Texas Daycare Lawsuits: A Guide to the Differences Between Criminal and Civil Cases
The latest report from Texas Health and Human Services reveals that 1,415 children were seriously injured at licensed daycare centers over a two-year time span. If your child was harmed while in daycare, you have the option to file a lawsuit to hold the daycare accountable and seek compensation, also known as damages. When it comes to lawsuits, there are two types of cases: criminal and civil. In this article, our Texas daycare injury lawyers break down the key differences between criminal and civil cases in a daycare lawsuit in the Lone Star State.
What Is Considered a Civil Case in a Lawsuit Against a Texas Daycare Center?
A civil case in Texas typically involves a dispute between two parties. In daycare disputes, one party, usually a child’s parent, justice from the other party, the daycare.
Most daycare lawsuits in Texas are civil. The legal issues or questions at the center of the dispute are focused on whether or not a child’s injuries were preventable and if they were caused by the daycare center violating the state’s daycare laws, also known as the minimum standards. These requirements were created for childcare facilities to keep children safe by addressing:
- Adequate supervision of all employees taking care of children
- Child-to-caregiver ratios
- Check-in and check-out procedures of children in their care
- Hiring practices such as performing background checks on all potential employees
- Proper supervision of children in their care
- Proper training of all employees, including age-appropriate discipline methods, safety procedures, and rules regarding giving a child medication
You can view a list of the Texas daycare standards that are vital for children’s safety here.
When a child gets hurt because a daycare violated any of the minimum standards outlined by the state of Texas, the monetary damages that the child’s parents seek can include medical expenses, therapy, and other resources to help their child heal after a daycare injury. Parents can also seek lost wages while serving as a caregiver for a child recovering from injuries.
What Is Considered a Criminal Case in a Daycare Lawsuit?
When a daycare employee deliberately hurts a child, this is classified as a criminal case. A criminal case in a daycare lawsuit occurs when there are allegations that a daycare employee has violated a criminal law, such as theft, assault, or murder. The purpose of a Texas daycare criminal case is to prosecute the daycare employee (or employees) responsible for intentionally harming a child in their care.
Common crimes that harm children at Texas daycares include:
- Child abuse such as using improper discipline methods (hitting, acts of violence)
- Child neglect including inadequate supervision of children that can result in burn injuries, improper sleep practices, and choking
- Sexual abuse
What Are the Key Differences Between Criminal and Civil Cases in a Texas Daycare Lawsuit?
Overall, the key difference between criminal and civil cases in a Texas daycare lawsuit boils down to if a person’s actions harming a child violated a criminal law.
In addition, the two cases have different desired outcomes. A criminal case aims to punish a specific person or group of people at the daycare center who violated a criminal law, and the desired punishment includes time in jail, fines, or probation. Civil cases seek to financially compensate the plaintiff, the child’s family, for the child’s injuries or losses they may have suffered.
Was Your Child Hurt at a Daycare in Texas? Schedule a Free Consultation with Our Texas Daycare Injury Lawyers
Our team of experienced and compassionate daycare injury attorneys at The Button Law Firm is dedicated to advocating for you and your family if your child was harmed while in the care of a Texas daycare facility. With offices in Dallas, Houston, and Midland, we are ready to listen, fight for your family, and help your family move forward. Our attorneys at The Button Law Firm are recognized on the prestigious Texas Super Lawyers list, and we can help guide you after a traumatizing incident involving your child. We work on contingency, meaning we don’t charge you or collect any upfront fees to get started on your case. Call us at 214-699-4409 or fill out a contact form for a free consultation.