Whether a child is left unsupervised, suffers a playground injury, or is sexually abused by staff or another student while attending a daycare center, his or her injuries are often attributable to the daycare’s negligence. A child’s injury without more, however, is not enough to establish liability against a daycare. The parent of an injured child must also show that the daycare breached a duty that was owed to the child and that the breach of that duty caused the child’s injury.
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Georgia Law on Daycare Abuse and Neglect
Under Georgia law, people who own and operate daycares have the duty to act as a reasonably prudent parent would under like circumstances. To determine if the daycare acted as a prudent parent, it is important to gather all possible facts and circumstances regarding the incident that led to the child’s injury. This can be difficult as young children often cannot remember or articulate the details of what occurred. Consequently, an independent investigation may be necessary.
Bright from the Start – the State organization charged with overseeing daycares – will normally conduct an investigation into serious injuries and sexual allegations. Their investigations typically include interviewing other children who were present, the injured child’s teachers, and the daycare directors. They will also examine any reports that were made and policies that were in place at the time. Bright from the Start will then draft a report and make findings as to whether the daycare violated any State regulations. Such findings can be invaluable in proving a daycare’s negligence or intentional act.
An attorney representing the family of an injured child should also conduct an open records request with state agencies and local police departments to determine if similar incidents or other mishaps have occurred at the daycare in the past. It is not uncommon to see a pattern of troublesome incidents at the same facility, and a pattern can assist in proving one’s case.
Liability and Damages in Daycare Injury Cases
If liability is established, the parent of the injured child will be entitled to recover damages that were sustained as result of the injury. This includes pain and suffering, medical bills, psychiatric treatment, lost wages, and more. A parent may also recover for future medical or psychiatric treatment that may be necessary. In some cases, a parent may be able to obtain punitive damages which are designed punish a defendant for egregious conduct.
If your child has been injured or killed at a daycare center, contact our firm to discuss your case with a Georgia trial lawyer experienced in daycare cases. There is absolutely no charge or commitment required for the initial consultation.