Daycare Accidents

Daycare Accident Lawyer

Houston Daycare Injury Attorneys

child abuseNothing is worse for a parent than getting a phone call that your child has been seriously injured or killed. Yet for thousands of parents across the United States, this becomes a reality at a time when they have no control over the situation—while the child is at a daycare facility. When you get that call, you need to know there is a daycare accident lawyer you can call to discuss your legal options. At Simmons and Fletcher, P.C., we understand how sensitive and enraging these matters are. You trusted your child’s welfare to someone who held themselves out as qualified and they failed to do their job. Call a Houston daycare accident lawyer today for a free consultation at (713) 932-0777 and learn your legal options.

Is a Daycare Liable for an Injury to a Child?

Daycares are liable for injury to a child injured while in their care if the injury occurs because the employees failed to act as an ordinarily prudent person would have acted under the same circumstances. Was the injury due to neglect? Was the facility where the injury occurred unsafe?  Was the injury caused by another child or teacher with a history of violent behavior?    Many questions must be asked and answered when a child is injured while under a daycare’s custody to determine whether they are liable.

Child Care Statistics

Sadly, child care workers are often overworked and underpaid. In 2017, a study by Child Care Aware showed that over 1,345,000 children under the age of 6 needed childcare in Texas. Almost 15 million kids under the age of 6 need child care nationwide. In Texas, 56,660 daycare workers are paid an average wage of $20,700.00 annually.  We pay so little to whom we trust with so much. When something goes wrong, you need a daycare accident lawyer you can trust. Call Simmons and Fletcher, P.C. at (713) 932-0777 for a free no-obligation consultation regarding your child’s case.

How Child Care Accidents Happen

Negligent Supervision by Daycare Workers

There are many ways in which children can suffer injuries while in a daycare facility.  Most of these fall under the umbrella of negligent supervision of the daycare workers and/or inadequate job training. Some of the most common injuries to toddlers involving this include:

  • Injuries to toddlers from trying to crawl out of cribs and falling or getting fingers pinched
  • Injuries to infants from rolling off changing tables
  • Choking injuries on food, toys, or small objects
  • Injury from horseplay resulting in falling off swings and other play structures

All of the above injuries can and should be prevented with adequate supervision.

Injury Due to Defective Toys, Strollers, Cribs, or Equipment

baby in crib

Unwatched toddlers in cribs can injure themselves trying to escape.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission monitors reports of defective children’s products and order recalls when they prove to be unsafe. Your child care provider has an obligation o keep up-to-date on what items are not safe to be around your children.  Some examples of items recalled that your daycare should not be using are as follows:

  • IKEA Folding Children’s Tent
  • Little Tykes Toy Workshop
  • Phil&teds USA Table-top Clip-on Chair
  • Push-n-Snap Cabinet Locks

If your child is injured by a defective product, call us for a free consultation regarding your legal rights.

Child Abuse and Child Neglect

Unfortunately, not every injury to a child at a daycare facility is an accident. We have seen cases for striking and hitting children up to cases of abuse where a child was intentionally placed into scalding hot water suffering 3rd-degree burns. If you suspect that your child has been the victim of child abuse or neglect while at a daycare facility, call us for a free consultation.

Know the Signs of Abuse

Children who have been abused may not always show physical signs, especially if they are victims of sexual abuse.  They may even be threatened and scared into not talking by their abuser.  It is important to watch for changes in your children’s behavior and or personality and to take action if you fear your child is being abused. Some of the most common signs of abuse are:

  • Fear of going places they used to go regularly such as daycare
  • Expressing fear of a particular person
  • Regressing in their behaviors such as
    • Bedwetting
    • Refusing to talk
    • Clinging to parents
    • Biting
  • Acting out or rebelling
  • Extreme swings in their mood or attitude
  • Showing unusual interest in sexual activities
  • Slower than normal mental development as compared to peers
  • Poor grade in school
  • Low self-esteem, anxiety, or depression
  • Physical signs of injury

Do I Have to Report Suspected Child Abuse?

Texas law requires an adult who has knowledge of a child being abused to report it. Failure to report child abuse is a crime in Texas. If you know that your child or any child is being abused call the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services Abuse Hotline: 1-800-252-5400.  Furthermore, if you suspect that your child may be abused, seek medical advice immediately. Talk to your pediatrician about your concerns.

Is a Daycare Liable for Injury In Daycare Vehicles?

When a daycare transports your child, they take on the same obligations and duties that a parent would when transporting them.  If the daycare driver causes an accident, he may be held liable for injury caused thereby. If they leave your child in the daycare van and she suffers from heatstroke, the daycare may be liable.  If your child is injured due to the conduct of other students inside the vehicle, the daycare may be liable if it can be shown that the driver failed to supervise the children as an ordinarily prudent person would have done.

Licensing and Insurance Issues in Texas Daycares

Unfortunately, licensing and insurance requirements can be a problem in Texas daycares. The State of Texas does not impose strict licensing and insurance requirements on many daycare facilities.  Texas divides child care facilities into three categories for purposes of regulation:

  • Licensed Family Homes,
  • Registered Child Care Homes, and;
  • Licensed Child Care Homes.

The regulations and restrictions that apply to the people watching your child vary based upon its classification. None of them are required to carry liability insurance.  This can leave small mom and pop daycares to shut down and file bankruptcy to avoid liability when they injure a child. Furthermore, homeowner’s insurance does not cover injuries that occur on the property while conducting a business activity such as operating a daycare. Thus, home-run daycares are rarely covered by liability insurance and their owners are often judgment proof in Texas.

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What Does it Cost to Talk to a Daycare Accident Lawyer?

Consultations with our daycare accident lawyers in Houston, TX are always free.  If your child has been abused, neglected, or injured at a daycare facility, call a Houston daycare accident attorney and learn your rights. If we take on your case, we will investigate the claim, determine whether there is insurance coverage, negligence, and potential liability, and advise you of your rights. We do not charge you a dime if we do not make a recovery.  Call an experienced personal injury lawyer at Simmons and Fletcher, P.C. today at (713) 932-0777 for your free no-obligation consultation.

Other related reading:  Texas Legal Requirements for Babysitting.

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