Parents rely on others to provide child care during the work day, nights, and vacations as needed. Most child care providers do an excellent job in supervising the children in a safe and nurturing environment. There are some child care providers who lack the patience, training, and common sense to provide quality care. Parents should carefully choose the child care providers. However, in some instances, parents have limited resources and choices and go with what is available, close, or convenient. When a child care provider is negligent or careless, a case or claim can be brought against the child care provider.
As a Child Injury Lawyer, there are many factors to consider when evaluating a potential case against a child care provider for injuries to the child. One important practical factor involves the available liability insurance and resources in place to compensate the injured child. For instance, let’s day that a child is cared for in a family day care setting with three other children. The day care center is not licensed and does not carry any liability insurance. The owner of the day care center essentially lives “paycheck-to-paycheck” and has no assets to speak of. While a 5 year old was under the care of the facility, he wandered into a closet with some chemicals and cleaners. He mistakenly knocked over one of the bottles and suffered some rather serious burns to his hands. Once the day care center found the child, 911 was called and the child was transported to a local emergency room.
Would this be a case of negligence that could be pursued against the owner of the day care center? The answer to this excellent question is both “Yes” and “No”. Well, that is a confusing answer. There certainly would be a “legal” case to pursue against the day care center owner. The four essential elements of a day care center case could be established: Duty, Breach of Duty, Causation, and Damages. The chemicals and cleaners should have been locked up and kept out of the reach of the 5 year old child. The day care center owner breached the duty to provide a safe environment for the child. As a result of the breach of duty, the child was injured and suffered damages. As such, it appears that the four elements of a “legal” case could be established; however, the case would most likely be hampered by the fact that the day care center owner has not assets or money to pay for a settlement or judgment associated with the personal injuries. As such, from a “practical” standpoint, the case probably would not be pursued by most personal injury attorneys who should perform a “legal” and “practical” evaluation of the potential case.