For many parents, daycare is a necessity when they leave home for work, school, or errands. If someone you love was injured while in daycare, you may have legal grounds for a lawsuit under a legal concept known as negligent supervision. Heenan & Cook, PLLC can provide advice from an experienced Billings daycare injury lawyer to help you win your case. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.
The Negligent Supervision of Children
Anyone involved in the care of your children can be sued for negligent supervision. This can occur in a daycare center, church care, day camp, or even a private residence. The people most commonly associated with negligent supervision of children are:
- Daycare teachers
- Youth group leaders
- Nannies or au pairs
- Other parents
There are two different types of negligent supervision scenarios: first, you may be able to file a lawsuit if your child was injured as a direct result of a caregiver failing to provide adequate supervision.
Common examples of this include:
- An inappropriate student to teacher ratio. The law presumes that younger children need more supervision than older children, so classrooms with younger children require more teachers. There may be varying requirements by state, even municipality.
- Failing to use more supervision if the daycare center or home is located on a busy cross street.
- Failing to attend more carefully to children with special needs or behavioral problems.
The second kind of scenario is simple inattention. In other words, the daycare center may have provided an appropriate ratio of teachers, but one or more were negligent in executing their duties. Similarly, if one child injures another, it may be the result of caregiver inattention.
Foreseeable Injuries at Daycare
When deliberating the merit of a negligent supervision case, the courts will consider if the injury was “foreseeable.” In other words, you will have to prove that your child’s injuries were a natural consequence of the daycare provider’s negligent supervision. It’s not enough that the provider was negligent; your child’s injuries must have been a direct result of that negligence.
This concept is more clearly illustrated with an example. Say that your daycare provider was outside with a child on a relatively mild day, and they were struck by lightning. The babysitter is not liable, since the injuries aren’t related to their negligence. On the other hand, if they took the child to a swimming pool on a stormy day and the child was struck by lightning, they would be negligent for allowing the wrongful death situation. Electrocution is a natural and foreseeable consequence of swimming during a lightning storm.
This is a rare example, but here are some more common scenarios:
- Leaving a child unattended in a hot car
- While unattended, a child drinks detergent or other toxic substances
- A child drowns while swimming without supervision in a pool
- Children play with a lighter and start a fire
These are all examples of “foreseeable” injuries, as they could have been avoided with proper supervision and reasonable care.
Contact Day Care Injury Lawyer | Heenan & Cook, PLLC
If you believe, based on what you’ve read, that you have a case for negligent supervision, your next step is to contact a personal injury attorney. A representative of our office will review the specifics of your case and provide free advice in our initial consultation. If we believe you qualify, you may receive our services on a contingency fee basis, which means you’ll only owe a fee if we win a settlement. To discuss your case with us today, Heenan & Cook, PLLC