Broken teeth from fall at daycare...

by Leah
(Georgetown, IN)

My daughter was attending daycare and I received a phone call at work telling me she had fallen and her two front teeth were broken. I was also told it was not emergency.

The story I was told was that a visitor had came in to visit her granddaughter who also attended the daycare. She came in quite frequently from my understanding. All the kids had lined up to give her a hug before she left so of course my daughter got in line to give her a hug as well.

When she went to leave from giving her a hug the child in front of her had not moved far enough away to let the line continue and my daughter tripped and fell on the floor. This daycare is in a basement at a church. It has industrial carpet but it is literally on a concrete slab so it was like hitting concrete.

The fall resulted in breaking her two front teeth. As soon as I could leave work I went to get her and immediately took her to the dentist. She had cracked her two front teeth and will need crowns because she is only two.

Does the daycare have any responsibility for this? Will they help cover any of my daughter's dental bills? Thank you.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Broken teeth from fall at daycare...":

Leah (Georgetown, IN):

The first issue to deal with is the waiver or release of liability you very likely signed when you enrolled your daughter in the day care center. Unfortunately, it's fair to say when enrolling their children in daycare many parents overlook the "boilerplate" language which is in effect a release of liability for injuries to their children while at the facility.

The courts have traditionally upheld the validity and enforceability of waivers and releases parents sign when enrolling their children in school. The basis of the upholding of these waivers and releases is the likelihood children will be injured during normal school activities. If daycare centers were liable every time a child was injured, they would likely never be able find insurance companies to cover them.

However, there is a limit to the enforceability of such waivers and releases. When there is proof of gross negligence, gross recklessness, or a wanton disregard for the safety of a child, the waivers or releases may in effect be "voided" by the courts, and as result, unenforceable.

Whether or not the daycare center will agree to pay for your daughter's dental work is unknown. Even if there is a waiver or release in effect, they may agree to submit the claim to their insurance company. If not, you may have to take care of the expenses yourself. Either way, you should speak with a personal injury attorney to review the specifics.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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TYPE OF ACCIDENT
AUTO ACCIDENT
PERSONAL INJURY
WORKERS COMPENSATION
MEDICAL ERROR
YES! I WANT FAIR COMPENSATION