Compensation for Daycare Injuries: Legal Options for Parents in Minnesota
Leaving your child in the care of a daycare facility is a decision made with trust and hope for their safety and well-being. Unfortunately, accidents can happen, and when a child sustains injuries while under daycare supervision, it can be a distressing experience for both the child and their parents. If your child has been injured at a daycare facility in Minnesota, understanding your legal rights and options for seeking compensation is essential.
The Duty of Daycare Facilities
Daycare centers have a legal duty to provide a safe and secure environment for the children under their care. This duty extends to properly supervising the children, maintaining the premises, and taking precautions to prevent accidents and injuries. When a daycare fails to fulfill this duty and a child gets injured as a result, the facility may be held liable for the injuries sustained.
Types of Daycare Injuries
Daycare injuries can vary in nature and severity. Common types of injuries that can occur in daycare settings include slip and fall injuries, playground injuries, choking and suffocation incidents, burns, and physical altercations among children. These injuries can result from inadequate supervision, hazardous conditions, or the use of inappropriate toys or equipment.
Seeking Reimbursement for Injuries Incurred at Daycare
Daycare centers commonly require parents to sign an agreement prior to enrolling their child, which addresses various aspects related to the child’s care. One specific element usually included in such contracts is liability. While you’ll likely review this section closely, it often contains a typical liability waiver that stipulates you won’t take legal action against the daycare center in the event of your child’s injury.
This kind of waiver usually pertains to more general injuries resulting from ordinary circumstances. For instance, if your child slips and hurts their head on a toy or sprains their ankle after jumping off playground equipment, you probably can’t file a lawsuit against the daycare for these injuries.
However, it’s important to note that these waivers don’t completely release the daycare center from all responsibility, particularly in cases involving neglect or abuse. They might try to assert that you lack legal options due to the agreement you signed, but that isn’t their decision to make, and a waiver can’t shield them from accountability in instances of negligence or abuse.
Legal Options for Compensation
If your child has been injured at a daycare facility due to negligence, you may have legal options for seeking compensation. Here are a few avenues to consider:
Negligence Claims: If the daycare’s negligence contributed to your child’s injuries, you may be able to file a negligence claim. This involves proving that the daycare breached its duty of care, which directly resulted in your child’s injuries.
Premises Liability Claims: If the injury was caused by hazardous conditions on the daycare’s property, such as unsafe playground equipment or poorly maintained facilities, you might have a premises liability claim.
Childcare Licensing Violations: If the daycare violated state regulations or licensing requirements that resulted in your child’s injury, you can pursue a claim based on those violations.
When a child sustains injuries at a daycare facility, it’s a distressing situation that raises concerns about their safety and well-being. Parents in Minnesota have legal options to seek compensation if their child’s injuries were caused by negligence or inadequate supervision.
If your child has been injured at a daycare, don’t hesitate to reach out to an experienced attorney who can guide you through the legal process and help you pursue the justice your child deserves.
About the Author:
A former Assistant Public Defender for the Sixth Judicial District in Duluth and former staff attorney for the Indian Legal Assistance Program, Brent R. Olson is an experienced trial lawyer who has appeared in every Courthouse in the Sixth Judicial District and taken over three dozen cases to verdict. At LaCourse, Poole & Envall, Mr. Envall focuses on family law, workers’ compensation, and criminal defense. He has a strong belief in restorative justice and helped to develop the Domestic Violence Restorative Circles program.