Parents depend on daycare centers daily to care for their children while they are at work. They assume the daycare is a safe place and trust that their child will be taken care of and looked after in a responsible manner. Sometimes, however, this is not always the case. Many children lose their lives or suffer injuries each year due to daycare negligence and abuse. Some daycares lack employees that have proper training or licenses, or the center may not have security measures in placed to ensure that your child is kept safe. If you have lost a child due to an accident at a daycare, you may be entitled to receive compensation as part of a wrongful death claim. A wrongful death claim is a civil action not a criminal case.
Types of Fatal Daycare Injuries
Children of any age can be fatally injured at a daycare, but those under one year of age are most at risk. These injuries can occur at a daycare center due to numerous reasons. Most fatal injuries are due to lack of care or safety precautions and include:
- Brain or head injuries after falls from unsafe playground equipment or rideable toys
- Traumatic brain injury due to shaken baby syndrome
- Choking on food or small toys due to lack of supervision
- Suffocation from unsafe bedding in sleep areas or stuffed animals or pillows placed in cribs
- Accidental poisoning from household chemicals or cleaning products that were not properly stored
- Burns from electric toys or devices
Daycare injuries can happen both inside the facility and outside. Some common areas where accidents may occur are:
- Indoor play areas
- Outdoor playgrounds
- Parking lots
- Areas designated for sleep
- Swimming pools
Wrongful Death Liability and Damages
Determining liability is an essential part of a wrongful death case. When a child dies due to negligence at a daycare, the child’s family can file a wrongful death claim in Rhode Island against the liable party.
Those who may be held liable in a wrongful death case include:
- An employee or employer at the daycare center
- The company that operates the daycare center
- The owner of the daycare center
- A government agency that oversees the daycare center
There are basic elements of a wrongful death case that must be proven for the family to receive compensation for their loss. These elements are:
- The daycare facility owed you and your child a duty of care.
- The daycare facility breached the duty of care that was owed.
- The breach of reasonable care caused the death of your child.
- Your family suffered damages due to the death of your child.
Damages that you may be entitled to receive in a wrongful death claim may include:
- Medical expenses associated with the child’s death
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of future earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive damages
Contact an Attorney for Help
If your child has died after sustaining an injury at a daycare, contact an attorney immediately. An attorney can do the following to help with your wrongful death case:
- Investigate the incident that caused your child’s death
- Gather and preserve evidence that can show the incident was the cause of your child’s death
- Determine liability to prove that the daycare could have prevented the incident that caused your child’s wrongful death