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My Child Was Injured at Daycare or Summer Camp. What Should I Do?

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The moment you put your kid on a bus or drop them off at daycare or summer camp, you expect others to care for them with the same level of care you provide. When they’re injured due to a daycare worker or summer camp counselor’s negligence or another child’s behavior, it’s alarming. Expect to be stressed and anxious until your child is in your arms. At that point, you’ll need to know what to do next.

Some of the injuries people see in daycare settings include a frustrated child biting or hitting another. A child may choke on a toy that was too small for their age group. A shelf may topple onto a child. In a summer camp, a child may fall through a rotted porch board and cut his/her leg open. A bunk bed may collapse when another kid jumps up and down on the top bunk. Another child may push a child into a pool for fun, but the other child hits his/her head on the pool wall.

In any of the above examples, the daycare or summer camp can be held liable for not properly watching or taking the right steps to ensure a child’s safety. Even if a liability waiver is signed, if the injury occurred due to negligence, you may be able to file a personal injury claim. You need to take these steps.

Seek Medical Care for Your Child

Your very first step should be to make sure your child sees a doctor. You want to make sure the injuries are tended to and what you need to do once your child is at home. Keep all of the paperwork you receive. You also want to keep track of the medical bills in case you file a personal injury claim.

As you gather your child’s belongings to leave, take photos of the area where the injury happened. If the camp or daycare has security cameras, ask to have the video footage sent to you. While you’re at the hospital, write your account of what you were told happened, what other kids said, who was there, the date and time, and any other information that may be useful later. This can seem like a lot to gather while you’re stressed and acting on adrenaline. It is, but if you can get it, it will help if you decide to file a claim.

Talk to the Daycare or Summer Camp Owners

Remember that accidents do happen. You need to ask your child what happened and then ask people that witnessed the incident. If the camp or daycare didn’t remove or repair obvious hazards, they are liable. If they didn’t have enough staff or staff were not paying attention, they could be liable. If a counselor or daycare provider became angry and abusive, allowed a reckless activity to continue, or let your child wander off and made no effort to find him/her until later, they’re also liable.

That’s why you must talk to the owners of the daycare or summer camp where your child was injured. Talk to other parents, too. Find out from the staff what happened. If another child caused the injury, ask what’s being done to ensure another child isn’t harmed. For example, if a boy is able to pick up a stick outside and hit children with it, that boy needs to be supervised. Plus, the yard should be free of sticks.

If a counselor was on her cell phone when she should have been watching children using the pool, ask what is being done to address her lack of attention on the children in her care. You need to make sure the facility or camp is taking proper steps to prevent future injuries.

Check With the State or Search for News Articles

There could be a history of issues with the daycare or camp. Complete an online search of the news to see if there have been other incidents. Ask the state if they have a report for any deficiencies or other complaints filed against them. Even if it looks like it was an accident, a past history could be indicative of problems with staffing or safety.

Contact a Lawyer Who Specializes in Personal Injury Cases

Even if you’ve signed a waiver, you may be able to sue a negligent daycare or summer camp. Don’t let that keep you from seeking justice for your child. Most personal injury lawyers do not charge you an upfront fee. They take payment from the money you’re awarded if you win.

The attorneys at Trial Lawyers For Justice work hard to get you the justice your child deserves. They’ve helped victims and their families win more than $1.5 billion combined. Get expert advice by calling TL4J at 1-866-854-5529. Consultations are free, so there’s no risk to learn more about personal injury claims.

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Trial by Human

Nick Rowley founded Trial by Human, a nationwide legal education course to help trial lawyers improve their skills in the courtroom by "being human".