In Florida, special needs children are enrolled in schools, day care centers, and camps. While under the care of these facilities, the teachers, aides, staff, and volunteers should provide reasonable and necessary supervision of the special needs children. When a special needs child is injured while under the care of a school, day care center, or camp, one central issue or question is whether the injuries were preventable with better supervision and / or better maintenance of the facility. As a Florida Child Injury Lawyer, I am often asked to review cases involving injuries to special needs children. When evaluating these cases, I review the case to determine what constitutes resaonable and necessary supervision of a special needs child. The following factors are considered when reviewing a case involving questionable supervision of a special needs child:
Staff to Child Ratio. How many teachers and aides were in place at the time of the accident? Did the facility comply with applicable laws and regulations in place?
Activity at the Time of the Incident. What activity was the child participating in at the time of the incident? Did the incident take place inside the facility? outside the facility? on the playground?
Needs and Abilities of the Child. What were the needs and abilities of the child? How much assistance did the child need with the activity? What were the known risks to the special needs child?
Age Level for Activity and Equipment. What is the recommended age level for the activity and / or equipment involved? What is the ability – physically and mentally – of the child to participate in the activity?
When a special needs child is injured, there may be a case or claim to pursue on behalf of the injured child. Each case or claim must be evaluated on its own facts, circumstances, and merits. A Florida Child Injury Lawyer can assist parents with this review and provide advice, guidance, and legal representation.
The book titled – The ABCs of Child Injury – Legal Rights of the Injured Child – What Every Parent Should Know - has chapters on Day Care Center Injuries, School Injuries, Playground Injuries, and other topics. You can get this book for free at The ABCs of Child Injury. Another helpful resource for parents is the book – Florida Day Care Center Injuries – Legal Rights of the Injured Child – Building Blocks of Knowledge for Parents. This book has chapters on Indoor Facilities, Outdoor Facilities, Playgrounds, Emergency Procedures, and other topics. You can get this book for free at Florida Day Care Center Injuries.