CASE RESULTS – CHILD DAYCARE INJURY – BROKEN LEG

Recently I handled a case for a mother whose 2 year old daughter had been injured while in a daycare. The 2 year old girl was in a class with twenty-three other children overseen by two teachers. While the teachers were preoccupied with directing the children from breakfast to playtime, a much larger child got too rambunctious and fell on the little girl’s left leg, fracturing her tibia in two places.

If your child has been injured while in daycare, you may be wondering: what legal recourse is available? The answer to that question depends heavily on your particular circumstances. In the situation outlined above, my client had a very strong case. However, this was not due primarily to the seriousness of the injury, but rather to the ability to clearly prove negligence on the part of the daycare. If your circumstances are similar, you may have a strong case as well.

Why Did My Client Have a Strong Case?

When my client first called me, I immediately advised her to file a complaint with the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning, also known as Bright from the Start. As a daycare licensed by the state of Georgia, the center where my client’s daughter sustained her injury was required to meet state standards. Once my client filed a complaint, Bright from the Start conducted an investigation of the incident. The findings of this investigation would be incredibly important to my client’s case as they would prove whether or not the little girl’s injury resulted from negligence on the part of the daycare. As it turned out, it did.

Bright from the Start requires licensed daycares to follow specific teacher:child ratios that vary based on the age of the children, as follows:

Under 1 year or under 18 months if not walking = 1:6

1 year and walking = 1:8

2 years = 1:10

3 years = 1:15

4 years 1:18

5 years = 1:20

6 years and older = 1:25

Bright from the Start’s investigation discovered that, on the day of the injury, the little girl’s classroom had a ratio of two teachers to twenty-four 2 year old children. According to state regulations, an additional teacher should have been present. However, the daycare neglected to follow this important rule. Because of this, the two teachers that were present had their hands too full to keep close tabs on all the children. The result? My client’s daughter ended up with a fractured leg.

In this case, a clear line could be drawn from the daycare’s failure to abide by state standards and the injury that occurred. This fact made for a strong case as it clearly showed that the daycare was at fault. But there was an additional layer to the story. Bright from the Start records revealed that this same daycare had also been caught violating state standards on a numerous past occasionsThe records showed 11 violations of the staff:child ratio standards alone. This was a major boost for the case as it proved a pattern of negligence on the part of the daycare. In court, a jury would likely see this pattern as grounds for punishing the daycare by awarding my client punitive damages on top of the general damages she would have already received. For this reason, the daycare’s insurer made an offer we couldn’t refuse on the case, and my client received considerable compensation.

How does all this relate to YOU?

If your child was injured while in daycare, it is possible that the fault can be traced to the childcare center’s negligence in following state standards. If so, you may have a strong case. However, to prove negligence, the incident must be investigated, which is why it is very important that you file a complaint with Bright from the Start (Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning). You can get more information about how to file a complaint HERE.

After filing a complaint, get in touch with an attorney. An attorney can help you navigate the complexities of your situation. Maybe the daycare is clearly at fault and in violation of state standards (of which there are many, as you can read about HERE). Or maybe your daycare is exempt from licensure and is not required to follow state standards, which you can read about HERE. Whatever the details of your case, an attorney can help you navigate the many aspects that play into daycare injuries, providing clear expertise on the legal recourse available to you and your child. 

I have been representing children in accident cases for over 24 years. My office is located in Conyers, Georgia and I meet with clients all over metro Atlanta (hospital, home visits, wherever is best for you). The best way to reach me is by text or voice at Six-Seven-Eight 358-2564.

Atlanta Personal Injury Attorney Specializing in Child Injury – Pete Pearson

Over 100,000 Motorists Every Day Pass A Stopped School Bus?

According to this, over 100,000 motorists each day pass a stopped school bus:

Really? Are drivers so frantic to get to work (or wherever) that they don’t think it’s worth it to stop for children? How can it be that so many drivers think they can get away with ignoring basic safety rules? It ought not to be.

Another danger for children is getting run over by their own school bus. When safe crossing practices are not strictly enforced young children get hurt and sometimes killed.

I think the larger issues have to do with a culture in love with it’s own speed. Rush to work. Rush back home. Our little ones are the ones most at risk of injury in a world that rushes them all around.

There is no excuse for passing a stopped school bus. And there is no reason why bus drivers and school districts should be excused for failing to follow safe crossing procedures.

Those who endanger our children need be held accountable. They need serious consequences. And that is where I come in – I create consequences for those who hurt children. That’s why the laws are there and that is why I feel privileged to be an injury attorney.

We need to create a culture of safety for our children. There need to be real consequences for those who break the rules of the road and hurt innocent children. We need to use every tool at our disposal to create a safer environment on our roads for the sake of our children.

I love to work for families of injured children – no doubt about it. But what I really want is for drivers and school districts to slow down. Our kids need a safer world, one that is more focused on doing what is best for the least among us.

—————————

Attorney Pete Pearson practices law in Atlanta, Georgia and has a special interest in helping families with injured children. He is a father to seven and lives with his wife and children near Atlanta, Georgia. He can be reached directly at Six-Seven-Eight 358-2564 or through his main site, www.petepearsonlaw.com.