Florida is a place where many people have chosen to raise their families. So it makes sense that our state is home to many different daycare options to care for children while parents work.
Under state law, daycares and other licensed childcare providers are responsible for keeping the children they are caring for safe. Those with licenses to provide these services must provide a safe environment and ensure that precautions are taken to keep every child safe. When that doesn’t happen, the consequences can be life-changing for families – and childcare facilities may be liable for any injuries.
There are options if your child is hurt at a daycare or other childcare facility. Here’s what you need to know about the responsibilities of daycare providers in our state and what steps you should take if your child is injured.
Daycare: Florida’s Legal Definition
In Florida, a daycare is defined as a childcare facility. These facilities provide child care, supervision, and protection of children for a time less than 24 hours per day but regularly. They provide care that is supplemental to parental care. Parents or guardians pay a fee for these services.
Negligent Supervision at Florida Daycares
Daycare injuries sustained by children often result from negligent supervision, which means the daycare wasn’t monitoring the child closely enough, which led directly to the injuries suffered by the child.
Negligent supervision exists in two ways: failed supervision or inattention.
Claims related to inattention typically spring from the failure to provide a child with the supervision they need to minimize the risk of injury. This includes actions such as talking on the phone when they are supposed to be supervising children who are playing outside.
Claims related to failed supervision typically involve something that a daycare facility didn’t do or led to the child’s injuries. This can include not having enough staff to appropriately supervise the number of children.
Common Injuries Sustained at Daycares
The most common injuries children sustain at daycare include:
- Injuries from slip and fall accidents
- Choking accidents
- Injuries sustained from fighting with other kids
- Playground accidents
- Medication errors
- Neglect or abuse caused by the provider
This is exactly why it’s so crucial to choose a licensed daycare facility with every employee insured. After all, you trust them to take care of your children, so do your due diligence.
What If Your Child Is Hurt at a Florida Daycare?
Sometimes, no matter what you do to ensure your child’s safety, they become injured at daycare. If this happens, you must take these steps to ensure your child is okay and preserve options if you decide to file a lawsuit against the daycare provider.
If your child is injured at daycare, you should:
Get Medical Care
Your child’s health is the priority, so if they come home from daycare hurt, take them for medical treatment. Ask for copies of all medical records and keep them related to this accident.
Get an Incident Report
Daycare facilities are obligated to file incident reports if there is an injury to a child. A copy of this report could provide you with important information, particularly if you file a lawsuit later on.
Talk to an Attorney
An experienced attorney can use their skill and knowledge to guide you in your case, particularly under Florida’s Negligent Supervision law.
How Do You Establish Negligence in Florida?
If you are seeking compensation for your child’s injuries, then you have to be able to prove to the court that the daycare facility was negligent. That means you have to show that they failed to prevent a foreseeable injury to your child.
You must also establish that they owed a duty of care to your child, breached the duty, and injured your child as a result. This is what makes up the legal concept of negligence and is grounds for filing an injury claim in the Florida courts.
Pursuing legal action on top of dealing with an injury to your child can be complicated, which is why you should seek out the help of an experienced attorney as soon as possible. That way, they can focus on your legal case while you focus on helping your child to recover and get the medical care they need to move on with their lives healthy and whole.
About the Author:
Andrew Winston is a partner at the personal injury law firm Winston Law. For over 20 years, he has successfully represented countless people in all personal injury cases, focusing on child injury, legal malpractice, and premises liability. He has been recognized for excellence in representing injured clients by admission to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and named one of America’s Top 100 High-Stakes Litigators. Mr. Winston is AV Preeminent Rated by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, enjoys a 10.0 rating by AVVO as a Top Personal Injury Attorney, and has been selected as a Florida “SuperLawyer” from 2011-2022– an honor reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in the state – was voted to Florida Trend’s ”Legal Elite,” recognized by Expertise as one of the 20 Best Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorneys, named one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the Miami area for 2015-2022, and one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Florida for 2015-2017 and 2019-2022.