Daycare Injury Lawyer in Tampa
Florida is home to many families, and many families want to take care of their children by sending them to daycare. However, not all daycare facilities are created equal. Not only should you be cautious about sending your child to a daycare facility that you aren’t familiar with, but you should also be concerned about the facility itself.
Florida has a reputation for allowing parents to choose high quality, affordable child care services for their children. Suppose your child has been injured due to the care provided by a daycare center and wish to file a claim for injury liability. In that case, you will want to consult with an attorney who has experience in personal injury claims, such as those that involve a daycare.
What is the Legal Definition of a Daycare in Florida?
Florida daycare is defined as a type of child care facility. Florida daycare facility is an indoor facility that allows children ages five to thirteen to remain in an environment similar to that found at home. A daycare facility is considered a public facility if it holds children who are enrolled in a public school or other funded programs through state or federal funds.
What are the Most Common Daycare Injuries?
It’s a valid question and one that should be addressed early on in your search for a quality childcare provider. Some of the most common daycare injuries include:
- Slips and falls
- Accidents on the playground
- Choking accidents
- Medication errors
- Children fighting and injuring one another
- Abuse and neglect at the hands of daycare providers
In daycare, children have to put their trust in an adult who they have never met and can sometimes be placed in a situation where they cannot protect themselves. That’s why it’s so important to make sure you choose a childcare provider who is licensed and insures his or her employees.
What is Negligent Supervision?
Negligent supervision in a daycare setting means the daycare employees failed to provide adequate care or failed to prevent something from happening that could have foreseeably led to a child sustaining injuries. Negligence can exist without actual physical harm, just emotional trauma or stress. The result can be harmful or innocent parties can be hurt. What does this have to do with daycare? If a daycare staff member is negligent in a child’s supervision, it could negatively affect the child’s development.
For more information, contact a child injury lawyer who will help you understand the dynamics involved. If you believe that your child has been injured due to another person or entity’s negligence, you will need to hire a qualified expert to work for you. Suppose you do end up filing a lawsuit against someone. In that case, you will need to hire an expert who will help you get to the bottom of the negligence issue and hold the entity or person financially responsible for your child’s injuries.
How Can I Prove Negligence by the Daycare Facility?
There are four main elements to prove negligence on the part of a daycare employee:
- The employee had a duty of care to supervise the child.
- The employee did not properly supervise the child.
- The failure of the employee to supervise the child led directly to the child’s injuries.
- The injury was preventable if the child had been adequately supervised.
How Can I Report a Daycare in Florida?
To report issues not related to suspected child abuse, you can contact the Office of Child Care Regulation with concerns regarding violations of Florida statutes and rules governing daycare facilities.
How Can I Report Suspected Child Abuse at a Florida Daycare?
If you suspect child abuse at a daycare facility, you are required by Florida law to report it as soon as possible. Even if it is determined that there is no abuse, it’s better to report any suspicious behavior. You can directly report child abuse at a daycare facility to the Florida Department of Children and Families online or by calling (800) 962-2873.
What do I do if My Child Was Injured at Daycare?
When you or your child gets seriously injured at a Florida daycare facility, it is imperative that you report the accident to Florida’s Department of Children and Families. To do this, it is recommended that you call Florida’s Department of Health and have the accident report forms filled out and filed. These accident report forms will provide your name, address, phone number and other information about the accident.
In addition to reporting the accident, you and your child should also keep a record of the care providers’ contact information. By doing this, you can avoid a possible drawn out investigation that could lead to further harm being done to your child. By taking the proper steps to report your accident at a Florida daycare facility, you will help ensure that your rights are protected.
What is a Daycare Accident Report?
Florida law requires each Florida daycare facility to submit an accident report to the Department of Health within 24 hours of an accident. An accident report is designed to provide a detailed account of the accident and the activities leading up to it. The accident report should contain all the pertinent details that describe how the accident occurred, who was involved, how serious the injury was, the exact date and time of the incident, and the details of any witnesses. The report may also contain copies of emergency medical personnel’s reports and police reports.
What is a Residential Daycare Accident Report?
A residential daycare report is similar to a Florida child abuse or accident report for a daycare facility; however, it is filed by an individual or private agency that provides childcare services in a residence. These incidents need to be reported immediately to a local police or sheriff’s office.
However, there may be additional reporting requirements needed depending on where the child is staying at the time of the incident. A reputable, licensed daycare provider will be happy to discuss their procedures for filing these reports with any law enforcement agency that is contacted.
Who Will Pay for My Child’s Medical Bills?
If your child’s injury was due to negligence by a daycare employee, the daycare’s insurance should cover medical bills. If you are considering whether your Florida child care facility may be liable for damages, contact an experienced personal injury attorney who specializes in Florida negligence litigation. They will help you determine who is liable and the path to pursue to recover damages for negligent behavior.
Who will pay for my child’s medical bills if I lose my case?
Some cases will end with a settlement. These types of cases often result in financial settlements that include payment of a small percentage of the actual award to the plaintiff and nothing more. If you have a strong case, this may be your best option.
Should I Contact An Attorney for a Daycare Injury?
If you have been injured while visiting a daycare facility, you should immediately contact a Florida daycare injury lawyer. A good attorney will help you gather the necessary evidence to support your case. He or she will review your medical records and contact the proper medical personnel.
A Florida daycare injury lawyer will also interview a daycare facility’s inspector, evaluate the equipment used in the facility, speak with the police if necessary and obtain any reports concerning daycare injuries from state agencies such as the Department of Health.
Florida law also allows anyone who has suffered injury or illness due to negligence to file a personal injury claim. This right, called “equitable cause of action,” allows any victim of wrongful injury to collect damages from the party responsible for the injury.
Do Daycare Workers Undergo Background Checks in Florida?
Florida daycare providers are required to submit to background and criminal checks. An employee fingerprint check is conducted once every three months, and thorough verification of criminal activity is performed on a yearly basis. Daycare employees are required to sign a waiver granting permission for the employer to conduct a background check.
You can search for daycare provider information on the Florida Department of Children and Families daycare search portal which can provide you with vital information you need to determine if a facility is right for your family. For instance, you could learn that the person hasn’t had his or her license for long enough to pass a state certification test, that he or she hasn’t been involved in any lawsuits concerning personal injury or negligence.
How Can an Attorney Help with my Daycare Injury Claim?
Aside from the above information, a Florida daycare liability attorney will be able to help you recover damages for your injuries. He or she may also be capable of determining whether or not you have a legitimate claim for wrongful or intentional misconduct (a “prima facie” case) and if so, recover additional damages for pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost wages, disfigurement, permanent disability, permanent scars, loss of love and affection, and more.
It is important to remember that any time you seek legal advice regarding an injury, you should do so from an attorney that is experienced in cases like yours. You need someone who knows your situation and can effectively represent your best interests in the court. At Darrigo & Diaz, we have more than 200 collective years of legal experience and have been serving the Tampa area since 1999. To learn more about your options, contact our firm by calling (813) 774-3341 and ask about our free case evaluations.