If your child suffered harm while in a child care center in Atlanta or elsewhere in Georgia, you should have your case reviewed by an experienced Atlanta daycare injury lawyer. You deserve to know why the incident occurred. You may also have the right to take legal action against those responsible for the child’s injury.
A child care injury may be due to the intentional or negligent acts of a single caregiver or the result of systemic problems at a child care center. The injury may have also occurred because the child care provider failed to comply with Georgia regulations that are aimed at protecting the health and safety of children.
If you would like to learn more about the process of investigating and litigating a child care injury, the attorneys of The Poe Law Firm, are available to speak with you. Contact us today by phone or online. We can provide an initial consultation that is free and confidential.
Why Do Daycare Injuries Occur?
An investigation into a child care injury is mainly focused on determining how the injury occurred, whether the child care provider failed to take reasonable steps to prevent the child from suffering a foreseeable harm, and whether that failure actually caused the injury.
To help put what occurred in your case in perspective, consider the following examples of acts leading to child care injuries:
- Allowing the child to fall off a diaper table and suffer a head injury
- Failing to use disinfectant to clean the diaper table, causing the child to suffer a severe rash and related infections
- Allowing the child to sleep in an unsafe position or crawl out of a crib
- Failing to supervise the child in a room or in a playground
- Failing to serve the proper amount of food and water to the child
- Administering medication without knowing the child’s history of allergic reactions and/or without authorization from the parents
- Transporting the child without use of a seat belt or child safety seat
- Forgetting to clear the transport van of children after a field trip.
If the child care provider is a corporation, it may be held responsible for the wrongful acts of its employees and there may be insurance which provides coverage for their negligent acts. Individual providers are much less likely to have insurance coverage.
In some situations, the organization may be liable because of its own negligent acts. For example:
- Hiring caregivers without conducting proper background checks
- Failing to train and supervise caregivers
- Inadequately staffing the facility with enough caregivers, which prevents the children from being properly supervised
- Allowing caregivers to use physical or verbal abuse as a way of “disciplining” children
- Neglecting to maintain the facility, including its cribs, changing tables, toys and playground equipment
- Selecting and providing inappropriate equipment.
Some child care providers are “informal,” a friend or family member who does not need to be licensed. However, the majority of child care providers in Georgia must be licensed and registered. They are subject to regulation by Bright from the Start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL), which licenses and monitors approximately 6,000 center-based and home-based facilities.
Types of Child Care Providers in Georgia
Number of providers, according to Bright from the Start estimates:
|Family day care homes||3,100|
|Child care learning centers||3,000|
|Informal care providers||2,000|
|Group day care homes||250|
The applicable regulations depend on whether a day care is categorized as a child care learning center (pre-K program), group day care home (any place operated by a person or group, with seven or more children) or family day care home (private residence, between three and six children). In many cases, a child care provider’s failure to comply with state regulations may have caused a child’s injury. This may amount to negligence per se, or negligence as a matter of law.
Legal Options After a Child Care Center Injury
An attorney’s investigation into a child care injury may include interviewing witnesses and reviewing the child care center’s policies, memos, e-mails and records. A facility may have a record of complaints filed with DECAL and/or with the local Department of Family and Children Services.
An Atlanta daycare injury attorney can pursue a recovery on behalf of both the child and parents. The parent’s action may seek the recovery of past and future medical expenses and loss of services of the child. The child’s claim is for past, present and future pain and suffering, for any past, present or future loss of function, for any permanent impairment and for any future loss of earnings or loss of earning capacity.
Contact an Atlanta Daycare Injury Lawyer
Attorneys Jim and Matt Poe understand the physical, emotional and financial harm that can be caused by a child suffering injuries in a child care setting. We are committed to putting our skill and experience in this area of the law to work for you. Call or contact the firm online today to schedule a consultation.