North Carolina Daycare Accident Lawyer

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Making the decision to leave your child with someone else is extremely difficult for parents. Most parents choose some form of a daycare system because they are regulated and should be trustworthy since they are already caring for so many other children.

A couple consulting with a daycare accident lawyer regarding their child's injury case.The operating hours, along with the price and location of the daycare center, typically have a large impact on which daycare is ultimately chosen. All daycares should be safe as safety is always the primary concern when it comes to caring for children, but mistakes happen, and it is the children and their families who suffer the most as a result.

How Can a North Carolina Daycare Accident Attorney Help Me?

When a child gets injured while under the care of a daycare center, it is a terrifying and devastating situation, but when the injury happens because of the negligent actions of the daycare or any of its employees, they must be held accountable. The daycare accident attorneys at Tatum & Atkinson know how important it is to keep your children safe and how difficult it is to trust someone else with your precious children.

If the unthinkable ever happens to your family, we will be here to help. The daycare has a duty to keep your child safe, and if they fail, we will help you take legal action to make sure the daycare is held accountable, and that your child gets all the medical attention and treatment they need fully compensated.

What Types of Daycare Accidents Cause Injuries to the Children?

There are many different ways a child can get hurt. Daycares are professional businesses that are supposed to keep their environment as safe as possible, and when they fail to do this, accidents happen. Some of the more common types of daycare accidents include:

  • Falls: falls can happen anywhere, such as on the playground or from a changing table
  • Fingers or other body parts getting stuck in doors or drawers
  • Consumption of dangerous or poisonous products
  • Fights with other children due to a lack of supervision
  • Bathroom accidents because of a staff member’s negligence

Does My Situation Warrant Taking Legal Action?

Whenever a child is harmed while at daycare, parents should not hesitate to call a daycare accident attorney in North Carolina. Attorneys offer free consultations to discuss your situation and concerns, and the lawyer will inform you of your legal rights and options.

Every situation is unique, so the only way to be sure if you have a case is to consult with a lawyer. If the cause of your child’s injury was the fault of the daycare or if any of the caregivers gave your child substandard care, the daycare and the employee can be held liable for damages.

What Must a North Carolina Daycare Center Do to Legally Operate?

According to the North Carolina Division of Child Development, daycare operators must complete a licensing workshop before they are given a license to operate. The operator is required to review child care laws with a consultant and go over all paperwork, forms, floor plans, and guidelines as well.

This is considered the pre-licensing phase. After this phase, the potential operator is either given a license to operate the daycare, a provisional license, or they are denied.

Upon approval, someone from the licensing department will make unannounced visits twice a year to make sure the daycare center is in compliance with all state laws.

North Carolina has strict laws concerning safety standards for both inside and outside the facility where children will be, as well as child-to-staff ratios. Daycare staff is obligated to give the children an appropriate level of care and supervision to prevent injuries or harm from occurring.

The vast majority of daycare accidents occur when the staff is not providing adequate supervision for the children or when the environment is not safe for them or their age group. You have the right to hold the daycare center accountable for violations of North Carolina law or for being unreasonably negligent about your child’s safety.

What Will a North Carolina Daycare Accident Lawyer Do to Help My Family?

North Carolina law gives you the right to file a lawsuit in civil court against a daycare facility if your child has been harmed while under their care. The Heavy Hitters at Tatum & Atkinson take injuries to children very seriously.

We will investigate every detail of the accident, including the employees and the facility itself. If we find that there was any negligence involved in causing your child’s injury, we will file a claim against anyone involved for the damages you and your child have suffered.

What Damages Can I Be Compensated For?

Your child’s welfare is very important to us, and we will do everything we can to help you and your family recover all the damages you have suffered. What is available for you to be compensated for depends on the details of your case, but the most common damages include:

  • Medical Costs: your child’s medical treatment from the time the accident happened, including any future treatment they will need as a result of the accident
  • Therapy: many children suffer psychological trauma as a result of their accidents and benefit greatly from therapy sessions
  • Accessibility Modifications: if your child has become disabled because of their injuries from the daycare accident, you may need to make modifications to your home and vehicle to accommodate their needs
  • Pain and Suffering: you should be compensated for the pain your child has had to endure and for any loss of enjoyment of life or changes in their behavior

We understand that your children are the most important people in your life, and their welfare is of the utmost importance to you. Tatum & Atkinson have over 65 years of combined legal experience to support your case.

We will fight to protect your children and their rights. Do not hesitate to contact us, even if you feel unsure about your situation or whether you have a viable case.

Our consultations are free, and if you do have a case, we will not charge you anything until you receive your settlement or a favorable verdict in court. There is no risk to you.

What Causes Injuries to Children While at Daycare?

The main reason why children get injured while at daycare is because the supervision from the caregivers is inadequate. People get distracted, and that is understandable, but when the distraction causes your child to suffer a serious injury, that is inexcusable.

The child-to-staff ratio is extremely important so the staff member does not get overwhelmed by the number of children to keep track of, and it must never be exceeded. If the caregiver is distracted by their personal phone, for example, they will be found negligent in their duty to provide adequate care and a safe environment for the children.

