Visitor Question

Daughter injured due to poor supervision at after school program…

Submitted By: Anonymous (Michigan)

My daughter fell down the stairs off a stage during latchkey (school age child care). My daughter is 4 years old and there was only one monitor in the gym at the time, watching about 16 kids. No child unless designated is supposed to be on the stage (this usually goes to the older kids).

Many of the pre-k children were up there including my daughter and she ended up falling down the stairs. The monitor had no idea of the issue or that the kids (pre-k) were on the stage until she heard my daughter crying. This incident occurred about 10 minutes from the time my wife picked her up from the school.

The monitors told her they had no idea what happened and that they saw her on the floor crying. My wife took my daughter to emergency to make sure there was no internal damage. There was no internal damage except for the bruising and major swelling of her left eye. The school is doing an investigation but has not yet come to a completion.

This incident occurred 11/14/2016. I have medical records and wage records to show the amount lost for the day. I am currently working on statements for the people who witnessed the incident.

Questions: – Is there any other proof needed in case this issue needs to go to court? – Is the school supposed to cover lost wages and medical expenses? – If our demands are not met, how do we go about proceeding with filing charges?

Thank you for any information you can give.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Anonymous,

Fortunately it appears there was no internal or permanent damage to your daughter’s eye. Contact the daycare center owner. I’m sure by now they are aware of the incident.

It would be nice if the daycare owner would agree to reimburse your for your daughter’s medical bills, your out-of-pocket expenses, and if you had to take a day off from work, for your lost wages. However, he or she is under no legal obligation to do so.

From the tenure of your questions, there seems to be a presumption a lawsuit may need to be filed. Unless your daughter’s eye was more seriously injured than a swelling, it is very unlikely you will find an attorney to accept the case.

Children are injured at daycare centers all the time. Young children bump into each other, they fall off swings, trip over their laces, etc. You would be hard pressed to find even the most careful of daycare centers which at one time or another didn’t have a child injured.

Before going any further, take a look at the paperwork you signed when you enrolled your daughter in daycare. It is likely you signed a waiver of liability for accidents involving injuries to your daughter. If you did sign that waiver, you agreed to hold the daycare center harmless for injuries sustained by your daughter while at daycare.

In most cases, the only way to have the courts void such waivers is to prove a daycare center was grossly negligent, or displayed a wanton disregard for a child’s well-being AND that gross negligence or wanton disregard for the child’s well being was the direct and proximate cause of a serious injury.

If your “demands” are not met you have absolutely no basis for filing criminal charges against the daycare center, the owner, or any of its employees. No crime was committed.

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

Best of luck,

Published: November 16, 2016

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