Children playing in a daycareHaving dependable, quality childcare is essential if you are a parent who must work to support your family. No matter how well you research your childcare options, your child could suffer serious injuries in an accident caused by the negligence of the facility or a staff member. 

You may be able to hold the childcare center responsible for compensating your child for their injuries. However, these claims are not easy to resolve. You need the help of a skilled and dedicated child injury lawyer willing to fight for their rights and understand the special procedures that must be followed under California law to get their settlement approved by the court.

Types of Childcare Facilities in Southern California

There are many options for childcare, and which one a parent chooses will be based on the quality of care to be provided to their child and practical considerations like cost or location. Most of these options are not in-home care, which means that parents have less control over their child's level of supervision and care. Here are the significant settings where daycare is provided and injuries can occur:

  • Home care, such as nannies, au pairs, and babysitters
  • Child care centers
  • Home child care facility where an adult takes care of a small group of children
  • Family member, friend, or babysitter who provides care at their home
  • Pre-school
  • Before and after school care

Causes of Child Injury Accidents at Childcare Centers

Many childcare facilities in San Diego and Southern California require parents to sign a waiver that releases the caregiver from liability if the child is injured in an accident. While this document may be legally valid, it would not protect the provider from liability for injuries caused by their negligence. 

Childcare facilities and their staff must take reasonable steps to protect children from accidents and injuries. Most must be licensed by the State of California and follow strict rules regarding the ratio of staff to children supervised, training, safety procedures, and more. Common ways that they breach their duty of care include:

  • Negligent supervision. Caregivers have a duty to supervise the children under their care adequately. If their failure to watch over a child caused an accident, they could be found negligent.
  • Inadequate staff. Under California law, there are limits on the number of children an individual childcare provider can supervise, and this number changes depending on the age of the children under their care. For example, babies and young children require more supervision than older elementary-age kids. 
  • Lack of training. Childcare providers must have sufficient training in caring for children and comply with California’s licensing requirements. When these workers do not have the training and experience to supervise the children under their care and to respond to emergencies, children can suffer serious injuries that can affect their future ability to care for themselves and the quality of their lives.
  • Unsafe facilities. Daycares must keep their properties safe for the children they care for. This includes making all necessary repairs to the facility and playground equipment, child-proofing, maintaining sanitary practices, replacing broken toys, and much more. 
  • Unlawful actions. If a childcare provider physically, mentally, sexually, or otherwise hurts a child, they may face both criminal and civil liability.

Special Procedures You Must Follow When Settling Your Child’s Claim

Under California law, you must obtain court approval of any settlement you reach with the childcare provider to compensate your child for their injuries. Different procedures must be followed for out-of-court settlements and those reached through litigation.

You need the help of an experienced San Diego child injury lawyer to ensure that your child receives all they are entitled to from the negligent daycare facility and staff. To learn how I can assist you, start a live chat to schedule your free consultation today.

Mark Blane
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San Diego Personal Injury Lawyer | California Car Accident Attorney