Children left unattended are at risk of the following examples:

  • Falling
  • Climbing something and then falling off from a dangerous height
  • Pulling something down onto themselves, either an object or perhaps a hot liquid such as the caregiver’s coffee
  • Becoming entangled in cords or wires and suffocating strangulation.

Will North Carolina Daycare Accident Attorneys Help With Abuse Cases?

The majority of injuries received at daycares are true accidents, although often avoidable through adequate care. Sadly, there are some daycare injuries that come from abuse.

According to Kids Health, abuse happens when someone treats another person of any age with violence, cruelty, hate, harm, or force. Abuse is intentional and should never be tolerated in any situation.

The daycare center may be liable for occurrences of abuse if they are found to be negligent. Daycares are supposed to perform special background checks on their employees and screen them according to North Carolina’s regulations.

Daycare staff also needs to be supervised and not overworked so opportunities for abuse never go unnoticed.

How Can I Protect My Children From Abuse or Accidents at Daycare?

You never know what people are going to do. There is no way to guarantee the safety of your child in someone else’s care, and that is the risk of all daycares, schools, camps, and babysitters.

The best thing you can do is to research the facility, meet the staff, and observe the way they interact with the other children. Many daycares now have cameras with video access for the parents, and that puts a lot of parents at ease, but they are not a guarantee of safety.

The workers know where the cameras are, and the cameras can not stop distractions from occurring.

When you decide on a daycare, you still have to remain vigilant of any signs of abuse or neglect. There are a few key things for you to watch for, including:

  • Always be alert: if your child seems fine going to daycare and then begins showing signs of fear before getting dropped off, there is usually a reason why. Also, pay attention to the reaction and attitudes of the staff members towards your child when you drop off and pick up your children.
  • Watch for signs of regular stress or frustration from the caregivers. Everyone has bad days, and that is not a cause for concern, but their attitudes should be positive for the majority of the time; exhaustion should be the exception. These negative feelings could be a sign of insufficient staff or being overworked. People experiencing high levels of chronic stress are more likely to have short tempers and may pass a negative attitude on to their children.
  • Pay attention to how your child is feeling when you drop them off versus when you pick them up. Do they leave you happy and then come back upset? Do they make inappropriate comments or gestures for their age? Watch for signs of regression, sudden shyness, or nightmares that may be signs of mistreatment. Remember that the mistreatment may be in the form of bullying from other children, but it is still the caregiver’s responsibility to stop such behavior.
  • Unusually large appetites may be a sign that they are not eating enough at daycare. Kids do need to eat more during growth spurts, but the daycare should be feeding them an appropriate amount. North Carolina law requires daycares to provide food for the children every four hours.
  • Ask your child questions about their time at daycare. Ask who they play with, if they have a regular caregiver, what they did, or how their field trip was. Get them used to talking to you about their day and their experiences, so if a problem does arise, they will be more likely to tell you.
  • Check your video access at random times every day and check often if your facility has cameras. Watch for how your child interacts with other children and caregivers.
  • Always watch for physical symptoms of maltreatment, such as bruises, scratches, burns, diaper rashes, and soreness that are not explained and are beyond normal bumps that all children experience.
  • Be extra vigilant with infants. Your baby should be clean and rested when you pick them up. Educate yourself on the signs of Shaken Baby Syndrome and call your pediatrician immediately if you notice anything. Some signs of this syndrome include breathing difficulties, excessive irritability, difficulty staying awake, vomiting, pale or bluish skin, seizures, coma, paralysis, or loss of appetite.

What Should I Do if I Suspect My Child Is Being Abused or Neglected at Daycare?

If your child has been injured at daycare, get them medical care right away, no matter how small the injury may seem, especially with infants and toddlers. Some injuries do not have obvious symptoms right away, and it is better to be safe than sorry.

Taking them to a medical professional also provides official documentation of the injury in case you ever need to provide a history of injuries against the daycare.

The daycare facility should make an incident or accident report whenever someone gets injured. You should ask for a copy of this report. If they do not have a report or a policy for creating reports after injuries, you are right to be concerned.

Investigate the accident by asking to see where it happened and take pictures, if you can. Talk to the caregiver and the supervisor working when the accident happened and ask about what they will be doing differently to prevent accidents from occurring in the future.

You have the legal right in North Carolina to enter the daycare facility whenever your child is there.

If your child’s injury was serious or if you have any suspicions of abuse, make other arrangements for childcare while you are investigating what really happened. Talk to other parents with children in the daycare in question and let them know the reason for your concerns while asking about whether their children have experienced any of the same problems.

Call a North Carolina Daycare Accident Law Firm Today

The North Carolina daycare accident attorneys at Tatum & Atkinson: The Heavy Hitters are very serious about protecting your children. If you have any concerns or suspicions about a daycare center, call us at (800) LAW-0804 for a free consultation to discuss the matter.

We will investigate the accident to find out exactly what happened and who is responsible for the harm that came to your little one. We will keep you informed of the progression of your case, answer all your questions, provide guidance along the way, and handle all legal paperwork and communications on your behalf.