As a parent, you choose the people who care for your children as carefully as you can. Most teachers, daycare providers and other professionals who work with children are committed to their welfare and go above and beyond when caring for those children. However, when the adult who is responsible for the welfare of your child falls short of that responsibility, the consequences can be serious.
If your child has been injured through the negligence of a teacher, school administrator or other childcare provider, or has been harmed by another child who was not properly supervised, now is the time to consult an attorney.
Damages in Child Abuse and Neglect Cases
Damages to a child who has been abused by a trusted caretaker or authority figure, or who has been harmed in what he expected to be a safe place, may extend far beyond physical injury.
Depending on the nature and extent of the injury, some damages may include:
- Medical expenses
- The cost of psychological counseling
- The cost of tutoring or another school alternative
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
Liability in Child Abuse and Neglect Cases
Child abuse is typically inflicted by an individual, and the same is often true of neglect that results in harm to a child. However, that doesn’t mean that the school, daycare center or other organization isn’t responsible. Some circumstances under which an entity can be responsible for abuse or neglect by a staff member include:
- The institution was negligent in hiring the employee—for example, failed to conduct a background check
- The institution was on notice that the employee posed a danger to children—for example, there was a prior instance of abuse
- The institution failed to create policies that would adequately protect children, such as reporting procedures or two-adult rules
Some examples include:
- Failure to adequately supervise children on the playground
- Use of unsafe equipment or lack of proper safety procedures in gym class or sports-team practice
- Age-inappropriate or unsafe toys in classrooms or play areas
In fact, an institution may even be liable when a child is harmed by another child. If negligence in supervision made the injury possible, or aggravated the injury because there was no timely intervention, the institution may be legally responsible for the resulting harm. In one notable California case, a school district was found liable when a fight broke out among students while the teacher who should have been supervising them was on a lunch break.
Lawsuits against School Districts
Suing a public school district is somewhat different from suing a private daycare provider or other business. That’s because public school districts are governmental entities, which means different procedural requirements and some possible limitations on liability apply.
An experienced child abuse and neglect attorney can be your best resource for determining who may be legally responsible for your child’s injuries, and what type of damages you may be able to recover.
Contact an Experienced Child Abuse and Neglect Lawyer Today
If your child has been injured as the result of someone else’s negligence or intentional action, your family is likely facing a very difficult time. A dedicated advocate can take the pressure off while you focus your attention on helping your child heal physically and emotionally. Take the first step right now by scheduling a free consultation.