As a parent of a four-year-old boy, I am constantly concerned for his safety and well-being. We all love our kids, but we can't be with them all the time. Eventually, every parent needs to use a care provider for their children. Whether it's a babysitter, day-care, pre-school, or even public school, you are entrusting the safety of your children to somebody else. Most of the time, this works out just fine, but occasionally something goes wrong and a child is injured.
So if your child is injured while in the care of someone else, do you have a claim? Maybe, but not necessarily. Kids have a way of getting themselves into dangerous situations, and accidents do sometimes happen. However, adults have clearly defined responsibilities to the children in their care. Failure to fulfill those duties could result in a legal claim for damages. The most common claims involving children are negligent supervision and failure to remedy an unreasonably dangerous condition. Let's take a look at each.
Negligent supervision takes place when your child is injured because of the inattention of a caregiver, or because the caregiver failed to properly supervise another child.
The most common negligent supervision claims involve a daycare failing to have adequate staff to monitor children, caregivers failing to protect children from traffic or other dangerous situations, caregivers leaving drugs, matches or other dangerous items within the reach of children, and caregivers failing to properly monitor a violent child, who injures another child.
Unreasonably Dangerous Condition
All property owners have a duty to guests and customers to eliminate (or at least warn of) unreasonably dangerous conditions. This duty is elevated with children, who are not held to the same standard as adults for keeping themselves safe.
Dangerous playground equipment, sharp objects, heavy doors, damaged stairs and other conditions could be considered unreasonably dangerous.
Even if the child was not supposed to be on the property when he or she was injured, there might be a claim under the attractive nuisance doctrine. If the dangerous condition is attractive and alluring to young children, and in a place where young children can access it, the landowner might be responsible for injuries resulting from the condition.
There are many ways children can get injured, and not all of them result in a claim. If your child was injured while in the care of another, the best way to determine whether you have a claim is to consult with a personal injury attorney experienced with handling children's claims.
The Law Offices of Matthew D. Dubin offers a free, no commitment consultation to confidentially discuss your situation. If we can help you we'll let you know. Check out our website for more information on claims resulting from injuries to children.