Every parent has had the experience of picking up his or her child from daycare and finding a bruise or a scratch that no one at the daycare center mentioned. Unfortunately, daycare injuries can be more serious and be met with just as little response when the child’s parents raise questions. This is when the parents of a child injured at a daycare center should seek legal assistance.
Accidental injuries are the leading cause of childhood deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). When a child is significantly injured at a daycare center – beyond the normal bumps and bruises from play – it is often due to lack of proper supervision. A staff member was not supervising children as he or she should have, or the center itself is not safe due to problems with the facility or its staffing.
If your child was seriously injured while in the care of a New York day care center, you should speak to a daycare injury attorney at the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP, in Long Island. We may be able to help you recover the costs of medical care that your child has received or will need and compensation for your child’s pain and suffering.
Our compassionate daycare injury lawyers have more than 100 years of combined experience and are assisted by a skilled support staff. We will work to get answers from your child’s daycare center. You will be assisted directly by law partners Richard Jaffe and Stephen Cohen.
Contact our daycare injury attorneys today for a free consultation. Our Long Island accident attorneys provide aggressive and compassionate representation to families like yours in the areas of Nassau County, Suffolk County and Queens. Se habla español.
Common Child Injuries in Daycares
A lot can happen to an active child over the course of a day at daycare. Most of the things that happen to a child are the bumps and bruises of growing up, such as a bump or fall during play. When a child is seriously injured, that is a different matter.
Cohen & Jaffe is ready to help if your child has suffered a significant daycare injury similar to these types of cases that we commonly handle:
- Falls. Falls down stairs, steps and on other uneven or hard surfaces can cause head injury and fractures. In addition to supervising children, daycare centers should be equipped with gates or similar barriers and guards on windows that are above ground level to keep small children from falling out a window.
- Playground-Related Injuries. These include head injuries and fractures, typically from falls. Playground equipment should be properly installed and maintained, and surfaces under playground equipment should be soft and consist of appropriate materials such as sand, not dirt or grass.
- Choking. Children ages 6 to 18 months old or older are learning to eat different foods and often put things in their mouths as a way of finding out what they are. An unsupervised child can choke on food or other objects and suffer brain damage or death from lack of oxygen.
- Poisoning. Numerous household and institutional/office items are poisonous and must be properly secured to ensure that they do not fall into the hands of active, curious children. Improperly stored or prepared food can poison children in daycare.
- Burns. Younger children are easily burned by hot liquids or steam, such as from prepared foods or other kitchen items. Older children are more likely to be burned by playing with fire, such as from matches or a lighter that an adult has left unattended.
- Drowning / Near Drowning. Most infant drownings occur in bathtubs and containers like buckets. Toddlers between 1 and 4 years old most commonly drown in swimming pools. Older children tend to drown in swimming accidents because they overestimate their abilities and underestimate the risks. Children in or near water including bathtubs must be closely supervised at all times. Daycare center outings for swimming should be under the supervision of professionally trained lifeguards.
- Motor Vehicle Injuries. Children can be injured or die in accidents that involve vans or buses that pick children up from schools and/or transport them from the daycare center to offsite activities. The at-fault driver might be a daycare center employee or another driver. A young child may be left behind on daycare vehicles and be injured or die from dehydration and/or hypothermia.
Are Daycares Responsible For Injuries?
Group childcare programs in New York City are regulated by Article 47 and other sections of the New York City Health Code. Requirements align with other City codes and requirements from the Department of Buildings, Fire Department (FDNY), Department of Education and Administration for Children’s Services.
The NYC Code’s detailed rules for daycare centers include requirements for staffing and child supervision, safety and health, hygiene, food safety and more. These rules also address parental access and right to know. New York State has similar regulations in state statutes (Part 416: Group Family Day Care), which serve other cities and towns in New York that do not have local ordinances and supplement NYC regulations.
The agreement you signed to obtain daycare services for your child likely included an indemnity clause stating that neither the center nor its staff are liable if your child is hurt while under the center’s care. This should not stop you from having a lawyer review the details of the accident if your child has been significantly injured at an NYC daycare center. The courts have repeatedly ruled that it’s contrary to public policy to relieve daycare providers of liability if a child is hurt while in their care.
You can hold a daycare center legally responsible if your child is injured while under its care due to a violation of local or state regulations or because of negligence or recklessness that led to your child’s injury.
In most cases, the daycare center and/or its owner would be held liable if a child at the center was injured due to negligence of a staff member, manager or the owner. A staff member, despite his or her actions, likely would not be a part of a claim unless he or she acted with gross negligence or malice toward your child, such as a case of assault.
In some cases, a third party may be responsible for a child’s injury at a daycare center. Usually, a third-party lawsuit occurs when an injury is caused by faulty and/or unsafe equipment, such as faulty playground equipment. Such a lawsuit would seek to hold the manufacturer, seller and/or installer of the equipment accountable for a child’s injuries.
How Our Daycare Injury Lawyer in New York Can Help You
If an adult in charge of children in a daycare center neglected his or her specific or general duties for ensuring safety and a child was hurt, the daycare center and/or its owner may be held responsible.
As your daycare injury attorneys, Cohen & Jaffe would obtain any initial accident reports such as a police report filed when your child was injured and then work to gather our own evidence. Typical sources of evidence range from eyewitness accounts to video from security cameras at the daycare center. If there are ongoing problems at a daycare center that have led to safety issues, one or more staff members typically will want to speak out.
In addition to determining liability for your child’s injury, we will calculate the total amount of money the accident has cost you. This includes the cost of future medical care and procedures to address in the long-term effects of the injuries. A claim may seek compensation for a permanent disability or disfigurement. In cases of disabling injuries, future cost projections must account for ongoing medical needs as well as special education requirements and the parents’ losses from time spent as the child’s caregiver and advocate for services.
Monetary damages sought in a daycare accident claim also take into account the pain and suffering of the child and parents. In cases of long-term, disabling or disfiguring injury, this includes the loss of childhood participation opportunities, as well as potentially limited education, employment, dating and marriage opportunities as the child grows into adulthood.
Our experienced daycare accident attorneys at Cohen & Jaffe will conduct a thorough investigation and present a detailed case as we enter negotiations on your behalf with insurers for the daycare center and/or other liable parties. We’ll press hard for an appropriate settlement so your family can get on with recovery without financial worries.
If insurance companies will not agree to a reasonable settlement warranted by the facts of the case, we will be prepared to go to court to fight for justice on your behalf.
Contact a Long Island Daycare Center Injury Attorney Today
If your child has been injured while in the care of a daycare center in Long Island, you should seek the guidance of a trusted child injury attorney. Do not sign any papers offered by any representative of the daycare center or its attorneys or insurance company without first talking to a Long Island daycare injury attorney from Cohen & Jaffe. We can help you pursue fair compensation for the injury your child has suffered and its impact on your family.
Contact us today to learn how we can help you. We do not charge for an initial legal consultation. Call us or fill out our online contact form for an immediate response. We can meet wherever is most convenient for you – our offices, your home or workplace or at the hospital.
For a free legal consultation with a lawyer serving Long Island, call 516-358-6900