In the State of Florida, parent rely on day care centers to properly care for and supervise their children during time periods in which there are work and personal commitments that require the use of a day care center. It can be quite disheartening to a parent to work a full day only to pick up a child at a day care center who has been injured, battered, abused, neglected, and / or harmed. It should be noted that a day care center is not an absolute insurer for the safety of a child. In other words, a day care center is not automatically liable for damages every single time that a child is injured at a day care center. In order to establish liability or responsibility on behalf of the day care center, four elements must be established to form the basis of a claim or case against the day care center as follows:
Breach of Duty;
Let’s discuss a situation to put the above elements in perspective. Let’s say that a child is enrolled in a day care center. The child is 3 years old and otherwise happy and healthy. During recess, the child along with his friends thought it would be fun to jump from the top of the slide to the ground. This game of sorts went on for about 30 minutes or so before the child was injured. He jumped off of the slide one too many times and fractured his ankle. Assuming that the above facts can be established through witness testimony, the incident report, video, or other evidence, there would appear to be a case to pursue against the day care center. There was a duty to supervise the children during recess. The day care center had a duty to provide a reasonable safe environment. The fact is that a 3 year old has poor safety awareness and cannot be blamed as a matter of law in the State of Florida. A child under the age of 6 years old cannot be held negligent or comparatively at fault for his or her actions. Under this fact pattern, the day care center staff should have stopped the children from jumping off of the slide. This could have been accomplished in a number of ways by removing the children from the playground, by closing off the slide to further play, and / or by other actions. As a result of the breach of duty, injuries were caused in the form of a fractured ankle. The damages to pursue would include medical bills and the pain, suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and mental anguish of the child.
It should be noted that each case should be evaluated on its own facts and merits. It is often helpful to contact a Florida Child Injury Lawyer for advice, guidance, and legal representation regarding day care center personal injuries. David Wolf is a personal injury attorney based in Jacksonville, Florida who handles child injury cases throughout the State of Florida. He is the author of 11 books including the book titled – Florida Day Care Center Injuries – Legal Rights of the Injured Child – Building Blocks of Knowledge for Parents. You can get this book for free by visiting the Wood, Atter & Wolf, P.A. Law Firm Website. David Wolf firmly believes in Giving a Voice to Injured Children and Families. Contact David Wolf for a Free Consultation on any personal injury case including those that involve day care centers. Get D Wolf – On Your Side – At Your Side.