TBIs at Daycare – Who Is Responsible?

Categories: Personal Injury

Doctor looking at Brain MRI

Today, it is not uncommon for both parents to work outside of the household. To do this, they rely on daycare centers or private, in-home daycare services to watch over their children.

When you hire a daycare provider, you expect that the person you hire will keep your child happy, healthy, and safe while you are away. You pay them for their services, and you might enter legal contracts that outline the safety protocols you receive as part of your fee.

Unfortunately, injuries do happen at daycare facilities. While most injuries are minor, there are instances where a child can suffer a more serious injury, like a traumatic brain injury (TBI). TBIs have life-long impacts, and when your child is injured at daycare, you need to understand your rights so you can keep your family protected.

Daycare Centers Have a Responsibility of Care

A licensed daycare center or provider has a legal obligation to care for your child, keep him or her safe, and protect them from hazards. Often, daycare centers will have parents sign a liability waiver. But these waivers apply to issues outside of the daycare provider’s control and do not excuse daycare negligence.

Regardless of these waivers, the daycare center can still be liable when their negligence causes a traumatic brain injury because:

  • They failed to recognize and remove threats posed to the children;
  • They failed to monitor a child properly and it resulted in injury;
  • They placed the child in a harmful situation;
  • They were reckless or careless, and their inaction contributed to the TBI; or
  • The provider abuses the child and causes the TBI.

Proving that one of these negligent situations caused your child’s injury is critical for your case.

What if Another Child Causes the Injury?

Daycare centers often have multiple children of varying ages, under their care, at a single time. Ideally, there should be one provider assigned to a certain number of children, and infants would need additional personnel to provide for their care needs.

If a daycare provider is following all legal procedures and doing their part to limit hazards, but another child injures yours and it results in a TBI, the parents of that child may be legally responsible. However, you must first ensure that the daycare center’s negligence did not contribute to another child causing the accident.

For example, one child has a history of violent outbursts, causing fights, and showing aggression toward other children. The daycare provider knows of this and the child’s history of causing harm, but leaves them alone with a child. In this instance, that provider might be negligent because they knew of a potential threat and did nothing to protect your child from it.

Likewise, if your child is injured in a playground accident where another child pushes them off the playground equipment, the daycare provider could still be liable for failing to supervise during play time.

Situations like these are highly complicated. Therefore, you should consult with an injury attorney to determine if the daycare provider was at fault, even if another child caused the accident.

The Long-Term Effects of a TBI in Young Children

Some children suffer from a mild TBI, such as a concussion, and make a full recovery.

Other times, a TBI can be severe enough to cause permanent brain damage and deficits that impact the child’s life permanently. Functional impacts of a TBI might not be apparent right away in smaller children either, because their brain is still developing. Instead of adults where the injuries are immediately apparent, TBIs in children often act like a chronic disease process. This means that the symptoms change and reveal themselves over the course of months or even years, depending on the child’s age at the time of the injury.

Some commonly delayed symptoms can include:

  • Behavioral issues
  • Attention problems
  • Memory and cognition problems
  • Speech and language complications
  • Overall developmental delays
  • Problems with vision
  • Hearing issues

This further complicates the issue of seeking compensation in these cases, because it can be difficult for a medical provider to say with certainty how the injury will affect the child if they have not fully developed. Often attorneys will need to collaborate with neurologists, neurosurgeons, speech and behavior therapists, and other professionals to determine the full extent of the injury and potential complications that might arise.

For smaller children, there is hope that the brain’s natural plasticity will help them recover better than an adult would from a similar injury. In these cases, the child’s brain would adapt and allow other parts of the brain to take over and perform the functions that the damaged area cannot. However, this is not always guaranteed.

Seeking Compensation from the Daycare Center Requires a Professional

Holding daycare centers responsible for their actions is your legal right, especially when their negligence causes a serious injury (like a TBI) to your child.

While you care for your child, let the attorneys at Brett McCandlis Brown & Conner, PLLC, handle your case. We will seek the compensation your child deserves, not only for the care they need right now, but the care they will need in the future due to suffering such a traumatic injury early in life.

We have helped parents just like you seek compensation for TBIs for items like:

  • Medical expenses – including future medical costs and care
  • Long-term care needs
  • Lost wages while you care for your child
  • Loss of earning capacity if you have to quit working and care for your child around-the-clock
  • Loss of earning capacity if your child will never develop enough to maintain a job later in life
  • Emotional trauma
  • Pain and suffering

Do not worry about negotiating with insurance companies or trying to prove your case in court. Our team wants you to focus on taking care of your child while we seek the compensation you need.

Get started by calling us to schedule your no-obligation consultation or request more information online about our services.

Author Photo

Matt Conner

Matt Conner has a proven track record of success. Following his graduation from Willamette University with a double major in mathematics and economics, Matt worked as an economist for the Office of Economic Analysis for the State of Oregon before moving onto working in mortgage banking and real estate.