, solidifying details of your claim early on, ensuring that you are able to document the damages you have suffered and the steps you have taken to secure your own child’s safety.
At any step of your claim, the optimal way to fully understand what your family’s best course of action might be is to call a Fresno daycare accident lawyer. Don’t wait, as your case is likely subject to certain statutes of limitations. In California, the statewide statute of limitations is two years from the date of the injury, although this timeline can be extended for cases involving victims who are minors. Singh Ahluwalia is here to help, and you can contact us online anytime.
Continued Appointments With Your Child’s Pediatrician
It is essential that you immediately seek medical attention after noticing a daycare related injury. A facility may downplay the severity of a child’s injury in fear of retaliation, but you should always follow up with a medical professional if you feel that something is abnormal in your child’s behavior or if your child expresses that they have symptoms related to an injury or illness.
Document All Evidence
You should keep a record of every document you receive, from pediatrician evaluations to a copy of your liability waiver. You should also ensure that all contact with the facility regarding your child’s injury is written out, so you have a record of their statements about what happened to your child. Additionally, be sure to take photos of any visible injuries, especially early on when they first appear. An attorney can utilize key information from your documented evidence to advocate for your interests during the process of your claim.
Report the Facility
You can report a childcare facility to the Community Care Licensing Division of Social Services, and they will investigate any claims of negligence accordingly. By reporting the facility, you not only help your own case, but can also help other parents avoid a similar experience by giving the CCLD a reason to pursue an investigation.
Call a Fresno Daycare Accident Attorney Like the Experienced Legal Team at Singh Ahluwalia
If your child was injured in a daycare accident involving a negligent care provider, you have options. You have the right to fight for compensation, and you don’t have to do it alone. A legal team can protect the best interest of your family, helping you understand every step of the litigation process, while answering any pressing questions you have along the way.
Call (559) 878-4958 or Contact us online to speak with a trusted member of our team who can help you get started by scheduling a free case review. Our attorneys will do everything we can to advocate for your legal rights and to help your child get all of the medical care they need to live a full, happy, and healthy life.