When Can I Sue a Daycare for Neglect?
“When can I sue a daycare for neglect?” We often hear this question from angry parents who have discovered their child was injured at daycare. The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services requires all licensed daycares to meet minimum standards for safety, supervision, sanitation, nutrition, and staffing –– meaning daycares have a legal obligation to take care of the children in their facility. However, accidents and injuries can still occur.
Parents, if your child was injured at daycare or is showcasing symptoms of neglect, we understand the fear and anger you may be feeling towards your child’s daycare provider. Your first thought may be to press charges against the facility and find out who is responsible. Unfortunately, not all daycare injuries are a result of child neglect or daycare abuse –– and it is important to be able to discern when abuse or neglect is present. With the proper proof, you may have a case to sue a daycare for neglect.
In this article, the Houston personal injury lawyers from Grimes & Fertitta will explain when it is appropriate to sue a daycare for neglect, how to know if you have a case, and how to sue a daycare center if applicable.
When can I sue a daycare for neglect?
If your child has been injured, abused, or even passed away due to a daycare provider’s negligence, you may have a case to file a claim against the daycare. However, in order to do so, you must prove that daycare abuse or neglect has occurred. In order to do so, you must know the signs of daycare abuse and neglect.
What is considered daycare abuse?
It’s important to understand what daycare abuse is and what it is not. Evidence plays a large role in determining which is the case.
Daycare abuse is defined as, “the abuse, physical or mental, of a child while in another person’s physical custody and control.” For example, if your child trips, falls, and sustains an injury because he or she was not watching where they were going, this is not considered child abuse. However, if your child is returning to you with more severe injuries or behavioral changes, it is possible that your child may be experiencing abuse or neglect.
Examples of daycare abuse are:
- Unexplained physical injuries including bruises, cuts, or fractures
- Showing fear of anxiety towards the daycare or a specific employee
- Reverting back to old habits (bed wetting, thumb sucking, etc.)
- A change in behavior, such as aggression, acting out, clinginess, or withdrawal
- Sexually-related interests or complaints of discomfort in their genitals
What is considered daycare neglect?
Daycare neglect is defined as, “the mistreatment of a child or a deficit in meeting his or her daily needs.” Again, it is important to discern between daycare neglect and your child making their own choices. For example, if your child refuses to eat their snacks during daycare, that is not considered neglect on behalf of the daycare employees. However, if your child repeatedly returns home hungry or thirsty, you may suspect that the daycare center is not properly distributing nutrition to the children.
Examples of negligence in child care:
- The daycare does not maintain a safe or healthy environment for your child
- The daycare does not properly supervise your child
- The daycare improperly screens their employees
- The daycare ignores or fails to meet your child’s dietary needs
- The daycare does not tend to your child’s needs
- Your child comes home with soiled clothing or diapers
If you begin to notice any of the following symptoms of abuse or neglect at your child’s daycare, you may have grounds to press charges. Before you act any further, contact a trustworthy lawyer for daycare negligence to explain your situation and concerns. Your attorney will be able to help you with the next steps.
How to sue a daycare center
If after meeting with your attorney they conclude that you have grounds to take legal action, they will explain how to report a daycare in Texas. As mentioned earlier, in order to find justice for your child you will need to prove that your child endured abuse, neglect, or both while under the care of the daycare center.
How to prove a daycare was negligent
Simply stating, “my child was hurt at daycare” is not enough grounds to press charges against a daycare center. You will need to prove that the daycare center breached the duty of care that they owe to your child.
Start to gather evidence. Begin by asking your child what happened at daycare that day and if they choose to answer, document their response. Next, take photos or videos of your child’s injuries if applicable. Finally, request to see camera surveillance footage of the day your child’s injury occurred. Make a note of the daycare workers who were on duty that day and get their information.
Your attorney will help you gather the evidence and will assist you in filing a personal injury claim on behalf of your child.
Looking to Sue a Daycare for Neglect? Grimes & Fertitta Can Help.
If you decide to sue a daycare for neglect and are seeking financial compensation, you have two years from the day of your child’s injury to file a claim against the daycare facility. A family lawyer in The Woodlands from Grimes & Fertitta can help you and your family with your case.
We understand the fear and frustration that parents can feel when they discover that a daycare center is mistreating their children. We want to help you and your family find justice and peace. To see if you have a case for daycare abuse or neglect, request a consultation via our online form or give us a call at 713-224-7644 today.
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