Accidents at daycare centers may be related to many things, but the risk of falling furniture is often overlooked. Parents who have carefully babyproofed their homes may not realize that their daycare facility has failed to take the same precautions.
The size and weight of falling furniture can lead to significant injuries for young children, so it’s important for parents to know how to protect their child’s right to compensation for this type of daycare injury.
How Furniture Tips Over and Puts Children at Risk
Most furniture is designed to remain stationary with limited risk of toppling over. However, when children climb on that furniture, pull cords from it, or otherwise jostle it, the entire piece of furniture may fall over and cause serious injury. The risk of a 20 to 40-pound bookshelf falling on a child is high in these situations, for example.
Accidents like this may be preventable by properly securing the furniture using wall anchors or straps. Caregivers should also monitor children for inappropriate behavior that could increase the risk of injury.
Possible Injuries From Tipped Over Furniture Accidents
Numerous types of injuries can occur as a result of the furniture falling over. The size and weight of the furniture, coupled with its overall angle of falling (especially with sharp edges), may lead to significant injury. Children can also be injured by items that are stored on bookcases, cabinets, entertainment centers, and desks.
Some potential injuries may include the following:
- Crushing accidents. Furniture that falls on a child can obstruct their airway and cause difficulty breathing. Nerve damage, organ damage, and possible amputation of fingers may also be a concern.
- Broken bones. A child may suffer one or more broken bones when furniture tips over. Complex fractures requiring additional treatment and healing time are also a possibility.
- Brain damage. If a heavy TV or other item falls onto the child’s head, this can cause damage to the skull. It may also lead to punctures of the tissues and, in some cases, to brain bleeds. Any injury to the brain tissue can create long-term, catastrophic damage.
- Lacerations. Falling glass, sharp edges, and other objects can cause significant damage to the child’s tissues, muscles, and ligaments. In some cases, this can lead to significant blood loss, damage to mobility, and infection risks.
How Daycare Negligence Causes Accidents
A core legal issue in these types of accidents is why the furniture falls. In many cases, it is a lack of supervision. One or more children may climb on top of the furniture, potentially to get something off a top shelf or just for fun. When this happens, the added weight on one side of the piece of furniture may cause the entire object to topple over. Proper supervision of all children attending the daycare will minimize or eliminate this risk.
Another potential cause of negligence may be the installation of furniture that should not be in the space. For example, if a dresser or bookshelf is added to the space and not properly anchored to the wall behind it, that may lead to an accident like this. In a daycare setting, steps should be taken to minimize the presence of any dangerous furniture within the child’s reach.
What to Do If Your Child Is Hurt
After any daycare accident causing injury, your child should see a healthcare provider for a full evaluation. This ensures that your child’s medical needs are met right away. It also helps in documenting what has occurred.
Request information about what occurred from the daycare center. If possible, ask to see videos of the room and what occurred. Refrain from making comments that blame your child, such as “She’s always climbing on things.” Instead, contact a personal injury attorney to discuss your case. Your attorney may help you contact witnesses for statements and gather insight into what really occurred with the goal of determining who may be at fault for the losses present.
You should avoid speaking about what happened to anyone but your child’s attorney until the case is resolved. If you have any concerns about the safety of the daycare facility and the ability of the staff to provide an appropriate level of supervision, you should make alternative childcare arrangements.
Potential Compensation in a Daycare Injury Case
In incidents like this, it may be possible to receive compensation for the losses your child has suffered. That may include costs such as:
- Medical bills
- Emergency room visits
- Surgical procedures
- Long-term rehabilitation
- Loss of quality of life
- Pain and suffering
Don’t underestimate the effects of this type of injury. Your child may recover from the initial injury, but they may have long-term consequences such as mobility problems.
When to Contact a Daycare Injury Lawyer
As soon as it is possible to contact an attorney, do so. This type of incident is often one that is not disclosed to other families who may be using the same daycare services. That means other children are at risk.
More so, you may want to contact a daycare injury lawyer as soon as this occurs to ensure that witness statements can be obtained and all evidence in the case is accessed as soon as possible. Your attorney will guide you in determining what type of evidence may be available, and explain the necessary steps to take to file for compensation.
Work with The Button Law Firm’s experienced daycare injury attorneys to determine your best way forward. To get started, connect with us online now or call for a consultation. Our team is dedicated to helping you get the legal support you need.